Indexing is the process of entering information from a variety of historical records into a form that a researcher can use to find information they are looking for. This list usually takes the form of a book, or an online searchable database.
One of MGS’s main objectives is to foster education in genealogical research through Society workshops, seminars and publications. MGS members over the years have created a number of publications which can be found in the MGS store. Example: An INDEX of BIRTH, MARRIAGE & DEATH NOTICES FROM MANITOBA NEWSPAPERS Volume 2 (1882-1884).
MGS has a number of indexing projects. One example of a MGS indexing project is newspaper names. Through various sources, the researcher creates a list of the names of every Manitoba newspaper ever published in province. In addition to the name, the dates of publication, area the newspaper served, and where the researcher can find copies of the newspaper (if available) are all recorded so a genealogical researcher will have a starting point from which to search for records.
Imagine you have family from a small town in rural Manitoba. By accessing the newspaper index, you could potentially find the name of the newspaper that served that area in the date range you are searching, and where you can access copies of it to search for community activities and other data on your family—birth, engagement, and marriage announcements as well as obituaries.
At MGS, aside from published books, all indexing projects are put into MGS’s database. All indexing projects at MGS are done by MGS volunteers.
A database is an organized collection of structured information (data), typically stored electronically in a computer system that can be easily accessed, managed, modified, updated, controlled, and organized.
MGS’s database is called the MAnitoba Name Index or MANI for short. One of the main objectives of MGS is to preserve and make available Manitoba genealogical and historical records/materials, and we do this through MANI.
All indexing projects are entered into MANI, and can be accessed by all MGS members online. As of 2021, there are more than 1.6 million entries in MANI, and it grows weekly by the volunteer efforts of MGS members.