Sunday, March 01, 2009

1, 5-10 year possibilities (Part G) - microfilm access online

My friend Lisa Alzo queried Ol’ Myrt and a number of other genealogy writers for input about trends we see coming down the pike in the world of genealogy. She plans to work the feedback we provided into an article for Family Chronicle magazine. However, her request did not preclude the cross posting of my thoughts on the subject here in my blog over the next few days. I look forward to reading what my colleagues think the future holds for family historians when Lisa’s article goes to press.

In response to What do you foresee happening in the field in the next 5 to 10 years?, Ol’ Myrt replied:

We’ve heard about the massive scanning and indexing of microfilm materials at, but this current process is extremely slow, even though 40 millions names are indexed each month.

Improvements would include the ability to order a microfilm from a home PC, by logging into, reviewing the catalog, finding a relevant resource on microfilm or microfiche, and making a request for access. If the item is already indexed, the user’s browser will be forwarded to the external location of the index. If the item has not been scanned or indexed, one will merely need to pay a nominal fee and submit a request that the film be scanned and presented online at within the week without the immediate necessity of indexing.

Such a process will save a fortune in microfilm/microfiche duplication and postage expense.

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)
Your friend in genealogy.


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This and previous blog entries are fully searchable by going to . Myrt welcomes queries and research challenges, but regrets she is unable to answer each personally.