The Archives of Casa Sales at Erice

29,000 Images Available!

Recently, another 65 volumes have been completely photographed, resulting in the availability of more than 12,600 new images. This brings the total number of photographed volumes to 206, with over 29,000 images now available online. The result is that all baptisms, marriages and burials before the year 1800 have now been completely photographed for the 4 parishes of Erice. In some cases, later documents are also available, with for example 10 photographed volumes covering the year 1830 and 6 the year 1840.

The management of volumes that contain non-homogeneous data has been enhanced. Normally a physical volume contains one single set of data, e.g. baptisms in a given interval of years. Some physical volumes, however, contain different datasets over time.

Physical volume 122, for example, contains three sets of data: baptisms from 1604-1627, baptisms from 1627-1638 and baptisms from 1639-1650. In this case, the volumes have been called "volume 122001", "volume 122002" and "volume 122003". The user can still search for "volume 122", but the system will find all three sets.

The new volumes that have just been photographed contain many examples of multiple volumes. As a result, the user interface has also been revisited, with the volumes now being ordered differently to take this into account.

So, instead of ordering volumes (for example) 1,2,3,4,5,10,11,20,100, they are now ordered 1,10,11,100,2,20,3,4,5. This makes it much easier to find multiple volumes.

Accessing the Archives

First the user must register (press "REGISTER" button above) and activate his/her account by clicking on the link the system will e-mail.",

After account activatation, the user can login to the archives (press "LOGIN" button above) (see screenshot 1).

In order to only see those volumes that have been photographed, press the "All Photos" button (screenshot 2).

A search can now be performed for the type of record (e.g. baptism, wedding, death), the church involved (e.g. Matrice, San Antonio, San Cataldo, San Giuliano, etc), the date and the number of the volume (if known). Any combination of these parameters can be used. It is also possible to not specify anything and simply to scroll through the list decribing the volumes.

By way of example, let us search for Baptisms at San Cataldo in the year 1600. This will identify Volume 123 as containing this data (screenshot 3).

Finding a Particular record

An entry in a volume is called a record . Volume 123, for example, has 736 baptism records. Sometimes (but not always) records have been numbered by the person who entered them. In the case of volume 123, for example, the records have been numbered, while in the case of volume 111, the records have not been numbered, and are simply in sequence.

The pages containing the records are often numbered, but unfortunately these numbers do not always coincide with the physical location of the photographs. For example, in volume 123, every other page is numbered, and there are also a number of introductory pages before page 1! Furthermore, there are about 20 unnumbered index pages at the end of the volume. This means that the reported number of pages (60) in volume 123 is considerably different from the number of physical pages (88) that have been photographed.

To solve this problem, the sequence number POS (=position) of the physical records can be used. If we look at the table on the right-hand side of the display, for the first record of volume 123 we find a pointer to record #1 on page #1 (screenshot 3) which is in physical position #5. This because, as mentioned before, there are a number of introductory pages before the first one. The rest of the table on the right-hand side of the display presents pointers to a number of selected records throughout the file. As there are 736 records, pointers cannot be provided to all of them, and in fact links have been provided to about 12 photographs spread throughout the volume.",

To see the contents, for example, of the records in position 9 in volume 123, there are two ways of selecting this page. The first is to select the link immediately before this one, that is position 5, then press the yellow "Show Photos" button, and then use the "next" button (right arrow in top right-hand corner) to get to position 9. Alternatively, select the link to the position after it, that is position 11, and then use the "previous" button (left arrow) to return to 9.

Many volumes also have an index, which can typically be found after the normal pages of the volume. Again, using the example of volume 123, scroll down the images to after page 60, where you will find links to indexes organised by "first name". This can help if searching for a particular name.

Example Screenshots

1) After logging in

2) After pressing "All Photos"

3) Volume 123

4) Fourth record of Volume 123

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