Indexing Genesis

By Diane Haddad Premium

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In a twist on its records-digitizing and indexing programs, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ FamilySearch <> is turning to commercial entities for help.

For the Genesis Project, FamilySearch — the church’s records-scanning arm — digitizes documents for commercial service providers (think < > and Footnote <>) and record repositories. That takes care of the most expensive aspect of putting records online, says FamilySearch spokesperson Paul Nauta. Then the business or repository indexes the records.

Within the next two years, you’ll start to see the resulting indexes free on FamilySearch and on the service provider’s or record repository’s Web site. Those entities may charge for access to record images; die images would be free at the LDS church’s Family History Centers.

The targeted record groups amount to 150 million images and include US and British censuses, US county naturalizations, Spanish parish registers, German SS records from the National Archives <> and Lviv, Ukraine, church records.

The Genesis Project joins similar LDS church initiatives, including FamilySearch Records Access — through which the church or third-party organizations digitize repositories’ records — and FamilySearch Indexing, which has volunteers indexing the digitized records using an online application. 

Booked Up

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ push to form online records partnerships will result in the Web’s largest collection of city and county histories. The church’s Family History Library (FHL), the Allen County (Ind.) Public Library and Brigham Young University’s (BYU) Harold B. Lee Library are joining to scan and index 100,000 books from their holdings. Digitization has already started; additions are linked in the FHL’s online catalog at FamilySearch. You can “every-word” search the texts at BYU’s Family History Archives site <>.
From the January 2008 issue of Family Tree Magazine