LDS to put microfilm in vaults on Internet
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is working toward allowing anyone with Internet access to learn more than they've ever known before about the information contained on 2 million-plus rolls of microfilm housed there. Currently, the church is compiling searchable indexes to that information and will eventually make it available for free through an automated database on the Internet.
The church excavated the vaults containing those records on property it purchased in the 1960s, providing a safe repository during the height of the Cold War for birth, marriage, death and census information it considers essential for the salvation of mankind after death. Now church leaders seek to make the information more readily available to the world.
'The goal is to create (Internet-accessible) indexes to all the films we have in the vault. That's a long-term process and that's a lot of films,' according to Paul Nauta, manager of public affairs for church's FamilySearch.org Web site. 'We've not announced when people will begin to start seeing' the indexes.
Those attending the annual Federation of Genealogical Societies' conference this week at the Salt Palace will get a 'sneak preview' of the church's plans. As the project progresses over time, indexes to records from 110 nations previously stored on microfilm will become accessible to virtually anyone, anywhere, through the Internet via the touch of a few keystrokes."