30
August
2017
|
10:15 PM
America/Denver

UPDATE: FamilySearch Digital Records Access Replacing Microfilm

Updated: 1 February 2020

testThursday, September 7, 2017, marks the closing of an 80-year era of historic records access to usher in a new, digital model. FamilySearch is discontinuing its microfilm circulation services in concert with its commitment to make billions of the world’s historic records readily accessible digitally online. (See FamilySearch Digital Records Access Replacing Microfilm). As its remaining microfilms are digitized, FamilySearch has provided additional information to users of its historic microfilm program.

FamilySearch, a global leader in historic records preservation and access, began microfilming historic records in 1938. Advancements in technology have enabled it to be more efficient, making an unbelievable tide of digital images of historic records accessible much quicker online and to a far greater customer base.

FamilySearch released a list of helpful facts and tips to help patrons better navigate the transition from microfilm to digital.

QUICK FACTS AND TIPS

  • If customers need access to a particular film yet to be digitized, they can request to have it added to the priority digitization list by contacting FamilySearch Support (Toll Free: 1-866-406-1830).
  • The majority of FamilySearch's vast microfilm collection (2.4M rolls) has now been digitized and are available online. 
  • The remaining microfilms (less than 350,000 rolls) are being digitally scanned and are projected to be completed sometime in 2021.
  • Newly scanned and available digital images can be viewed using the FamilySearch Explore Historical Images feature.
  • Visitors to the Family History Library in Salt Lake City can continue to order needed microfilms, not available digitally online, to use during their research visits. 

HOW TO FIND DIGITAL IMAGES ON FAMILYSEARCH

Digital image collections can be accessed today in 4 places on FamilySearch.org, all under Search.

  • Records includes collections that have been indexed by name or published with additional waypoints to help browse the unindexed images.
  • Explore Historical Images is a new tool that enables users to search billions of unindexed digital records in FamilySearch's quickly expanding digital image collections. This is the best to start to search all of FamilySearch's digitized microfilm and new digital images published online daily from its global camera operations.
  • Catalog. Includes a description of all the microfilms, books, and digital images in the FamilySearch collection. A camera icon appears in the Catalog adjacent to a microfilm listing when it is available digitally.
  • Books include digital copies of books from the Family History Library and other libraries, including many books that were previously copied to microfilm.

For additional help, see Finding Digital Images of Records on FamilySearch.org, or watch this how-to video “Where are the digitized records on FamilySearch?

“FamilySearch is committed to meeting customers’ needs as much as possible during this transition to digital access,” said Diane Loosle, FamilySearch’s Director of Patron Services. “We really appreciate the wonderful feedback we have received since the initial announcement. It is helping us better facilitate customer experiences during this next phase.”

FamilySearch's over 5,000 family history centers will continue to provide access to relevant technology, premium subscription services, and digital records, including restricted content not available at home. Centers have the option to continue to return microfilm that is available online or otherwise not needed. As more images are published online, centers may reevaluate whether to retain microfilm holdings.

 

About FamilySearch

FamilySearch International is the largest genealogy organization in the world. FamilySearch is a nonprofit, volunteer-driven organization sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Millions of people use FamilySearch records, resources, and services to learn more about their family history. To help in this great pursuit, FamilySearch and its predecessors have been actively gathering, preserving, and sharing genealogical records worldwide for over 100 years. Patrons may access FamilySearch services and resources free online at FamilySearch.org or through over 5,000 family history centers in 129 countries, including the main Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Comments 1 - 20 (77)
Thank you for your message.
Claudia Adolfs Ziggiatti
25
March
2020
Hallo! I am browsing catalogs of cities where my ancestors are from, some have more than 400,000 records. Family Search only allows me see 5,000 - how can I see the rest of them online?
best regards,
Claudia
Brenden Ashton
19
December
2019
I was excited when some years ago it was announced that all microfilms would be digitized and placed online. Like many others I was expecting to be able to conduct research at home without the restrictions of having to attend a library when the digital copies were made. I'm very disappointed as a non-church member that I can't access most of the digitized records I need. It seems that most church registers and probate records for the parts of England that I'm interested in can't be accessed online. Not happy at all. I thought one of the goals of the church was to increase access to records to all who want to do genealogical research... not make it harder! I'd be happy to pay for access but this isn't even an option! Please find a way to make available all the excellent records that the church has copied over many years available to those who can't make it to libraries. Thank you.
Marina Schubert
30
November
2019
Why are the records I used to be able to view at my family history centre now been locked with no access. I belong to the gold coast family history library and nearly all the films I want to view and have already viewed online previously are now locked. When I click on the reason it states To view these images do one of the following:
Access the site at a family history center.
well I am already at a family history center here and still not available. Can you please look into this matter. thanking you
Tim Rosenlof
09
October
2019
How will all the digital records be preserved for the future ?

-Tim
Mertens Leo
17
July
2019
Waarom kunnen we in Belgie geen akten meer downloaden en in Nederland wel ?
Met vriendelijke groeten.
Leo Mertens
Jean Guy Fabre
11
July
2019
Update my Family Search ?
David Lowndes
31
May
2019
Why have there been no updates or additions to Family Search collections listed on the website,
https://www.familysearch.org/search/collection/list
since May 21, 2019? Until then, there have been some collections updated every day or two.
gollerg
27
April
2019
Hi, can you please prioritize this film: https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog/693508?availability=Family%20History%20Library
Hungarian reform church records in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, film 1671330.
Thanks
l berry
26
April
2019
How do updates for familysearch?
Laura Janocko
25
April
2019
What is the time frame for having marriage records of Hungary digitized? I am interested in Vas, Veszprem and Borsod counties in Hungary. I am also interested in marriage records of the Presov region in Slovakia which includes the towns of Cicava and Rudlyo. Will all of this be placed online by 2020? Thank you for your time.
Rev John J Wilson
17
April
2019
Mybiggest disappointment was when LDS stopped giving out death certificates. What will you be doing with that information? Will it now be available?
Noel Dicks
20
March
2019
When will records become available for search again. I keep get message not availabl. try later
psj
29
March
2019
That is a generic message that can come up for a hundred reasons. It depends on the film you are looking at as it's film based not system based. Typically that comes up if it has a restriction of some kind. If you go to the catalog search on the film number and if it has a lock icon above the camera then it has a restriction, most likely FHC or affiliate.
Albert
20
March
2019
Hello,

I am need of microfilms fro Vikartovce during 1830ish - 1906ish. I happen to see the copies of the films online last week, but they were taken down within hours. How can I see these files? Can my local fhl request them? Can I see them on their computers? I really in need of these files. Please help!!!
Here are the films# I need:Film # 1739848 (items 4-5), 1739849, 1739850 and 1739894 (items 1-2).
Psj
29
March
2019
If you go to the catalog and search on those films you will see they are all online and show no restrictions. 1739850 is index on.
François
26
February
2019
What about film 1194512 and other films of Strzelce Wielkie parish which are indicated as "viewable with additional restrictions"? Which are those restrictions? Is it possible to view those films online?
A.
21
February
2019
I am looking forward to finding this available online, it has already had a DGS number for a while...... International Film # 1924885 . DGS # 4149472
Ruth Randall
12
February
2019
I would greatly appreciate it if FHL film# 245,288 and FHL film #245,230 would be considered for prioritized digitization. I am assisting a person who is hoping that LDS Church records will lead to the identity of her biological father.

With gratitude,

Ruth Randall
Ivan Gilbert
06
February
2019
I am interested in having two films prioritized for digital availability.

They are Akta urodzen microfilms: 1257434 and 1257435

Thank you.
cherie HORNER
23
December
2018
I NEED TO KNOW HOW TO UPDATE MY FAMILY SEARCH ACCOUNT.
Marek
30
November
2018
Hi. How is it, that some films have already digital film number (DGS) assigned in catalog, but still have reel symbol and are not available to watch? Example: film 2377697 (4933593). Looks like it was digitized but for some reason locked. I am interested in items 6-10. These are books from Hryniv in present Ukraine. Other films from this parish are available. Also records form Ukraine were recently opened for everyone to watch at home, even the ones that are not 100 years old. Why this one is still unavailable? Can it be put on priorities list? Thank you.
Francisco
16
November
2018
I regularly consult your database to try to reconstruct my family's history. For this reason I would like to know when you think that the corresponding microfilms to Province of Granada (Spain), Catholic Pre-Marriage Investigation Files, 1556-1899 could be available digitally, since most of my ancestors are originally from this place, and many microfilms in this collection contain information about their marriages. Thanks to FamilySearch.