AHSGR Village Coordinator (VC) Agreement and Statement of Purpose
Download a VC Agreement Form HERE
From materials written by the founders of AHSGR, we know that the people who met in the late 1960s to form what was to become AHSGR had a primary goal to provide a means to share their research and provide a depository for their research materials. This goal remains the primary purpose of AHSGR to this day.
As the Society grew, it became important to divide the work and create an organizational structure. The Village Coordinator network was developed so that more experienced researchers could work with newer researchers. All were volunteers who donated their time and talent to share and protect their work for future generations. This remains the primary goal of the Village Coordinator network. See a list of current Village Coordinators.
Village Coordinator Roles and Responsibilities to Researchers and AHSGR:
- Serve as focal point for research, information and knowledge about the village.
- Coordinate research for the village among interested persons.
- Respond to inquiries for AHSGR members, non-members, and researchers interested in the village.
- Develop a succession plan for the work that has been done and the data that has been accumulated for the village. In other words, who will receive your data when you retire the position or die? Your family should be aware of your plan and if no follow on VC is named, the information should be forwarded to AHSGR (at AHSGR’s expense) to help the next person who volunteers to take your position.
- Serve as a representative of AHSGR when contacted by a non-member. Answer their questions to the extent you can but also inform them about the Society and encourage them to become a member. Give them the address of AHSGR’s website, where to find membership information, and direct them to our online store.
- Share information with AHSGR that have in your files and database. VCs often spend a considerable amount of their own funds to obtain village-related data, so merely giving a copy to AHSGR may not be enough. Your files should eventually be transferred to AHSGR for safekeeping, or to a replacement coordinator when you no longer have use for them. One method to let AHSGR and persons who are interested in your village know what is in your files is to send an annotated list or bibliography (including your contact information) of information you have to AHSGR for placement in your Village File. This information is copied to the Village File Inventory that can be searched from the AHSGR website.
- Remember you are often the first contact for the Society a non-member has. Make a good first impression.
- Share your ideas that have worked for you with the VC community. The VC Mail List is a useful tool to do this and learn new methods and share successes.
- Prepare and submit an annual report to the VC Reports Editor describing what occurred for the village or new information that has been learned or obtained. A ‘call’ for submittal of the annual report will be made by the VC Reports Editor, typically in October, with a request that reports are to be submitted prior to the end of November.
- Prepare and submit your family history information, preferably in a GEDCOM file. Paper records are OK.
- Remember to submit your yearly AHSGR dues if you are not a Life Member. Your membership must remain active in order to be a VC for the Society.
- Attend the annual conventions as often as possible, as many of the new members are eager to meet you. You might be surprised to find the high degree of esteem in which you are held!
- Developing and maintaining a village website is encouraged but not required. You may enlist others to develop and maintain the site if you have time limitations or lack the skills.
- Assist in identifying and establishing a chair (or co-chair) for the Village Coordinators.
Role and responsibilities of AHSGR
The Headquarters and Board of Directors are to provide resources for Village Coordinator support. Staffing levels and budget constraints limit the amount of research and records maintenance that Headquarters can actually perform. In these areas, the contribution of the Village Coordinator is invaluable.
The Board, with assistance from Headquarters staff, maintains several support activities for the Village Coordinators. See a complete list of AHSGR Board Members.
- Village Coordinator Program oversight and support are assigned to the Ancestral Records and Genealogy (ARG) Committee.
- The committee is responsible for maintaining an active program.
- The Village Coordinator chair (or chairs) report to the ARG Committee and if not a member of the Board of Directors, are considered to be non-board members of that committee.
- Appoint a Village Coordinator Liaison from the Board members to serve as the primary contact between the Board and the VC community.
- Establish policies and procedures for the Village Coordinator program and keep them current as conditions change.
- The ARG Committee is responsible for the identification and acquisition of records within the former Russian Republic. They are to share record availability information with the Village Coordinators during the VC meeting held at the AHSGR Annual Convention and by using the VC mail list during the period between conventions.
- Maintain electronic databases to support Village Coordinator activities, including:
- The AHSGR Genealogy database of known family information
- An annual report will be provided for information on persons born, married or deceased in a particular village
- A membership database that includes possible search capabilities for surnames and village data that can be provided to the Village Coordinators. An annual report will be provided, if requested, identifying members and their surname interests for a village.
- A website
- A Village Coordinator mail list
- Send to the appropriate VC the name and address of any non-member who makes an inquiry about a village.
- Send to the appropriate VC a copy of new member data that includes a reference to a village. The AHSGR Newsletter may alert the VC about a new member, but if the member sends family history data to AHSGR a copy will be sent to the VC.
- Maintain the Village Files in the Library and ensure the contents are described when a search is performed on the AHSGR web site
- Inform all VC about additions made to the Village Files.
- Encourage members to donate family research data, stories and genealogies to be included in the already extensive surname collection in the library.
- Maintain a lending program through Interlibrary Loan to make materials available to Village Coordinators and membership at large.
- Respond to requests made by VC for copies of material using the guidelines established by the ARG Committee and Board of Directors. Village Coordinators are provided materials at reduced rates.
- Retain village files obtained from retired VC when a replacement VC is not immediately available. Make this information available, at AHSGR’s expense, to the replacement VC.
- Pay for copy costs and shipping/postage of the material from a retired or deceased VC data when there is no replacement VC immediately available.
- Offer to pay shipping costs of the data from a retired or deceased VC when a replacement VC has been identified but there is a question about how the material will be shipped to the replacement VC.
- Maintain an active “Requests from Abroad” program to correspond with those contacting AHSGR from countries outside of North America. All requests and related correspondence are kept on permanent file.
- Publish CLUES on a periodic basis to share surnames and village information. New members’ surnames and village information will be published in the Newsletter between issues of CLUES.
- Publish materials to support the overall initiatives of the ARG Committee and Village Coordinators, including:
- Census lists
- Books of historical and genealogical interest
- Surname charts (Most of the charts in the Library are from the Volga region but the Society welcomes surname charts from any and all regions for our heritage).
- Use the annual convention to support the activities of the Village Coordinators in a number of areas:
- The Genealogy Symposium
- The annual Village Coordinators Meeting
- Village Night or individual area meetings
- Village or village group displays prepared by the VC
- Library and research materials
- Access to the AHSGR Genealogy Database of known family information
The VC program has grown and is a significant benefit to AHSGR. In order to retain and foster this momentum, new and existing VCs are asked to sign this agreement to continue to help the program to the extent they can.
To become a new VC or continue in the role of an AHSGR VC, this form must be printed, signed and mailed to AHSGR, 631 D Street, Lincoln NE 68502. Failure to sign and return the Statement of Purpose to AHSGR will indicate that you do not care to be a Village Coordinator for AHSGR.