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Frequently Asked Questions...

  1. What do I need before I start uploading?
  2. How do I input stones with multiple or maiden names?
  3. What about cemetery entrance photos?
  4. What are the guidelines for photos?
  5. May I upload more than one photo of a single stone?
  6. When will my photo be displayed?
  7. What kind of comments are appropriate?
  8. How do we deal with Hard-to-Read Gravestones?
  9. Why do I keep getting errors when I try to upload?
  10. Some Stones have names but no death dates. What do we do?
  11. What if the stone is unreadable or has no surname?
  12. I made a mistake on one of my submissions-- how do I fix it?
  13. My Email address has changed for photos previously submitted. How do I update my address?
Q:What do I need before I start uploading?
A:Photos - A scanned or digital gravestone photo of an individual buried in Iowa.
County - you must know the county where the individual is buried.
Cemetery Name - you must know the Cemetery in which they are buried.

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Q:How do I input stones with multiple or maiden names?
A:Quantity of Names - If more than one name is on the stone, click on "[+] Show More Names" once for each additional entry you wish to include. If you will be submitting multiple views of a stone with different names on each side, list only those names applicable to this view. Name Fields - Fill in the Surname, First Name and optional Maiden Name boxes if known.

A seperate searchable record will be created for each name. To conserve space, all entries will share the same photo.

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Q:What about cemetery entrance photos?
A:Once you have uploaded a photo on the submission page, select a record type of "Cemetery Entrance". Please do not include the word 'Cemetery' in the Cemetery Name box as it is automatically inserted. Please do include the name of the township in the "Township" field if known.

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Q:What are the guidelines for photos?
A:Modern web browsers can upload photos of nearly any size or format. If you are uploading photos using an older web browser, the photo submission page may limit uploads based based on the file size or photo dimensions. Successfully uploaded photos are automatically resized to a standard height and width, and optimized for storage space conservation. Use the "Browse" button to locate and select the photo on your PC. Be sure the file matches the person whose grave you are documenting. Once uploaded, you can, if desired, crop or rotate the photo by clicking on "Adjust this Image" beneath the photo. Click Submit when all information is entered and your photo will be on it's way.

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Q:May I upload more than one photo of a single stone?
A:Server space limitations require you limit submissions to one photo per gravestone. You may choose whether the photo is a full stone view or a closeup of the inscription. Please limit to one or the other. The only exception to the one photo per stone guideline would be in cases where the closeup inscription option is chosen and the stone has inscriptions of more than one individual that cannot be captured in one photograph.

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Q:When will my photo be displayed?
A:Your photo will not be displayed immediately as all submissions are reviewed first by the local county administrator to ensure the photos, cemetery names and other info are consistent with the mission of the project. In most cases, they will likely appear online within 24-48 hours.

Please allow for special circumstances of illness or other situations that may result in a delay in approval. Please don't submit duplicate photos if they don't appear right away. If there is any question, feel free to drop the county administrator a note. Thanks for contributing to the IAGenWeb Gravestone Photo Project!

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Q:What kind of comments are appropriate?
A:The comments field is not required, but can be used to convey additional information about the stone. This might include a transcription of a hard to read stone, or the fact that an individual was a Revolutionary or Civil War Veteran, as examples.

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Q:How do we deal with Hard-to-Read Gravestones?
A:Care should be taken to transcribe wording on gravestones as accurately as possible. However, one should never use anything that becomes embedded in the stone or otherwise alters the chemistry or surface of the stone. You should thoroughly research your options before using any techniques intended to enhance the readability. If you damage the stone, you could be liable.

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Q:Why do I keep getting errors when I try to upload?
A:The main cause of errors during upload is large file sizes. The current limit for uploaded photo file sizes is 1024K. If the file that you are attempting to upload is larger than this, you will likely get: an error message; a browser time-out; or a server error. Try reducing your photo file size.

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Q:Some Stones have names but no death dates. What do we do?
A:The inscriptions on gravestones in a public cemetery are, in effect, public record. Many individuals, while still living, have chosen to erect gravestone monuments with their names and birth dates inscribed as a part of advanced funeral planning. While we acknowledge that gravestone inscriptions are public information, it is our position that searchable surname and given name entries be made for only those who are deceased as evidenced by a date on the grave marker or by personal knowledge.

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Q:What if the stone is unreadable or has no surname?
A:The use of our database is contingent upon having a surname to search for. Therefore, if the surname cannot be determined, those images should not be submitted.

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Q:I made a mistake on one of my submissions-- how do I fix it?
A:You will need to contact the coordinator for the county where the cemetery is located. Click on the Contact Us link at the bottom of the page, to email them. Be sure to refence the exact name of the stone which you need changes made.

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Q:My Email address has changed for photos previously submitted. How do I update my address?
A:Let us know the old address you wish to change and the new address that is to replace it by emailing the State Project Coordinator.

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