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  1. #1
    Super Moderator - Completely bonkers and will never change. Pam Downes's Avatar
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    Default LDS Microfilm distribution to cease

    I admit that I haven't been to a LDS FHC and ordered a film for quite a few years now but that's mainly because I either haven't been doing any research or else the I've found the information (or more importantly, the parish registers) online.
    Even so, reading that as from 1 September this year the system for ordering-in films to view at the FHCs will cease comes as a bit of a blow.

    The initial story can be found on Dick Eastman's newsletter https://
    blog.eogn.com/2017/06/26/familysearch-to-discontinue-its-microfilm-distribution-services/#more-18828
    where there are links to the full announcement from the LDS, and also FAQs.

    The comments after Dick's article are interesting to read.

    Pam
    Vulcan XH558 - “Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.”

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    Super Moderator Lesley Robertson's Avatar
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    Those who came to genealogy after records started being put online may not realize how important the LDS was in making possible genealogy research by non-professionals who could not visit local archives for long periods... Their determination to copy everything they could persuade archives to let them copy (e.g. Scotland's National Archives let them copy the OPR and BMDs to 1875) broke the ice for eventual mass scanning, especially since the copies were available to all, Church member or not...

    The end of an era!

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    Researchers within reach of London should note that the entire extensive collection of some 60,000 microfilms from the London FHC is to find a new permanent home at the Society of Genealogists in Clerkenwell.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lesley Robertson View Post
    Those who came to genealogy after records started being put online may not realize how important the LDS was in making possible genealogy research by non-professionals who could not visit local archives for long periods... Their determination to copy everything they could persuade archives to let them copy (e.g. Scotland's National Archives let them copy the OPR and BMDs to 1875) broke the ice for eventual mass scanning, especially since the copies were available to all, Church member or not...

    The end of an era!
    Yes the end of an era but also the start of a new and in many ways a far better era as far as access to records is concerned.

    Digital records allow the LDS to share the records they produce freely with the general public (though copyright limitations sometimes means this has to be at a family history center).

    No longer do the LDS have to charge for CD products, no longer do they have to charge postage fees.
    In addition in the future there will be no long delays waiting for delivery of microfiche or microfilm, instead access will be immediate.

    Yes there are in some or even many cases because certain records have not yet been digitised and indexed but that is temporary.
    In addition OCR (Optical Character Reader) techniques have vastly improved over the last 10 years or so and now even some hand written text can be OCR'd.

    Don't mourn for the loss of microfilm instead welcome the coming of age of digital records

    Cheers
    Guy
    As we have gained from the past, we owe the future a debt, which we pay by sharing today.

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    Super Moderator Lesley Robertson's Avatar
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    All true, Guy, and I'm not mourning. Just acknowledging a debt, in some ways. Time moves on.

    However, there is still a place for archival quality microfilm. We know it's stable for over 100 years if stored correctly, and once made, are ideal as backups independent of technological developments.

  9. #6
    Super Moderator - Completely bonkers and will never change. Pam Downes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Goodey View Post
    Researchers within reach of London should note that the entire extensive collection of some 60,000 microfilms from the London FHC is to find a new permanent home at the Society of Genealogists in Clerkenwell.
    The latest SoG newsletter says that the films have arrived and have been 'homed', and they hope to have them available for viewing sometime in August.

    Pam
    Vulcan XH558 - “Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.”

  10. #7
    Super Moderator - Completely bonkers and will never change. Pam Downes's Avatar
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    Courtesy of Peter Calver in the latest 'Lost Cousins' newsletter.
    https://www.lostcousins.com/newslett...dsep17news.htm

    To find out if the film you want is held at the SoG, go to the FamilySearch catalog(ue),
    https://www.familysearch.org/catalog/search
    type in the place name, and from the drop-down menu of family history centers (sic) select Society of Genealogists.

    3000 of the films contain wills from 1858-1925 and can be copied at a cost of 40p a page instead of £10 from the Probate Registry, though you do have to take into account the cost of getting to the SoG plus their 'library use' fees.

    You can check if an ancestor left a will or admon by checking the free online Probate Register.
    https://probatesearch.service.gov.uk/#calendar
    For 1858-1996 you can only search on a surname but if your ancestor was Zebedee Smith you can at least click on the last-numbered page instead of having to go forward one page at a time.

    There are also indexes to lots of early (1400 onwards -possibly earlier) wills on the LDS films. In the catalog search enter England as the place, probate as a keyword, and then SoG for the FHC.

    Pam
    Vulcan XH558 - “Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.”

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