FreeBMDFreeBMD Setting up a Syndicate

This page is to help new co-ordinators set up and maintain a "Scan" Syndicate.

This instruction is in its infancy and will be updated on a very regular basis to answer all queries raised by Scan Syndicate co-ordinators.

Syndicate Allocation Slots

To bring some order into the allocation of events/periods to new Syndicates, we are concentrating future scanning of the microfilm purchased for the FreeBMD project on Marriages 1843 onwards (births and deaths will follow at a later date).

Details of events available for new syndicates can be obtained from The syndicate co-ordinator (Allan Raymond)

Setting up a Syndicate

Allan will initially set up the Syndicate for new co-ordinators.

Maintaining the Syndicate

When the Syndicate has been set up as above, co-ordinators will be able to carry out any maintenance themselves.

Syndicate co-ordinators can do this by clicking here

Click on the little box to the right of the Syndicate details followed by the MaintainSyndicate button

Co-ordinators will then be able to perform the following tasks.

  1. Amend the name of their Syndicate
  2. Amend the email address to be used by new volunteers to make initial contact with the co-ordinator (this can be a different email address to that registered by the co-ordinator as a volunteer transcriber)
  3. Change the description of the Syndicate
  4. Switch on/off the flag for accepting new volunteers
  5. Switch off the flag for "Fiche Reader Needed", and
  6. Add/delete volunteers from the Syndicate
Once the co-ordinator has completed any amendments to the Syndicate they should click on the "ListSyndicates" button which will take them back to the Syndicate Maintenance page to "Logout".

New Volunteers

New volunteers to Syndicates can fall into two categories, those already registered as a transcriber on FreeBMD and those not registered. Co-ordinators will need to ask the volunteer which category they fall into.

If the new volunteer is already registered on FreeBMD, co-ordinators need only add them to their Syndicate as in (vi) above.

If the new volunteer is not registered on FreeBMD, co-ordinators will need to send them instructions to register their SubmitterID. It is suggested that co-ordinators cut and paste the message below in the email to the volunteer

Important Note: You must substitute your own SubmitterID in place of the ****** in the message below (using your email address instead of SumitterID is no longer allowed). Please make sure the email details for your SubmitterID are correct in FreeBMD (use Submitter Admin to check and/or change).

It is also important that you include the whole of the URL in the message. Some mail clients will not recognise a link if it does not start with https://

Text of email message to be sent to volunteers by the co-ordinator

To enable you to upload records to FreeBMD you will need to register.

Please make sure you are connected to the internet and then click on the link below.******

Here you will be asked to complete a Registration page. You will be asked to choose your own "submitter identifier" (submitterID) which will identify you to FreeBMD - make it something you can remember and type easily. Note, however, that if you want to remain anonymous it should not identify you.

You will then receive a SubmitterID e-mail with details of how to complete the registration process. Please follow these instructions as soon as possible.

Once you have completed the registration process you will then be authorised to submit data for the project.

Please print out your Registration details and keep them in a safe place for future reference.

An automatic process will notify the co-ordinator as soon as the new volunteer has completed registration

Co-ordinators can then add the volunteer to their Syndicate as in (vi) above.

It is suggested that co-ordinators do a trial run with one volunteer to ensure that the process works fully and to enable any problems to be resolved.

Access To Scan Pages

Co-ordinators will need to advise their volunteers of the Scan pages which have been allocated to them and also their location.

Co-ordinators can access the Scans here

Volunteers should be directed to the following Web Page,

Record of Allocation of Scan Pages to Volunteers

Co-ordinators will need to keep their own record of the allocation of the Scan Pages to individual volunteers, if nothing else it prevents double allocations to volunteers and monitors progress.

A suggested format is shown here

1883 Quarter 3 Deaths
Page No Allocated to Date Allocated Date Completed
0001 Joe Bloggs 10/02/2001 25/02/2001
0002 Fred Wyatt 15/02/2001





It is suggested that co-ordinators only allocate one page at a time to new volunteers, which can be increased as they gain more experience.

It may also be useful for new volunteers to send co-ordinators their first couple of pages of transcriptions for a quick check that they are in the correct format as regards to batch header details etc.

Naming of Files and Source Details

Co-ordinators should advise their volunteers that they must follow the file name convention shown on the FreeBMD Web Page below.

This page also provides a lot of other useful information to co-ordinators and volunteers.

File Naming

Volunteers should therefore be directed to the following Web Page,

Co-ordinators should ensure that volunteers are entering the correct "Source" description in the Batch Header in SpeedBMD.

Advise them to follow the instructions here

Volunteers should therefore be directed to the following Web Page,

Checking Progress

Besides getting reports from volunteers regarding their progress, co-ordinators can also check on the FreeBMD Web Site.

Upload Report

Select Syndicate and if required a specific event, period and volunteer. This will provide confirmation of the files uploaded by the selected volunteer or alternatively all volunteers in the Syndicate."

Please take into account that recent uploads may not show until the database has been updated.

Queries from Volunteers and the Transcribers Knowledge Base

Co-ordinators should advise their volunteers that should they have any problems, they should first have a look at our Transcribers Knowledge Base. If this doesn't answer their query then to raise it with the co-ordinator and as a final resort post their query to the mailing lists.
In particular, co-ordinators should take care to ensure that transcribers do NOT post questions to the public lists asking about any procedures which are unique to their syndicate

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