Tuesday, March 21, 2006

LDS Records, Imagine the Possibilities...

(Sweetest Heart of Mary Church, Detroit)

Can you imagine all of the LDS Family History Library collection of microfilms online and available anywhere that has internet access? Of course I'd heard before that the LDS Church was in the process of converting their microfilm collection from film media to digital media but the time estimates I've heard suggested I wouldn't see the results of this project in my lifetime. So imagine my delight to read an LDS article indicating that the online digitizing project could be completed in as little as 10 years! For the entire collection!

It's like a dream come true for genealogists. Especially for Americans. Our country is made up almost entirely of immigrants, only a very small percentage of U.S. citizens can trace their roots to the indigenous people of our continent. When we look for our ancestors' records we almost all have to look across an ocean to a country whose language we probably don't speak. It is challenging in spite of efforts made by various groups and organizations to make the research somewhat easier. And we have to rely on the cooperation of organizations and individuals who don't always want to cooperate.

Imagine having access to many of those same records in the privacy of your own home at the touch of a button... or a mouse, as the case may be. I can imagine a lot of sleepless nights spent on the quest for Polish records, so great would be my enthusiasm. 10 years isn't all that long when you consider that we'll have to wait 6 years just to see the 1940 U.S. Census! A few years after that and we could see all the LDS photographed documents from Poland (and other countries too of course)! What an exciting time to be researching genealogy. The 10 year time frame is just a possibility with 30 years their actual target date at this point, but with technology advancements we can't foresee at this time who knows if it won't turn into 6 years? It could happen couldn't it? I like that idea!

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