The Unsung Heroes Awards
The Genealogy Guys Podcast and Vivid-Pix announce a new partnership to acknowledge and celebrate members of the genealogy community who are leading the way in digitizing, indexing, and transcribing photographs and documents. The “Unsung Heroes” Project will recognize on a quarterly basis the work of these preservationists in five categories: organizations, societies, individuals, young people, and posthumous.
Nominations will be accepted via email at and winners will be selected each quarter. Winners will receive a custom commemorative mug with their choice of image, a cetificate, an announcement on The Genealogy Guys Podcast, a profile of the winner published on The Genealogy Guys Blog, and recognition on the Vivid-Pix website.
The nominations must be received by the due date announced on The Genealogy Guys Podcast, in the show notes for the podcast, and in The Genealogy Guys Blog. The winners in each category for the quarter will be announced on The Genealogy Guys Podcast, in The Genealogy Guys Blog, and in the Vivid-Pix . They will receive a custom mug with the image of their choice and a certificate. Future due dates will be announced on the Genealogy Guys Podcast and Blog and at the Vivid-Pix website.
Nomination Criteria
The Unsung Heroes we are celebrating are those individuals or organizations who have scanned some significant quantities of photographs, documents, or other collections of materials that have never been available electronically before and that are making an impact on the genealogical community. The digitized material may also have been indexed with identifying data for ease of access. It may also have been further documented with descriptive text. Documents may also have been fully transcribed, or they may have been abstracted or data may have been extracted. Here are three examples concerning a will:
  • A will may be fully transcribed in its entirety, word for word, and preserving the original spelling, punctuation, and abbreviations as they appeared in the original. In this case, the transcription will exactly complement the digitized document.
  • An extract may have been prepared of the same will. Partial text will be preserved as originally written, complete with spellings, punctuation, and abbreviations, usually enclosed in quotation marks so as to convey the intent of the full original document. All names and pertinent information should be preserved although it may be summarized for brevity's sake.
  • An abstract may have been prepared of the same will. It may or may not preserve the text, punctuation, and abbreviations used in the original. The abstract will contain a general description, such as "This is the will of James R. Alexander of Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, dated 5 June 1817."
  • In all cases, a transcription,  extract, or abstract should cite the source where the original is to be found, and how and when accessed if possible.
How to Submit a Nomination
First, complete the Unsung Heroes Award Nomination Form. The form is available by clicking the following link:( A window will pop up with the form. The form is in PDF fillable format. Download (or save) the blank form to your computer, then open it to complete it and then save the completed form. If you are more comfortable with manually completing the form, just print the blank form. You can then complete it by hand, scan and save it to your computer, and then attach it to the email you'll send in.
Second, select the appropriate Unsung Hero nominee category for consideration. There are five categories of a nominee for the Unsung Heroes Awards, all of which are not-for-profit entities. They are:
  • Society - This category is defined as a genealogical society, an historical society, a lineage society, or a heritage society.
  • Library or Archive - This category is defined as a public library, an academic library, the library of a lineage or heritage society, a state library or archive, or a non-profit archive that concentrates on one or more special collections relating to genealogical research.
  • Individual - This category is defined as a person over the age of 21 years of age who has been involved in digitizing, indexing, or otherwise electronically making previously unavailable genealogical materials accessible to other people.
  • Young Person - This category is defined as a person under the age of 21 years of age who has been involved in digitizing, indexing, or otherwise electronically making previously unavailable genealogical materials available to other people. 
  • Posthumous - This award is to honor a deceased individual who digitized, indexed, or transcribed substantial quantities of document images during their lifetime. A nomination in this category should include extensive descriptive information about the individual's activities. The physical award will be in the form of a Certificate of Recognition only.
Third, complete the Nomination Form in its entirety. This also includes the Who Is Submitting This Nomination section. Nominations can be submitted by individuals, societies, libraries, and archives. A nomination can even be submitted for your own work! Be sure to provide a telephone number and an email address in case we have questions. If additional pages need to be attached to the nomination for clarification, be sure to put the name of the nominee at the top of each page so we can keep them together.
Next, compile a sampling of between 2 and 4 of the representative digitized images in a before and after mode. Each digital image should be named using the surname of the nominee and some additional text. As an example, name an image from Robert Black as BLACK-Image1.JPG or BLACK-Image2.TIF. This will help keep nominations and images together. Images can be submitted in one of two ways:
  1. Attach them to the email with the Nomination Form and send everything to genealogyguys@gmail.comor
  2. Save them in a Cloud-based file storage/hosting service such as Dropbox. Create a SHARE hyperlink. Attach the Nomination Form to an email and include the SHARE hyperlink in the body of the email, and send everything to
  3. If the image(s) is subject to any copyright or ownership, please also complete and submit the Permission to Use Graphical Image form.
Finally, create an email addressed to and include "Nomination for Unsung Heroes Award" in the Subject line of your email. Attach the nomination form, any supplemental pages as mentioned before, and the image files (or include the Cloud storage SHARE link).
Winners will be notified in advance of the award date. A winner does not need to be present to win. Winners grant permission to The Genealogy Guys to post one or more images for The Genealogy Guys Blog ( and to Vivid-Pix to post one or more images on their website ( 
Nominations received after the quarterly due date and those that do not win will be considered for future quarterly awards.
We're Singing Your Praises!