Preserving Family History through Digitization
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Preserving Family History through Digitization



Businesses, healthcare facilities and government organizations are all archiving thousands of pages of their records to preserve and use them better. Not to be left behind, family history is also ...

Businesses, healthcare facilities and government organizations are all archiving thousands of pages of their records to preserve and use them better. Not to be left behind, family history is also going digital.



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Preserving Family History through Digitization Document Transcript

  • 1. Preserving Family History through Digitization The advantages of digital document management systems are well known. Businesses, healthcare facilities and government organizations are all archiving thousands of pages of their records to preserve and use them better. Not to be left behind, family history is also going digital. Preserving photographs and other memorabilia is important to preserve family history for future generations. Family Search International is collaborating with commercial family history companies such as,, and to digitize billions of family history records from all over the world, and to make the contents accessible online. This is to help people find their ancestors and connect them in collaborative, online family trees. Family Search is one of the world’s largest genealogy organizations operated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Their records and resources allow people to learn more about their family history and to have rich details about ancestors from around the world. The past eighty years have seen the compilation of around 5 billion genealogical records either using microfilm or via digital scanning of documents. Around 60 billion more records remain to be digitally captured from various parts of the world. Now, work is fervently on to digitally index online the five billion records the church already has in its possession. This is a mammoth task which is estimated to 1-800-670-2809
  • 2. take at least 200 – 300 years to complete at the present pace. In addition to this 5 billion, there is an additional 100 million new digital images of historic records added each year. To shorten the time frame, collaboration with other organizations is vital. It is quite disquieting to find that out of the 28 billion people that have inhabited the earth from A.D 1500 until now, only 4 billion have so far been connected and preserved in family trees accessible on the internet. The remaining 24 billion people are to be identified and linked online to make the family tree comprehensive. For this, commercial genealogy organizations that focus on obtaining broader online access to the church’s genealogy records can be of assistance. Creating and Preserving Family History Awareness The year of 2014 has been declared as the “Year of the Obituary” and the main focus for this year is to index 100 million names from historical documents. Obituaries are historical documents that tell the life story of an individual, possibly with an image, interesting stories, and a list of the names of his or her close relatives. In order to attain the goal for 2014, a number of volunteers are needed to keep up with the volume of obituary indexing projects. But with the inadequacy of manpower, they plan to have Family History Centers to collect and submit obituaries. Collections will be subjected to document scanning and digitizing to make them ready for online access. 1-800-670-2809
  • 3. Most families have a large volume of precious information that must be preserved for posterity such as documents, photographs, slides, microfilm, blueprints, obituaries, books, maps, genealogical images, and other memorabilia. Converting all this into electronic format would have many advantages: • Digital records can be preserved, backed-up, organized, and shared easily • Digitized records will not fade or deteriorate • Digitized records would not get lost or misplaced like paper records • It is easy to share the information with people across the world and build your family tree • Electronic files can be duplicated and backed-up at minimal cost, unlike voluminous paper records • Digital records save physical storage space • Converting family records to electronic format will allow better documentation of family histories since the images and files can be accessed and used by all members • Digitizing obituaries will help users gather information to add people and data to the family tree. • Better organization of material with search capability of the collection 1-800-670-2809
  • 4. Key Processes Involved in Digitization of Records Selection and organization: The first process is the selection of the documents to be added, the subscription of database, and the digitization of the documents to the desired electronic format. Following this, the metadata has to be assigned to each document being added to the collection. Scanning and imaging: All the records, photos, and memorabilia would have to be scanned for secure storage and access on a computer. Indexing and storage: This component involves the indexing and storage of the entire information for efficient search and retrieval. Search and retrieval: End users must be provided with the ability to browse, search, retrieve and view the contents of digitized family tree and history. This would involve presentation in Hyper-Text Mark-up Language (HTML) format. Back-up: Back-up must be created for all the scanned files. The two major resources needed for the creation of a digital document management system are technology, infrastructure and personnel. Partnering with a document scanning and imaging company which is well- equipped with these essentials is the best way to achieve your family history digitization goals. 1-800-670-2809