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FAQ

FAQ


I.    Registration
II.   Text Entrees
III.  Visual Material

IV.  Audio and Video Material
V.  Shtetl Community
VI.   Administrator and Security
VII.   Maps
VIII. Others

I. Registration
1. Do I have to register to have access to all the materials published in the portal?
– No you do not. Every user has access to all the materials placed in the portal, even without registration.

2. What are the advantages of registering to the website?
– Only after registration can you add your texts or modify existing ones. Besides, a registered user can receive information about new materials, send e–mails to other users and participate in social initiatives.

3. Can I add my e-mail address somewhere, to enable readers to get in touch with me?
– After you have registered and logged in you can agree to exchange messages with other users. It is the only form of communication accepted in the portal.

4. I cannot log in. Why?
– Please make sure that caps lock is not on and that you entered the correct login username and password. If you still have problems to log in please contact the administrator.

II. Text Entrees

1. Where can I find directions to create a text for the website?
– You will find advice in the Help section.

2. Who can become author of a publication?
– Our portal is open to cooperation with all people who want to share their knowledge and information.

3. Will my name appear as author of the text when I insert one to the portal?
–Of course. Every person who is going to write an article or will elaborate on it is going to be mentioned as author or co-author (if he will elaborate on an existing article).

4. Can articles in foreign languages be inserted to the portal, for example in English, Yiddish, or Hebrew?
– At this moment in time, articles in Polish and English can be inserted to the portal in their original version.

5. Are there any limitations as far as the length of articles is concerned?
– No. If the administrator comes to the conclusion that the article is too long they will shorten it and will contact the author for acceptance.

6. I have added a text to the portal and I cannot find it now. Why?
– Each text is verified by our administrators before it is added to the website. It will appear as soon as it has been checked.

7. Can other users modify my texts?
– Every text can be corrected or extended.

8. Will I be able to control the modifications introduced to my text after adding it to the website?
– Only administrators can control the texts, but you can always see and compare all the text’s versions.

9. Is every single article going to be added to the website?
– Only those articles which include essential information to a given subject.

10. Can I make comments on the texts from the website?
– After you have registered you can write to the text’s author. We do not plan to open a forum for the moment.

11. Can I suggest or establish a new category for an article for the virtual shtetl website?
– Definitely. We would appreciate all kinds of comments and suggestions which will allow us to improve the portal. Please contact the administrator in such cases (bookmark: contact).

12. Is it necessary to add footnotes to my article?
– All materials taken from other works (articles, books, sources) must be marked by footnotes (see Terms and Conditions). Otherwise the text may be considered plagiarism and deleted from the portal.

13. How can I add footnotes to my article?
– In the text editor you will find the function „paste footnotes”. After clicking on it a window will open, where the footnote should be added.

14. Can I make changes to an already published article?
– Every registered user can expand the already published articles. You cannot delete an article, but if you find reasons for deleting one, you can ask the administrator, passing on your comments to him (contact section).

15. Can I delete an article which I have previously published?
– Only the administrator can delete articles.

16. What can I do if I notice mistakes in the published article?
– You can make corrections or notify the administrators by e–mail.

17. I have written an interesting article but I don’t know where to insert it.
– Send the article to the administrator. It will be read by our team, and we’ll certainly find the right place for it.

18. Can I insert links to other websites in my article?
– Yes, you can.

19. In case of localities having the same name– is there a risk that the text is not going to be properly located?
– Besides the name, in the description of the locality you must specify the geographic location and chose the province, so there is no such risk.

20. If I use quotations in a foreign language– should I write them in their original version or translate it into Polish?
– We suggest writing quotations in a foreign language and also adding the translation. The translation into Polish is most important.


III. Visual  Material

1. How can I paste a street map, scan a picture or anything else into the article?

– In the particular navigation fields of a town you will find the button: „add picture.” It allows you to add pictures, street maps and other material, apart from video and sound files, which can be added if proper buttons are used.

2. Do I have to fill out all the fields when describing an image?

– Yes. Please, fill out all the fields when describing an image. Avoid using exclusively capital letters. Do not quote titles or descriptions.

3. What should I type in the field “Author”?

– Give the full name of the author of the image in this place. It may be different from the name of the person uploading the file. Pseudonyms are acceptable. When the name of the author is not known but you are in possession of an original image (e.g. a pre–war photograph from a family album) type in Unknown in the field “Author”.

4. What should I type in the field “Title”?

– A one–sentence title should contain a basic description of the image, for example:

The building of the former synagogue in Płock

Hersz Rozenblum’s family
Do not use a full stop at the end of the title.

5. What should I type in the field “Date (yyyy–mm–dd format)”?

– Dates are automatically downloaded through the portal from the Exif file that every photograph taken by a digital camera has by default. If the Exif file has been removed with the use of graphics software or a scan is being uploaded, the date should be added in the yyyy–mm–dd (e.g. 2013–10–09) format. If the exact date is not known, you may use Circa 1930.

6. What should I type in the field “Image content (what it illustrates)”?

– Here, provide a longer two or three sentence description of the image and put a full stop at the end of the description. If the function of the place, building etc. has changed, include both functions:

The building of the former synagogue in Płock. Today, occupied by the Museum of Mazovian Jews.

Hersz Rozenblum’s family. From right to left:  Bluma, Hersz, Abram, Sara Rozenblum. The photograph was taken on vacation in Zakopane.

7. What should I type in the field “Image type (original, copy, postcard, or graphic)”?

– If your image is original, type: original. If you own copyright to the image, but you do not have the original, type: copy. For archival postcards, type: postcard and for graphics: graphic.  

 

8. What should I type in the field “Location”?

– Add the name of the location where the photograph was taken, and, if possible, the name of the street. Use Polish names if possible, e.g. Nowy Jork (instead of New York). In the case of names that were changed during administrative divisions, Polish historical names may be used, e.g. Stanisławów (instead of Iwano–Frankiwsk). Do not add terms such as “Jewish cemetery,” or “Synagogue” in this field.

9. What should I type in the field “Keywords”?

– In this section provide keywords that describe the image and that allow it to be indexed by search engines such as Google. Use lowercase for your keywords and separate them with commas like this:

synagoga w płocku, synagogue in płock, płock synagogue

You may use keywords in different languages.

10. What should I type in the field “Source (of the original)”?

– For images from private collections add:

A private collection of John Smith

For images from collections owned by institutions add:

Collections of the Museum of the Mazovian Countryside in Sierpc

11. How can I upload new images?

– The image upload form allows you to upload to the portal from your hard disk up to five images with the same description into one category. If the descriptions vary (e.g. The building of the Remuh Synagogue in Kraków and Aron ha–Kodesh in the Remuh Synagogue), please, upload your images separately. The maximum upload size for five images being uploaded at once is 110 MB.

12. Are there any limitations or recommendations as to the size of inserted files?

– Images must be at least 640 x 480 pixels. However, we advise adding full–size images, without downsizing them in graphics software. Images should have embedded Exif data, which show dates, for instance. Please, avoid printing dates on images. We recommend jpg, png, tiff (tiff as a bitmap) file formats.

Images should be correctly exposed and in–focus. Images which are not straight, out of focus, or do not do justice to the real appearance of the thing and are unrelated to the topic may be rejected by the Administrator.

13. What should I type in the field “Latitude and Longitude”?
– Coordinates are automatically added after indicating the location on the map (in the upper–right corner, at the image description form).  

14. How to add tags?

– There is a list of image tags beneath the image upload form. You may add one or more tags. It is advisable that you apply tags that are short and accurate, and that lead to appropriate connections (e.g. do not tag an image showing a matzeva with the term “Judaism”). If you add multiple differently tagged images in one category, please, add them separately using proper tags.

15. Copyright and Privacy Policy

– All registered users uploading materials to the Virtual Shtetl portal automatically accept the Terms and Conditions available on the portal’s website at http://www.sztetl.org.pl/en/cms/terms–and–conditions/ and commit to comply with intellectual property law. We accept only those images whose authors have given written consent for their material to be published on the portal. If you are not the author of the image or you do not have the author’s consent to use the image, do not upload it to the Virtual Shtetl portal.

In the case of images that show individual people, make sure the people give consent to publish their image and name (if it is included in the description of the image). It does not apply to images of public meetings or when the individual is captured in the background of the image. Images of children under 18 years old may be published only after their parents give written consent to do so. Please do not add images that show licence plates.

The Virtual Shtetl reserves the right to refuse to accept an image.

16.  Why the added image is not visible on the website?

– Each image has to be accepted by the Administrator. It may take a few days.

In justified cases (e.g. breach of copyright or  other people’s privacy, inconsistency between the image and the category, technical defects of the image etc.) the Virtual Shtetl reserves the right to refuse to accept an image.

17. Can I copy photographs or pictures from the portal website to my computer?

– You can copy them only for private use, or for non–commercial use, provided the materials will not be used in context that is against the mission of the Portal.

18. If I add materials to the website, for example pictures, postcards, can they be used by other users or copied and used in other publications? Are there any safety measures to prevent copying and using the photographs and other pictures placed on the website?

– Materials added to the website can be used by other users for non-commercial, educational and social activities. Please get acquainted with the portal’s Terms and Conditions.

1. Can I add audio files to the portal (e.g. recordings of songs, interviews, etc.)?
– Yes. On the main site as well as on every navigation sub–site there is a button allowing you to add video and audio files.

2. Can I copy photographs or pictures from the portal website to my computer?
– You can copy them only for private use, or for non–commercial use, provided the materials will not be used in a negative context.

3. Can I add pictures from other websites?
– No, you cannot add materials to which you have no rights. See our Terms and Conditions.

4. How can I paste a street map, scan a picture or anything else into the article?
– In the particular navigation fields of a town you will find the button: „add picture.” It allows you to add pictures, street maps and other material, apart from video and sound files, which can be added if proper buttons are used.

5. If I add materials to the website, for example pictures, postcards, can they be used by other users or copied and used in other publications? Are there any safety measures to prevent copying and using the photographs and other pictures placed on the website?
– Materials added to the website can be used by other users for non–commercial, educational and social activities. Please get acquainted with the portal’s Terms and Conditions.

6. Are there any limitations as to the size of inserted files? (e.g. pictures)?
– No, there aren’t. The system diminishes automatically the size of pictures to a size not affecting the portal too much.

IV. Audio and Video Material

How can I paste an audio or video file into the article?

In the particular navigation fields of a town you will find a button “add audio” and “add video”. They allow you to add audio or video material.

Are there any recommendations or limitations as to the size of inserted audiovisual files?

100 MB is the maximum size. Larger files can be sent via a free server www.wetransfer.com on our email address: sztetl@polin.pl

V. Shtetl Community

1. Is it possible to get in touch with the authors of texts and the people inserting materials to the portal?
– Yes, it is. You must register to the portal and log in, so you can access its social services. Among others, you will be able to send e-mails to other users, authors of texts and people adding materials with the portal. You just have to click on the user’s name of the text’s author. There is a button enabling you to send them e-mails there.               

2. Do you plan to open a forum on the website?
– We do not plan to open a general forum in the nearest future. In the meantime, you can write private messages to other users.

VI. Administrator and Security


1. Are the texts placed with the portal verified? Is there anyone who checks and edits them?
– Yes. The texts are checked by the portal’s administrators. In case of doubts concerning the information in the text, the administrator contacts the text author, or makes a decision not to insert the text to the portal. In case of other mistakes, the suggested corrections need to be approved by the author. Spelling and style mistakes are corrected without contacting the author.

2. Am I going to be informed by the administrator about corrections to my article or publications on my article’s site?
– After you have registered and logged in, you can order a newsletter and specify in it that you are interested in all changes introduced to your article. Then every time something is modified the system will automatically send you a message.

3. Can I make a reservation that my materials or articles cannot be used for commercial purposes?
– None of the articles from our website is meant for commercial use. It is the property of the portal, protected by a copyright. Every unauthorized usage should be reported as it is a violation of our regulations and of the copyright.

4. If I place an article on the website, does it mean that I am also granting you the copyright to it?
See the Terms and Conditions.

5. What happens if my article has already been published, but another user does not agree with its content and wants it to be deleted? Can I disagree and present my point of view?
– Every text can be corrected. It is the administrator who judges whether new information is more credible than the previous one– in case of doubts experts and authors of the articles can be consulted.

6. Does anyone supervise the historical aspect of the texts?
– The administrators are educated in history, and they will do their best to check the texts’ historical accuracy. It cannot be guaranteed, however, that mistakes will never occur.

7. How can I contact the administrator?
– In the Contact section you will find e-mail addresses to the website administrator, as well as to regional administrators.

VII. Maps
1. Is it possible to find Jewish towns/shtetlekh, which were comprised within the boundaries of the Second Polish Republic, on the website?
– Work on subsequent texts is being carried on all the time and also the towns which belonged to Poland before the war will be added to the website.

2. Why is the history of the Jewish community presented only until 1989?
– We considered 1989 a turning point for social relations in our country.

3. How can I find a locality if I don’t know which province it belongs to? (I don’t know its geographic location)
– Please write the name of the locality into the search engine or enter the „Towns” section and find it on the list.

4. How can I add a new place to the map?
– For every province you will find the button „suggest a new place”, which enables you to add a place to the map. To do it you must be registered and logged in.

VIII. Others


1. Could you help me in legal questions like property claims, compensation and regaining citizenship?
In legal questions we recommend turning to the attorneys recommended by the U.S. Embassy in Warsaw:
http://poland.usembassy.gov/poland/attorneys.html

2. My ancestors are Jews from Poland. Could you help me to find out more about my family?
Please get in touch with the POLIN Museum Resource Center: http://www.polin.pl/en/resource-center

The Resource Center offers:

  • access to experts in various areas of history.
  • a specialist library dedicated to the history, culture and religion of Polish Jews
  • free access to databases devoted to the history and genealogy of Polish Jews, including MyHeritage, USC Shoah Foundation, Jewish Records Indexing – Poland, Centropa, Virtual Shtetl, The Polish Righteous – Recalling Forgotten History, Central Judaica Database, Resource Center catalogue, and others.
  • a collection of historical maps of the Second Polish Republic, including street plans
  • multimedia presentations on the history and culture of Polish Jews displayed on an interactive artistic installation (MAKROFILM)
  • an index of towns in interwar Poland in Yiddish and Polish
  • a collection of prewar photographs of everyday Jewish life in selected towns in interwar Poland.

Individual staff consultations in the following fields:

  • Where to search for one’s roots
  • How to care for local Jewish heritage
  • Genealogical research – How to get started
  • Interviews with Polish Righteous among the Nations
  • How to care for family mementos

Please contact us to reserve a place or ask a question: resourcecenter@polin.pl.

Opening Hours:

Monday-Sunday: 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
Tuesdays: Closed

We also reccommend you the following institutions and online resources that have specialized in genealogy:
The Jewish Historical Institute in Warsaw: http://www.jhi.pl/en/genealogy/contact
The online portal JewishGen: http://www.jewishgen.org/;
The Head Office of the State Archives in Warsaw: http://www.archiwa.gov.pl/lang-pl/dla-uytkownikow-archiwow/genealogia/118-realizacja-poszukiwa-genealogicznych-w-archiwach-pastwowych.html;
The internet Portal polishroots: http://www.polishroots.org