IntoThePast is an intuitive and easy-to-use genealogy platform that empowers anyone with an interest in ancestry – from beginners right through to more experienced researchers. This is achieved by enabling access to a wealth of European records and documents, many of which have never previously been digitally available and are exclusive to the site. As part of this, IntoThePast, powered by groundbreaking HTR (handwritten text recognition) technology SearchInk, unlocks a variety of fascinating handwritten sources to make them easily searchable for the first time.
IntoThePast enables users to begin, save, expand and deepen their research, plus be part of a reliable community of experts, in order to discover the history of their family. It will help genealogists around the world discover more about the life of their ancestors, through not only blood or legal relatives but also neighbours, communities or the local history of the time. While finding European records is the key feature of the platform, IntoThePast is more than just a search engine for archives or another family tree tool. Giving context to the research opens up a whole new way for a genealogists to look at their lineage, helping them see a clearer picture of the past.
At IntoThePast we believe that everyone should be able to easily research information about their family. By supporting preservation of historical documents for future generations and unlocking records from European archives we aim to shed light on our common journey through history. Genealogy should be accessible and enjoyable for all regardless of their origin or place of residence.
So, how it all began?
Everything began in 2004 when our CEO, Sofie Quidenus, founded her first company Qidenus Technologies. The company developed fully automated, robotic V-shaped scanner and introduced Bionic finger© technology which enabled fast and safe digitization of large book and record collections.
Qidenus Technologies soon broadened its offer and launched full digitization services including scanning, indexing and quality assurance. Over 12 years, Qidenus Technologies established its position as a market leader assisting archives and libraries from more than 120 countries around the world.
By leading the digitization industry, Qidenus gained many valuable insights into the way how archives publish their resources. It also allowed us to realize what problems still remain unsolved and make archival research difficult and time-consuming. As the most pressing one, we distinguished the lack of text searchability which forces researchers to skim through thousands of pages in search of one sought-after word.
From that point on, we started the search for the most effective Handwritten Text Recognition technology which would enable us to implement the text searchability into our digitization process. Not finding any solution which would satisfy the demanding quality requirements led to the creation of SearchInk. SearchInk is our in-house HTR technology which enables text searchability and allows researchers from around the globe to quickly and accurately find the information they are looking for.
At this point, the creation of our own genealogical platform became a natural continuation of our activity. By combining the experience in the digitization industry, long-lasting relations with European memory institutions and development of SearchInk we began the creation of IntoThePast, an intuitive and easy-to-use genealogy platform. The main goal of IntoThePast is to unlock a wealth of European records and documents and make them easily accessible to genealogists around the globe.
While genealogy can be complex and intricate, we believe that the research tools used should be simple and easily accessible, so that users can focus on discovering more about the people and stories that interest them most rather than become tangled in technical difficulties. IntoThePast will be powered by groundbreaking technology, to make the experience of studying the past as intuitive and enjoyable as possible. As part of this, it will unlock a variety of fascinating handwritten sources to make them easily searchable for the first time.