So, let's discuss a bit about indexing to start with. Anyone can volunteer to index the records that have already been digitized. To learn more about indexing visit the FamilySearch Indexing webpage. The indexing projects are moving ahead and more records are being made searchable each month. With the success of the indexing program and the addition of more digitized images online there has been a decrease in the need for microfilms to be sent out. Additionally, the cost of copying microfilms has increased substantially over the years. Many of you have probably read that the Family History Library will stop sending out microfilm records at the end of this week (September 7, 2017). The reason they are ending the microfilm rental process is that many of the films are now available online and they believe almost all of them should be available over the next three years, around 2020. Just to point out the major accomplishments achieved already in digitizing microfilm records, think about the following:
- Almost all of the microfilms rented by patrons in the past 5 years have now been digitized.
- Over 1.5 million microfilms (1.5 billion images) are now available online.
- Microfilms are being digitized at the rate of 1,000 rolls per day.
- Images that have not been indexed are available in the FamilySearch Catalog.
If you are interested in signing up for the Zoning pilot project click here. Once your request has been approved and you are signed up you can begin zoning.
|FamilySearch Zoning Pilot Project - initial view|
Each batch consists of five newspaper pages that may or may not contain important information. As you read the page, looking for the key words, you begin to note which articles are subject to zoning. Currently the only events that are being zoned are those that contain birth, marriage or death information.
|Page after it has been Zoned for marriage information|
The page above has several articles pertaining to marriage events such as engagements, anniversaries, announcements and marriages. Marriage information is highlighted in orange and the areas in blue are stories that are stitched together over several columns.
|Page after it has been Zoned for death information|
The page above has several articles pertaining to deaths. These stories are highlighted in green. Also, if you look at the side bar there is a page with a large red X on it. That indicates that there are no stories with birth, marriage, or death information. The large black circles indicate that those pages have been zoned.
Once you have zoned all the pages you can submit them and go on to zone more batches. This project is important for future indexing in that it provides the articles which will be added to the newspaper records.
I know some people have been having trouble indexing records, either because of the difficulty reading them or because of other reasons. This Zoning pilot project is an easy way for those who are having trouble contributing to the Indexing project to provide new records to the FamilySearch records.