1. Adding more new entries to its FREE searchable database – we hope to reach the three quarter million mark by the end of the year – not bad considering we are a small society and all the transcriptions are done by our volunteer members. The Baptisms/Marriages and Burials that are held at the British Library are less than 80% complete, so FIBIS is transcribing and placing into its on-line database as much of the remaining 20+ percent that we can find. Already transcribed and uploaded are the BMD announcements from the “East Indies Register” which have plugged some gaps, so we are continuing to add some of the years covered by “The Times of India” “The Bombay Times” & “Journal of Commerce”, “ The Madras Mail” and “South African Commercial Advertiser.” We have also found a series of “Allen’s Indian Mail” to be transcribed. These vital records are among the most valuable that we believe FIBIS can provide to those searching for their ‘lost’ ancestor.
2. Having won for the third time one of the prestigious Federation of Family History Societies “Best Website Awards” – First Place in the 2010 Small Societies Division, we are very proud of our Webmaster – Valmay Young – who is now in process of introducing many new exciting features to the website including a mobile optimized theme and a members social network – to be launched at the WDYTYA Exhibition in February.
3. FIBIS will probably be the first small family history society to have an online Social Network area for our Members – the FIBIS Social network will be an area where members can:
- connect with other members
- create their own photo albums
- join or create an interest group
- use member discussion forums
- send private messages
- can use the chat facility to converse with other members
- access the FIBIS Multmedia files for both Audio and Video
4. FIBIS is setting up a new online book shop to be launched with the new website – this will probably have one of the largest selections of books on Colonial India available to be purchased in any one place, and our members are given a discount.
5. One of the first small Family History Societies to offer Research Grants to its members – who are willing to undertake research on behalf of FIBIS into some aspect of British Indian history which will be of help or of general interest to others wishing to investigate their own family history. Fibis would aim to publish the results if they are of sufficient quality.
6. To reflect our maturing status FIBIS has decided to update its image with a new crimson and gold style, more in tune with current marketing practice. It will feature notably at the Who Do You Think You Are? Live exhibition at Olympia on 25-27 February on our new exhibition stand and is designed to make a greater impact for British India on the family history community.