Thursday, September 18, 2008

LDS FamilySearch Digitizing and Indexing

I was happy to read about the interview, and view the video, that Dick Eastman had with Paul Nauta, the Public Relations guy for the LDS web site, Dick's post is here, and the 10 minute interview on Roots Television is here.

In the interview, Paul highlights some facts about the ongoing digitizing and indexing effort bringing LDS microfilmed records, and newly filmed records, into the online genealogy world. Some facts from the interview:

* LDS has over 2.5 million microfilms in the Granite Mountain "vault"
* The microfilm images will be converted to digital images over the next 8 to 10 years.
* They have digitized 3% of the records to date
* There are 15 high speed scanners working in the "vault" digitizing microfilms
* There are 200 digital camera teams in 45 countries creating new digital images
* 40 million digital images are being added per year.
* FamilySearch Indexing has been successful, but they need more volunteers to index records
* The FamilySearch Pilot site has 500 million records online now - indexed images and non-indexed images.
* Researchers can view unindexed images on the Pilot site - just like using a microfilm reader, but you don't have to go to an FHC.

Devoted readers of Genea-Musings know that I am enthusiastic about the FamilySearch digitizing and indexing efforts, and greatly appreciate the records on the FamilySearch Pilot site. I believe that digitizing and indexing of original records with primary information - land deeds, probate records, town records, church records, etc. - will solve some (but not all) of my "elusive ancestors" problems by bringing hitherto "hidden" mentions of family members, colleagues, in-laws, etc. to my attention. Many of these records will be available online at the LDS FamilySearch site for free access at home or at the local FHCs. I'm excited about this, and very impatient!

There are seven interviews from the recent Federation of Genealogical Societies conference currently posted on - with Dick Eastman interviewing Tim Sullivan (CEO of TGN), Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak, Melinde Lutz Sanborn, Maureen Taylor, Brian Donovan, and Feargal O'Donnell. These short videos are very useful - you get information in their own words, and can sense the personality and enthusiasm for genealogy of each subject.

1 comment:

Becky Wiseman said...

Just curious - have you signed up to index records through FamilySearch?