What is GeneaBank ?
A secured publication system for the databases of genealogical societies : At any time, participating societies keep a complete control over their data which are never communicated to a third party (except for a small « security deposit » that is made in order to insure a fair dealing between societies). Data cannot be accessed freely on the Internet. The browsing of data requests the use of a login identification with a password provided by people in charge of this in each participating society.
A data sharing system between genealogical societies : in addition to a secured access to data records, GeneaBank offers an exchange system of points that allows any member of any participating society to browse anyone of the records that are provided by any society.  This exchange system is only dedicated to manage possible discreapancies between « consummating societies » and « providing societies »…
Benefits of GeneaBank for the societies :
The main benefit offered is the ability to give to their members an access to remote information that they could not otherwise consult without making a long travel. This available remote access to genealogical records can be easy and convenient from their home or from their local society without wasting money or paper. The need to spend points to get at records allows people in charge in each society to have a control over the possible abnormal use of the system when the limit of personal family research is crossed  (this is a mean to avoid the risk of « data looting »).
Furthermore index-linking of records on Geneanet (not mandatory but recommended ) can provide a worldwide reputation to the society and lead genealogists who are in search of a family name or of a specific vital record (sometimes for years) to focus on the participating society …
Subscription of new remote members (worldwide and especially in North America) is also one of the main benefits of this system. Of course such subscriptions need to be followed-up by the participating society through electronic mail, but this is an opportunity that often brings numerous and unusual subscriptions  Such subscriptions enrich the society not only with money but also with the discovery of family trees and links from overseas.
This system is fully free. Participating societies will never be asked to take part in financing the GeneaBank system. At the present time the cost of this service is rather low and when needed some advertising could be added on the internet in order to provide some additional resources. But when a participating society wants to publish its records by its own means, this society will have to find a hosting server from a professional provider. Prices are rather moderate at about 25 Euros per month. The GeneaBank team will provide all the technical support that is needed to implement the server. A temporay free hosting of data is possible when a society hesitates to go for a quick and full commitment to the GeneaBank system.
Last but not least, the GeneaBank system does exist and works well as a real sharing system for genealogical records since Spring 1998. The grinding period is now over and the team in charge of making the system work is experienced in the quick integration of new societies when they provide their data in a format that is not too exotic (simple entry « flat » tables and one-line records are needed)
GeneaBank in practice :
·         Links and contacts :
GeneaBank web site : http://www.geneabank.org
Email address for contact : email contact gbk
GeneaBank postal mail address : 30 avenue Louis ARMAND, 38180 SEYSSINS, France
The GeneaBank Association : information : http://www.geneabank.org/assoc.html
·         The participating societies:
By May  2005, 37 genealogical societies take part in the GeneaBank system with 14 millions of records that are made available to more than 13 000 users. The complete list, which is periodically updated , can be seen at the following address: http://www.geneabank.org/gensocs/indexfr.html
·         Technical specifications :
Tables to be published should be a database in a « flat file with field separator » format. Most usual formats used are : Excel, Access, Works,  Text with a separator (.txt or .csv). Ask us for any other formats (proprietary databases).
·         The exchange system of points:
One point is spent to get access at any full record information, except when the record belongs to the database of the user’s society . In this last case points are automatically re-credited to the account of the society. In order to CREATE points in the system, a deposit of vital records (dated before 1900) must be made. One point will then be created for each deposited record in which a link to the ascendants of the individual exists.
A « security deposit » of some records that are kept by administrators of the GeneaBank system is used  in order to avoid an untimely and unfair  withdrawal of a society that would expect to just have the ability to consult the data of all the other societies…This deposit is later destroyed when a society that wants to leave has given back to the system all the points which where previously given.

© GeneaBank 2005