The FamilySearch Historical Record Collections provide online access to indexes and digital images of records held by the Family History Library. The collections can be accessed from the FamilySearch homepage or directly at Historical Record Collections. New collections are being uploaded as quickly as the records are digitized and indexed. Originally, the term 'Pilot' was used to indicate that the site is still under development but with the introduction of the updated FamilySearch site in December of 2010, the name "Pilot" was dropped from the designation.Essentially, these records consist of digitized versions of the original approximately 2.4 million microfilm records accumulated by FamilySearch since 1938. In additions, the records include acquisitions of records done digitally for the past few years. The Historical Record Collections consist of two basic types of records: original images of the actual records and indexes taken from the records. In many cases, the records have both the images and an index.
Links to the Search page of FamilySearch.org appear on the startup page for the website. Here is a screenshot showing the links to the Search page:
On the Search page, the Historical Record Collections is the default search category. Here is a screenshot showing the location of the search boxes and the links to the list of records:
The top arrow points to the "Records" link. The big box in the middle contains the search fields for searching in the Historical Record Collections. At the bottom of the page, the box and arrow indicate the links to various geographic areas covered by the Historical Record Collections, with a general link to all the "Published Collections." Clicking on the main link to all the Published Collections brings up the following page listing all of the collections:
Of course, you cannot see the entire list without scrolling. The arrow and the box show the link tot he Last Updated list. Clicking on this list will sort the list chronologically and show which collections have been most recently updated or added.
Take some time to explore the content of the collections and see the amazing number of images of records available for free on this website.