10:44 AM

What to Do with Those Old Family Photos, Letters, and Documents

FamilySearch International (online at FamilySearch.org) announced today a new, free family photo and document scanning and preservation service for patrons in thousands of its North American family history centers. Patrons can now digitally preserve and share their precious printed historic family photos and documents using customized Lexmark multifunction products (MFPs).

“We all have them. You know, the kitchen or dresser drawers, paper boxes or plastic bags, scrapbooks or folders—all full of family photos, vital records, and other keepsake correspondence from our ancestors,” said Penney Devey, FamilySearch Director of Worldwide Patron and Partner Services. “These family artifacts are constant reminders of our heartfelt good intentions to someday preserve, organize, share or tell their hidden stories for posterity. We just don’t know where to start, how to do it, or feel we can’t afford it.”

Well, thanks to FamilySearch and Lexmark, the future is now here. And there is now a very convenient, free solution to each family’s photo and historic document preservation and sharing needs readily accessible to almost everyone.

FamilySearch has eLexmark Scanner w photo on glassquipped over 2,800 of its local family history centers in North America with new Lexmark MFPs (coming soon to international centers). The Lexmark MFPs are easy to use and can digitally scan your documents and photographs quickly. The most exciting part is that software from Lexmark that runs on the MFP lets the user scan their documents and photos directly into a free FamilySearch.org account where the documents and photos can later be tagged, explained, shared with others, or attached to ancestors in your free FamilySearch Family Tree. You can also save the digital copies to a thumb drive and take them home with you.

FamilySearch and Lexmark have made it very easy and convenient to preserve family photos and historic documents. All you have to do is bring the stash of photos and documents that you want to digitally preserve to your local FamilySearch family history center.

“The Lexmark solution we’ve created for FamilySearch is an example of how Lexmark MFPs and software come together to solve unique paper-based workflow challenges,” said Marty Canning, Lexmark executive vice president and president of Imaging Solutions and Services division. “We’ve made it faster and easier for family history center patrons to scan historic photos and vital documents right from our Lexmark MFPs into their online family trees.”

The touch screen on the Lexmark MFP is easy to use and lets patrons scan in three easy steps:

  1. Touch the FamilySearch Logo
  2. Log in to your free FamilySearch.org account
  3. Scan your family documents and photos

Your documents and photos scan directly to a folder on your personal FamilySearch.org account online or to your thumb drive. From any computer with Internet access, you can log into your account and select either documents or photos under the Memories feature to view the high-quality digital images of your scanned documents. From within your account, you can label, crop and share your historic family documents and photos of ancestors in your free FamilySearch Family Tree.

“By sharing links to the uploaded artifacts with family and friends, you can encourage them to add their photos and family documents for your common ancestors,” added Devey. “Don’t be surprised if you discover additional photos of common ancestors that other relatives may have already scanned and uploaded.”

Patrons can also upload digital files of their family photos and historic documents directly at FamilySearch.org.

FamilySearch is a world leader in historic record preservation and access, connecting growing generations of families through family history products and services. Lexmark is uniquely focused on connecting unstructured printed and digital information across enterprises with the processes, applications and people that need it most. For more information, please visit www.lexmark.com.

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 4,600 family history centers in 132 countries, including the main Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.