As you all should be aware of by now, FamilySearch will be discontinuing the provisioning of microfilms to Family History Centers (FHC) as well as to Family History Center Affiliates like Public Libraries that participated in the program to receive microfilms for viewing at their location.
This program ends on August 31, 2017.
After August 31, 2017 you will no longer be able to order microfilms for viewing through FamilySearch.
Microfilms have been a mainstay of doing family history research since I started 20 years ago. As with so many technology advancements we have experienced in the last 20 years, it now appears to be the turn for microfilms to say goodbye. This termination can be accomplished because FamilySearch has made such incredible progress over the last 8 years since 2009 when FamilySearch announced they would be starting on a digitization project to convert their 1.5 million microfilms to digital images.
One of our regular participants made me aware of a very nice Podcast recorded by Lisa Louise Cooke who is a prominent figure in the world of genealogy. I have not yet fully listened to the entire podcast but it does sound very informative about the discontinuance. In fact Lisa has a very good interview with a key figure of FamilySearch who has much information to share to listeners about the discontinuance, its effects and alternatives to provide the material on microfilm that will no longer be accessible until it is converted to digital media for viewing.
Here is the link to the special program:
Take a listen to the podcast. I will be doing that very soon.
Hopefully, anything you may have needed on their microfilms exists in digital format for you to access online from home or online through a Family History Center. It is the residual films that are not yet digitized that may be the problem for you for accessibility. FamilySearch has a target to complete the digitization of films still needing conversion over the next 3 years to 2020. It is my understanding that the order of conversion will be determined by the frequency of which these films have been requested over the past. Maybe your film falls into that category and you may be able to access this material in 2018 rather than in 2020.
It does make sense to me to prioritize conversions based on frequency of use. Just hope that a film you might be interested is not one that has had no demand for use. If so, you may not see that digitized until 2020.
Check out the above link to the podcast. I can’t wait to fully listen to it.
A big “Thank You” to Don G. for sharing the link with me.
Enjoy the podcast.
Schaumburg Township District Library