During the nearly three years I worked as Supervisor of the European Microfilming Operations, I was constantly aware of and amazed at the millions of U.S. Dollars being spent annually by the Genealogical Society to acquire photographs of millions of pages of records of births, baptisms/confirmations, marriages, deaths and burials of people who had lived many years ago in faraway places. And remember that 1972-1974 U.S. Dollars had considerably more purchasing power than the 2020 U.S. Dollars.
On one occasion I asked the Manager of the genealogical Society how the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints justified the great expenditure of money to acquire the films that I and others were helping to gather in. I was aware of the divine mandate that members of the Church are under to do the research necessary to learn the names of, and as much vital information as possible, about their ancestors. And I had spent a fair amount of money traveling into Eastern Canada to search out my own ancestors, or climbing up my family tree, as I often express it. But the manager went on to explain that it had been determined that making photographs of large volumes of vital records, especially from certain parts of the world, available to people anxious to identify their ancestors, especially those who had lived and died in foreign lands, was already at that time saving hundreds, if not thousands of researchers thousands of dollars in traveling to places where their ancestors of interest may or may not have lived and died.
Both my wife and I can testify to those savings. We only had to identify our forebears by simply reading records of their births, baptisms/confirmations, marriages, deaths and burials looking at rolls of film, as opposed to traveling to the countries of record; in our case, Denmark, the Netherlands, Great Britain, France, and Eastern Canada.