FamilySearch Stops Microfilm Circulation - What You Need to Know

FamilySearch announced that September 7, 2017 marks the closing of an 80-year era of historic records access to usher in a new, digital model. FamilySearch is discontinuing its microfilm circulation services in concert with its commitment to make the world’s historic records readily accessible digitally online.

Here is what you need to know about this change:

Patrons can still order microfilms online until Thursday, September 7, 2017.

After film ordering ends, customers who need access to a particular film that has not yet been digitized can express interest to have it added to the priority digitization list by contacting FamilySearch Support.

All of the microfilm rented by patrons in the past five years has now been digitized by FamilySearch. That comes to over 1.5 million microfilms.

The remaining microfilms that have not yet been digitally scanned are being scanned at a rate of 1,000 films per day and are projected to be complete in 2020.

New digital images are available as they are scanned in the Catalog.

Microfilms that are currently on loan in family history centers and affiliate libraries are automatically granted extended loan status.

Affiliate libraries now have access to nearly all of the restricted image collections as family history centers.

Visitors to the Family History Library in Salt Lake City will still be able to order needed microfilms to use during their research visits.

Here is where you can find digital images on FamilySearch:

FamilySearch Catalog
It includes a description of all the microfilms and digital images in the FamilySearch collection. This is where all of FamilySearch’s digitized microfilm and digital images from its global camera operations are being published.

FamilySearch Historical Records
It includes collections that have been indexed by name or published with additional waypoints to help browse through the unindexed images

Family History Books
It includes digital copies of books from the Family History Library and other libraries, including many books that were previously copied to microfilm.

Do you still have questions? The answer might be in the Frequently Asked Questions: Digital Access Replacing Microfilms information. Or, you can watch a how-to video titled “Where are the digitized records on FamilySearch?”

Image by History, Philosophy, and Newspaper Library University of Illinois on Flickr

Related Articles at

* FamilySearch – End of Sending Microfilm

* FamilySearch is Discontinuing Microfilm Distribution

* Utilizing Family History Library and its Centers

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