FamilySearch volunteers expect to have transcribed more than 325
million names by the end of 2009, just three years after the
organization began its online indexing program.
The milestone was a number once thought impossible to reach in such
a short period of time. In 2006, a few thousand volunteers indexed only
11 million names. But thanks to continuing advances in technology and a
growing number of volunteers — more than 100,000 across five
continents — an estimated half-million individual names are indexed
At that rate, Paul Nauta, FamilySearch public affairs manager,
expects that 500 million names will be transcribed by the end of 2010.
And yet all this work barely makes a dent in the vast stores of
historical records throughout the world, which grow by more than 100
million records (each with multiple names) every year.
\"We are not catching up,\" Nauta said. \"In preserving
records alone, there are more records created in one year than we could
ever film in years with current technology.\"
To hasten the work of making important historical records available
online, FamilySearch is continually trying to improve upon current
technologies and find additional dedicated volunteers.
Over time, the LDS Church's Family History Department has developed new
ways to preserve records not only as quickly as possible but at the
highest quality possible. This has resulted in specially designed
digital cameras, innovative scanning technology, and new computer
\"It is not necessarily that we want to be pioneers in this field
and this technology,\" Nauta said. \"But we are compelled to do
Capturing the records
Digital cameras that have been adapted to the work are at the
center of each operation. They are the tool used to capture images of
the original documents once a project is identified and permission
Employees of the church's Family History Department oversee the
effort to acquire records, beginning with the decision about what
records they would like to acquire and from where.
\"It's about how it helps us connect the family of man,\" said Duane
Barson, one of three area managers for the Family History Department,
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