LitvakSIG is a membership organization. Annual membership dues of $36 US per person and additional contributions to our General Fund support our operations, (including this website); our publications; and general activities like sponsoring speakers and other events. Members are given access to additional content and research resources (like archives catalogs and in-depth articles) through our members website www.litvaksigmembersonlysite.shutterfly.com and are entitled to vote at our annual election during the meeting which is held at the annual IAJGS conference during July or August. Our membership year is January 1 to December 31 each year.
The bulk of our activities are our geographic-specific Groups and Projects, whose primary purpose is to identify and collect data from available records for Lithuania from the Russian Empire Period (1795-1918) and Independent Lithuania (1918-1940). A number of shtetlach now in Belarus and Poland fall under our aegis. Each of these groups and projects is separately funded by dedicated contributions raised for their specific purpose.
Over the past 10 years we have received over $750,000US in dues and donations from almost 1,600 people as well as donations of privately translated records. Together we have translated more than 1,200,000 records. This shows great generosity. There are still many hundreds of thousands more records to translate and we sincerely hope you will support us by becoming a member of LitvakSIG and by contributing to one or more of our groups and projects.
LitvakSIG welcomes the opportunity to speak with individuals or organizations who are able to provide challenge grants or major contributions to our efforts.
Our Groups and Projects are organized into three types:
District Research Groups (DRG)
There are 14 district research groups (DRG) matching administrative districts ("uyezds") of the Russian Empire period (1795-1918). They focus primarily on translating revision lists, family lists, tax lists, and voter lists for the entire district, including all shtetlach in the district.
Vital Records Translation Projects (VRT)
Vital records are birth, marriage, death and divorce records. This project focuses on translating vital records that were microfilmed by the Latter Day Saints (LDS) and has been extended to some vital records that were not microfilmed as well. These projects are coordinated at a Gubernia level for Vilnius and Kaunas Gubernii and funds are raised by shtetl. There is a VR Coordinator for each Gubernia and, in some cases, a VR Coordinator for specific shtetlach. Vital Records for Suwalki Gubernia are being translated under the aegis of the Suwalki Gubernia Research Group Special Project along with other records.
UPDATE: As of June 2012, all vital records avalable for translation for towns in Kaunas Gubernia have been completed. They are available through the relevant District Research Group Shutterfly site. Contact the District Coordinator of that district for more information.
UPDATE: As of January 1, 2013, vital records for shtetlach in the Lida, Oshmiany and Trakai Districts are accessible through a contribution to the relevant district group.
UPDATE: As of March 15, 2013, vital records for shtetlach in Vilnius District (including Vilnius City) are accessible through a contribution to Vilnius District Research Group.
While we endeavor to keep the majority of our data acquisition projects under the District Research Groups and Vital Records Groups, sometimes that is not practical or possible from a coordination or funding standpoint.
For example, where a particular list is very large it may be treated as a project by itself, distinct from the District Research Groups or Vital Records Projects. For example, funds were raised for the City of Kaunas family list 1858-1915. This had its own $100 US required contribution as this list alone was expected to cost in the range of $10,000.
Another example is the project to translate the Lithuanian Internal Passport (IP) Files, a collection rich with family information relating to those people who resided in independent Lithuania in the interwar period (1918-1939). The vast majority of these IP projects are organized and fund raising is done by shtetl. In some cases, the District Research Groups are funding or helping to fund the acquisition of the data for all shtetlach in their districts (e.g. Siauliai, Telsiai, and Ukmerge Districts).