Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Update on Discontinuance of Microfilm

Photo by Logan Ingalls [CC BY 2.0]
Two months ago, we alerted you to the FamilySearch press release that they would discontinue distribution of microfilm (see Press Release: Microfilm Distribution to be Discontinued) and that the last day for ordering microfilm would be August 31, 2017.

Today, FamilySearch released the following update with helpful facts and tips to help patrons better navigate the transition from microfilm to digital:
  • Patrons can still order microfilms online until Thursday, September 7, 2017.
  • After film ordering ends, if customers need access to a particular film yet to be digitized, they can express interest to have it added to the priority digitization list by contacting FamilySearch Support (Toll Free: 1-866-406-1830). 
  • All of the microfilm rented by patrons in the past 5 years have now been digitized by FamilySearch—over 1.5 million microfilms (ca. 1.5 billion images).
  • The remaining microfilms are being digitally scanned at a rate of 1,000 films per day and are projected to be complete by 2020.
  • New digital images are available as they are scanned in the Catalog.
  • Films 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.
Digital image collections can be accessed today in 3 places on, all under Search.
  • Catalog. Includes a description of all the microfilms and digital images in the FamilySearch collection. This is where all of FamilySearch's digitized microfilm and new digital images from its global camera operations are being published. A camera icon appears in the Catalog adjacent to a microfilm listing when it is available digitally.
  • Records includes collections that have been indexed by name or published with additional waypoints to help browse the unindexed images.
  • Books include digital copies of books from the Family History Library and other libraries, including many books that were previously copied to microfilm.
For additional help, see Finding Digital Images of Records on, or watch this how-to video “Where are the digitized records on FamilySearch?
Centers have the option of returning the microfilm that is available online or otherwise not needed. The Tucson Family History Center on Langley does not intend to return any of the microfilm in its collection at this time.

For more information, visit the FamilySearch Newsroom article UPDATE: FamilySearch Digital Records Access Replacing Microfilm.

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