Tuesday, January 13, 2009

FamilySearch is tapping into a world of resources by moving archives to online

100 Years of Record Gathering and Preservation - FamilySearch, historically known as the Genealogical Society of Utah, is dedicated to preserving the records of the family of mankind. Our purpose is simple—help people connect with their ancestors through easy access to historical records. We gladly join with others who share this vision.

For over 100 years, we have served record custodians around the world. We pioneered industry standards for gathering, imaging, indexing, and preserving records. Advances in technology and the emergence of our digital world now provide an opportunity for us to combine the resources of GSU and FamilySearch.org under a single name: FamilySearch.

FamilySearch works together with records custodians to help them provide timely, economic, secure, and broad access to their records while maintaining access control and identity.

More Access to More Records for More People

The FamilySearch Records Access program is designed to significantly increase the number of genealogical records available to people around the world. Through the program, FamilySearch teams up with records custodians and other organizations to gather, preserve, digitize, index, and post the records online. The records can then be shared via the Internet for convenient public access.

The program provides a platform for FamilySearch and records custodians to combine and integrate their efforts. FamilySearch acts as both a facilitator and a participant by leveraging its knowledge, resources, and relationships in the process. The strength of the program is its collaborative approach—an approach that ensures participating organizations can more effectively and economically meet their goals.

Where practical, the program allows FamilySearch to work directly with the records custodians. Where circumstances warrant, FamilySearch will join with records custodians and third-party organizations to provide access. The resulting free flow of records provides the foundational data needed for people to identify their ancestors, link their families, and build a family tree.

Questions, Questions, Questions

Records custodians seek to preserve the past while preparing for the future. Such challenges pose important questions:

* Which trends and events will impact your record preservation and access efforts?
* Which technologies can help meet your needs?
* How can you provide better access to records?
* What role should the Internet play?
* How can costs be lowered?
* How can costs be recovered?
* Where can reliable advice and help be found?

FamilySearch may have answers to your questions and solutions to help you meet your challenges. Records custodians from over 100 countries turn to us for help with their records preservation and access needs. As a nonprofit organization and the world leader in genealogical resources, you know you’re getting the right information and assistance while avoiding prohibitive costs.

Records Services

The following list includes some of the services we can offer your organization:

* Image Capture
Obtaining a preservation quality image is often the most costly and time-consuming step for records custodians. Microfilm has been the standard, but digital is emerging. Whether you opt to do it yourself or use one of our worldwide camera teams, we can help.
* Digital Conversion
For those records custodians who already have a substantial collection of microfilm, we can help digitize those images and even provide digital image storage.
* Preservation
Preservation copies of microfilm, microfiche, and digital records from over 100 countries and spanning hundreds of years are safely stored in the Granite Mountain Records Vault—a long-term storage facility designed for preservation.
* Online Indexing
Once an image is digitized, key data needs to be transcribed in order to produce a searchable index that patrons around the world can access. Our online indexing application harnesses volunteers from around the world to quickly and accurately create indexes.
* Online Access
Whether your goal is to help fund your operations or simply to make your records freely available to the public, FamilySearch can assist you every step of the way. We can even host and post the information for you to help minimize your costs and increase your effectiveness.

To better meet the needs of records custodians, FamilySearch has established relationships and working agreements with government, libraries, societies, churches, and commercial companies. Working together we can offer a greater range of assistance than any one organization.

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