Genealogy from the perspective of a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon, LDS)

Monday, February 26, 2018

More FamilySearch Records Than You Can Imagine!

The statement in red says: "This is a preliminary description provided to allow immediate online access. Images have not been reviewed." Hmm. I haven't seen that statement before, but the entries that follow are a huge list of probate files, 515 files to be exact. I was interested in searching here because my wife and I have just recently digitized the final probate books from the Frederick County, Maryland probate records and I was wondering if any of our digitized records had made it onto the website yet. There is obviously a time lag before the records that are digitized are put online, but I was surprised with all the records already online.

Here is a screenshot of part of the list of files:

The little camera icons indicate that the files are digitized.  By looking further at the content of the files, you can see from the first images that the files originated as digital images and not microfilm copies:

The Kodak Gray Scale is used to calibrate the digital cameras. Now that I am more acquainted with the process, there are a lot of things I am noticing about the files and what is being depicted.

When we have been digitizing the books from Frederick County, we start with a digital image of the outside cover of the book. Here is an example.

These books are about 19" x 14" and have between 500 and 600 pages including an index. They are very heavy. Sometimes it takes two of us to maneuver the book into position for taking the images.

The number of digital images has basically overwhelmed the process of categorizing them and putting them into the historical record collections. The number of images that are only available by searching in the FamilySearch Catalog has jumped to 703.1 million images. That has increased by about 100 million since I last looked at the statistics. I explained all this in a video uploaded some time ago to the BYU Family History Library YouTube Channel. Here it is:

Where are the Digitized Records on

If anything, the number of files is increasing even faster than when I did this earlier video. The combined efforts of those who are digitizing the existing microfilm records and those, like us, who are out here digitizing original records means that the number of records available will continue to increase dramatically for the foreseeable future.

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