The following is a summary of the announcement this morning in the Deseret News of Salt Lake City, Utah.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints has completed the digitization of 2.4 Million Rolls of Microfilm.
Originally slated take 50 to 100 years, it only took 15 years, due to the efforts of volunteers and the pace of technical innovation.
The rolls contain more than 11.5 billion people from over 200 countries.
Although the microfilms have now been digitized, the indexing effort continues. Indexing means to use the digital images taken from the microfilms and extract data manually from them so it can be entered into the computer as text and used to aid computers in doing searches on the data. Building Indexes takes time, but it allows computers to access the information extremely quickly instead of having to search through every single record in the database.
The Church has been working on the microfilm project for 83 years. This medium is now old technology and the information contained on the microfilm rolls needed to be converted to a newer digital format. The digitization effort marks the end of an era and soon people will no longer need to access microfilms. They’ll be able to do computer searches that will locate records for them and then pull up the images so the rest of the record can be viewed. Many records have already been indexed and are available to searches. Some of the records not yet indexed, are available on-line. However searching through a roll of digitized images is more time intensive than having the computer pull up the exact image desired. Hopefully in the not too distant future all the records will be indexed.Click here to see full article.