FamilySearch Records Preservation & Scanning

D. Michael Hansen, Image Capture Operations Manager for FamilySearch

Presented to the Murray Chapter 4/24/2019


Transcription by

Unknown Speaker 0:00
be able to see the screen, you could probably do better. On the back table here. Current speaker for this evening is D Michael Hanson who is wandering around the room as we speak. He is the Image, Image Capture Image Capture supervisor for churches program in the United States and Canada. He’s going to tell you a lot tonight about image capturing that you never knew existed that’s going on all around. Since I know going more about finding eternal time right over to. Okay, before you start to talk about Hold on, I’m sorry.

Unknown Speaker 1:10
For all your members, we committed to a scholarship or a very high school student and the school here and once in about a month. So we need to get that scholarship put together, you send your donations to Joe. And please be generous. We want to make that scholarship as meaningful as possible for students who genuinely need to. I’m speaking as one who has three grandchildren headed to college this year. And two already there. They need all the help they can get. Especially if they have grandparents as poor as up. So John, can we just make a check to the chapter? So very chapter as up scholarship fine. It is tax deductible. Correct. Michael, you’re on

Unknown Speaker 2:28
just the microphone here. Usually in my presentations, I enjoy getting feedback, but not when I’m testing the microphone. So that’s okay. Can you hear me all right. I can also just talk loud, pretty good at just yelling and screaming. Okay, I’d like to. First of all, thank you all for coming. I appreciate you being here tonight. And in particular for Quinton wells, inviting me to speak to your group here today. And I recognize several of you from the west valley book scanning center. And it’s pretty neat to be able to come out here in the middle of Murray and see people that I know from the west valley book scanning center is just fantastic. We have a really great crew of volunteers out there that are scanning books. I’m going to use some of that in my presentation today. But my name is Michael Hanson, and I am the image capture Operations Manager for Family Search. It’s a new position for me, I’m still learning a lot about my role, but I have a lot that I can share with you and talk to you about in regards to Family Search and digital imaging projects. And I’m excited to help share this with you and have you learn more about what it is that we do. First, I want to tell you a little bit about me because they seem to be mysterious. So this is me being less mysterious, but I was that kind of thing. Like you know, it doesn’t. But these are these are very interesting imaging projects that I’ve had the opportunity to participate with, with the scholars at BYU that did these imaging projects. So at BYU about 17 years ago, several scholars went out to the villa of Herculaneum, Italy, which is one of the locations where Mount Vesuvius when it erupted it covered Pompeii and Herculaneum and ash. And as they’ve done archaeological discoveries, they’ve come across these burned manuscripts, and they’ve been able to do multispectral imaging techniques to read the writing that you can’t see with your own eye, but it’s still there and detected in the manuscript. And then the one on the right is an actual place. It’s not just from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, it’s actually a place called Petra, Jordan. It’s a church. And the BYU scholars went out there and imaged some of the Petra church manuscripts that had been damaged by fire. And then I went out to Rochester, New York, where I got a master’s degree. And for my thesis, I studied multispectral imaging on a manuscript that was 1000 years old and have the writings of Archimedes, but it was overwritten with a Christian prayer text. And so we had to do different imaging techniques to separate the layers of handwriting that were on both sides of the pages. And that was a pretty interesting project as well. And then I worked for that manufactured a robotic page turning book scanner, where the arm does the work for you, and you stand in front of the machine, and you help keep the images flat. And it captures 2400 pages per hour. Very, very fast. And I got to know a lot of different , big libraries in the United States that use this type of equipment. So that’s a little bit about me. And then I came in Family Search. But like all good , like really good stories, really good stories have a great beginning, like this one. A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away. There was this family. This family wants to be together forever. Now, if the Son in this family had realized his royal heritage, if he appreciated his family , I don’t think he would have made the type of choices that led him to the dark side. I don’t know if you recognize any of the people in this picture.

Unknown Speaker 7:12
Family history today is the kind of thing where the the youth today are really grasping the new tools that are available, and they’re getting to know their family. And the youth that understand the legacy that their families built before them are better equipped to, to handle the stresses of today’s life. So we know that family history is an important thing. Sometimes family history is very easy together to put together like that puzzle that goes neatly on the floor and their big huge pieces. Or family history can be like this. This puzzle is in my closet. It’s called the impossible puzzle. It has 750 pieces. Most of them are green colored. There’s no borders or corners. And there’s five pieces thrown in there that are extra just to make you man. It’s called the impossible puzzle. It is possible the impossible puzzle is possible. Sometimes family history can be like this. Have you ever gone into Family Search or ancestry. And you found that because databases have been merged, you have duplicate names, duplicate people, some people go in and correct other people’s information. And you either have a really happy experience or you can have a really not happy experience. We come across individuals who in doing their family history have all these types of experiences. At Family Search, our purpose is that we create inspiring experiences that bring joy to all people as they discover, gather and connect their family, past, present and future. This is the purpose and everything that we do at Family Search. As a business. Family Search is an incorporated nonprofit family focused institution dedicated to providing free access to recorded genealogical data for use by family historians, genealogists, and others. We try to to get out there, we try to scan the most valuable content and make it available for free access. It’s what we do. We have we offer multiple free services. We have over 4 billion names in the family tree. We have over 4700 Family Search centers worldwide. And if you need help with Family Search, we have 24/7 support who’s ever called Family Search and need help. Rate Well, that’s because they’re volunteers on the other end taking those calls. We offer image capture services, scanning services, digital conversion, reformatting, preservation, being able to hang on to a digital image and preserve it for generations to come in multiple different types of formats to to be able to make these accessible and searchable in the best way possible. We offer online indexing, how many of you have ever done indexing a family search more hands. And only a couple of you actually call the help desk. That’s fantastic. That’s really good. And then we offer online access to many, many different collections. And we can also connect up with our with many partners and their genealogical collections. What we have out in the field are 300 cameras worldwide in 45 countries. 54 of those are on my team. And I cover the US and Canada. And I also have all of the book scanning centers, we have 17 book scanning centers. So raise your hand if you’re here. And you’re from the west valley book scanning center. That’s a third of you here. This is fantastic. You’re part of a great family of image capture people. We capture 150 million images per year, our goal is that we will have 20% of the best top tier searchable records and 50 countries within 15 years. And that searchable records. And then another goal is to have 30% of the best top tier record images from 8080 countries within 15 years. This is ambitious, but we’re there. We’re we’re growing in this type of capacity already. And we’re very grateful for the volunteers that helped make this happen.

Unknown Speaker 12:05
And by when I say top tier, I’m referring to births, marriages, deaths, in census records, things like that. At the West Valley scanning center, we scan all the books from the family history library, and we try to make the entire library searchable online, so that if you’re from Africa, you don’t have to come all the way to Salt Lake to have the Wasatch Front experience sitting in the library. We want everybody to have access to those books. So what can you do? Well, you can discover information about records, the records that we have online, or records in your communities, and then tell us about them. Help us to know what records you have. You can connect with and introduce people to Family Search. Help them know what Family Search is all about. Sit down with them and show them what it’s like to log in and what you can find. And then you can also help by taking pictures of these records. We have the cream of the crop volunteers in our in our mission opportunities. And it’s a wonderful thing to see. These materials become searchable and available to everyone. This is a picture of our new Digital Library homepage. We have 375,000 free books, and another another 90,000 books are about to be uploaded soon. And at about 200 pages appears on average, that’s over 80 million images. And when you think that there might be anywhere from five to 10 names per page, that’s almost a billion names. So what do you have? What’s in your trunk? Right? You see those commercials? What’s in your wall? What’s in your trunk? You might have books that are hardcover and paperback, you might have photographs. Maybe you have some rare fragile documents. There are some journals, school photo books, magazines, newspapers, maps, posters, and paintings and artwork of different kinds. What do you do with those? Well, this is one question that I get asked a lot. So I start here with the family history library in Salt Lake, the world’s largest genealogical library of its kind. We had one time somebody show up with a truck and drop off a filing cabinet right in front of the front entrance and drive off on a weekend. So that when our when our library staff comes in on Monday they say huh, where did this come from? And Who does this belong to and what is this? So my first recommendation is, don’t do that. Don’t just leave a filing cabinet in front of the family history library, please. There’s the family history library. And there’s the church history library on opposite ends of Temple Square. At the church history library, they accept journals, letters, photographs, books, artifacts, but as to do something with church history. And if you’re interested in donating something, then you go to the donation website, that it’s at the top of the slide here And you fill out a form and you say what it is that you have. And they will get back to you and ask you more questions about your donation. And then there’s the family history library. The family history library, is a genealogical research library. People come from all over the world to do research. There’s no special collections. area that it’s not an archive, so they don’t hang on to family collections. That’s for you. That’s for the family to figure out how to do but we’re here to help you figure that out. And the donations that the family history library accepts have to do something with genealogical research. families that lived in an area, as well as the areas where they live local histories, things like that. So the family history library will accept and scan, family histories, local and county histories, published genealogical books, periodicals and directories, indexes, autobiographies, maps atlases, yearbooks, but only for online, they don’t accept them on the shelves, journals that are older than seven years,

Unknown Speaker 16:57
family Bibles that have signature pages in them. We don’t, we don’t image the whole Bible, that would be crazy spending all of our time imaging that many Bibles. So we just imaged the signature pages. And then we accept digital submissions now. So if you’ve worked on a family history, and you have that in PDF form, you can send that into us, we’ll post that in our new digital library. Well, we don’t accept family group sheets, fan charts, newspapers, locks of hair, medallions, dried , ribbons, things like that. fiction and poetry journals that are newer than 70 years old obituaries, signature books, negative slides and videos. So I get asked about those all the time. Those are important things to have digitized, we have a place for that on FamilySearch. It’s called memories. So if you’re interested in talking to us about the types of collections you have, we will talk with you and figure out how to get your stuff scanned, if we can, or will have recommendations for you on where to go to get to scan it yourself. And if something is turned away, if it’s not accepted, you can upload those files as sources or memories of in Family Search, you can find a family member or a friend to help you scan those items. You can take your items to a local family history center and scan them there. A lot of them are equipped now with easy to use scanning equipment. And sometimes the youth in your area need to do a potential youth activity for some reason, and they can help you and qualify for a project. Your item has to have a title, author, publisher, publication date, and have a written summary. Or to help us be able to create a written summary and it has to fit within the copyright guidelines. So this is something that we take into account whenever we go into a library in the United States. Or when we talk to an archive we have to actually get permission to not only scan the items, but then publish them online. So we take the permission very seriously. And so you can ask yourself some questions. Can you format your material like a book? Does your material contain a written narrative? Does your materials specifically discuss a family multiple families in the areas where they lived? Did you or a family member write the book? And if you have any other questions, you can always email us at and ask your question and we will respond to you or it will be sent out to the appropriate team who can answer your question and we have a permission form that you have to sign. And so we recently did this with the . And so we are scanning many books for the sons of Utah pioneers library up in Salt Lake City. They bring batches of books for us to go through check for copyright, and then scan what’s available. And they’re accepted as digital donations to the FamilySearch Digital Library. And then from time to time, they’ll pick up the batch and bring us a new batch. And that’s how it works. And the more people that help with that effort, the more books we need to scan and the faster we can go through the whole library. So I think they are continuing to look for volunteers who can go up there and help them. But the sons of Utah pioneers is a very key partner of ours. And we’re excited to keep doing this project. Now. The library always reserves the right to reject or accept a donation. And once that happens, the library becomes the owner of the content if it’s a donation that’s accepted. So in order to remember this, if you go to, up in the corner, there’s a help. Right over there. And if you go under Help, there’s a little section called the research, wiki, all of the Family Search knowledge there on the wiki, and you just have to search, you’ll find a page that will help you with a lot of topics. If you’re interested in Ireland research, you just look up Ireland, if you’re interested in Native American research, you look up Native American, if you’re interested in Spain, or Portugal or Brazil, you just type that in, and it will have a homepage for that country. And great sources to start with. The wiki is amazing. If you type in donations, it will take you to all the information you need to know about having something digitized. This is what the donation page looks like. And we have guidelines on that page that cover exactly what I was just mentioning on my other slides.

Unknown Speaker 21:55
And you can always reach out to us by emailing us at You can call the number 801-240-1855. Or you can mail your item and add a sign permission form to the address here on the slide. So here’s the quick summary of what I just covered has to be a genealogical record family history, local history, must have a signed permission form from the copyright holder. You can go to the FamilySearch wiki and look up donations, you can contact the library of Or you could bring accepted items in person or use the mailing address. There are many reasons that you’d want to scan your items. We talked about this with the archives that we go to. Right now we’re in the Maryland State Archives, we work with National Archives, we work with the Minnesota State Archives. I have someone on my team who is flying to Hawaii next week without me he’s going to the Hawaii State Archives where we have volunteers. We have the Library and Archives Canada, we are in locations all throughout the United States and Canada that are on my team and in many countries worldwide. The reason to scan them is that items can get lost or destroyed over time. Everybody has someone in their family who likes to be the family archivist and hang on to everything. And some sometimes if you’re lucky, they’ll even let you look at some of it. Hopefully, somehow, you can help them understand the importance of scanning it so that everybody can see it. You can let them hang on to the original. But let’s try to get the digital version out there uploaded to Family Search so that everyone can have access to it and it can be made searchable, and people can actually find the item. scanned images can also be reproduced in a variety of ways. And once the people in the photos are tagged, or once index or once forms and things like that are are indexed. people searching for that name will be able to find those records and photos. We preserve our items in long term permanent storage. So it’s a very archival preservation process of storing our images on long term storage media. Family Search, scanned images are published to the public with the appropriate rights management. So if it’s public, it’s made available to the public. We also have some copyrighted materials that we have permission to post and then it becomes published as copyrighted with limited permissions.

Unknown Speaker 25:05
So who can do the scanning? You can. Or you can at home or family history center. Family Search offers free services. And then of course, there’s other groups in your area that would that you can pay to have it done. This is a picture of our booth at roots tech roots Tech is a genealogy Technology Conference that FamilySearch sponsors every February up at the salt palace, and the world’s biggest genealogy companies come. And they talk about their latest tools and technologies, a lot of discussion about DNA, and preservation, things like that, well, guess what we take all of our equipment out of the west valley scanning center, and put it all into this booth. And people bring us stuff to scan. And we’ve done several early pioneer items, and uploaded them to our collection. This is a three or four day event. And it’s quite the undertaking. And it usually happens at the end of February. And it’s it was a very wonderful experience. This year, we scanned over 100 books about 110 books. This is the type of equipment we use based on the different types of documents or books that we come across. We also have camera systems that we will send out into the field. So it’s almost like Indiana Jones, they come with their duffel bags, and they have a camera in one pocket. And in the other bag, they have a frame that they have to put together and we train them how to do that. Then they show up and they scan their project and and send these shuttles of hard drives in the Salt Lake periodically. This is where all of our book scanning centers are located in the United States. And the yellow ones are ones that we’ve set up this year. So we’ve already set up one in Salem, Oregon, and Ottawa, Canada, and we’re about to install a scanner in Phoenix, Arizona, the Arizona State Library, and then at least one in Europe this year for a European project. But we have 17 book scanning centers, and 50 for camera operations. And we tackle items of all kinds 3000 page books. First of all, who would write a 3000 page book. It happens, especially when you start looking through directories. If you ever had to research a 3000 page book and go through page by page, wouldn’t you rather have this digital and search it? That’s thanks to our volunteers who scan these books, page by page. And guess what, that’s not all. Once the book is scanned, the auditing team gets their chance to look at it and make sure we haven’t missed the page. And that we don’t have our hands and fingers in the images and things like that. And that every image is in focus and that it’s legible. So everybody looks at every page again. And then guess what they get to audit it again. And so we made sure that we publish the best version of the digital images that we can get. And by the way, I actually had to process to 10,000 page books this year. Don’t ask me what those were. This is a team that was trained to image a large fold out to be ever come across a book and how to fold out inside. Well, this one was at least 30 panels. And we couldn’t just put it through a map scanner because the book is hiding behind one of the corners and we have to return the books in the same condition that we get them. Isn’t that fun? We also imaged records from the early non move time period. And a lot of the the saints have not the Nauvoo area. Their names are in these books that were at the Hancock County Courthouse in Carthage, Illinois. And our team got to go in and scan those took us two months to do what the collection that we had marked out. But it was so exciting. And there was a volunteer one time that found this in a book. You find dried flowers and things like that that comes up from time to time someone found two tickets to the Salt Lake Temple original dedication and didn’t tell us about them until the books went into storage. So if you find those going through all the old palettes, you when the price look for it. They’re in there somewhere. It’s like looking for, you know, Indiana Jones and the law Starke if you find those you when you let me know you when

Unknown Speaker 30:05
you mentioned somebody finding this in a book, that lizard is this thing now if you go to the Family Search wiki, you can look up different family history centers and see what kind of equipment they have. Sometimes that’s listed and you can make a reservation and scan. This is the example of the Lehi, Utah Family Search center. And the scanning equipment available to us in Lehigh River. 10 also has a family history center. And so these pages are available on the FamilySearch wiki. You can upload your items to Family Search memories. And if you’ve never used memories before, it’s easy. You click on the memories once you log into Family Search, and then you get a big green plus button. And if you click the big green Plus, it says what would you like to upload. And then you can choose your file, a photo, a document, a newspaper clipping, and you can upload it in memories. And after you do that, be sure to go in and tag your images, so that we know who is in the photos, Ted, take a moment to tell us who’s in those photos. And if you’ve forgotten everything that I’ve just told you have no fear in the Family Search wiki. There’s also a step by step instruction that guides you through what to do in a lot more words than what I just told you. Just remember, eventually, all genealogists come to their senses. And so I want to thank you for your time, and I’ll take questions that you have. Yes,

Unknown Speaker 31:50
where do you actually store stores from fire?

Unknown Speaker 31:56
That’s a very, very good question. So the church has several large data centers. And so all of this information is stored in data centers, in fact, there’s a data center now in the Granite Mountain vault. And so long term preservation is also at the granite Granite Mountain vault. But we have several copies. So we have copies that can be easily accessed. And then we have a permanent archival copy of the image the master copy that’s that resides on a server somewhere or some other type of long term preservation media.

Unknown Speaker 32:34
or what have you have these old like filmstrips, or eight millimeter or ones are used on like a reel to reel kind of like them, I really reveal or are just individual slides that are are ordered by a

Unknown Speaker 33:01
piece of that’s a very awkward Yeah, right. So slides and negatives, and you really should be you should get those digitized for sure. And there are companies that will do that for you fact, my parents had a reel to reel taken of their wedding. And I came across that in a box one time and we had a digitized. And it was really fun to turn that into a digital video. And that’s the kind of thing that you can upload to Family Search after you digitize it. Family Search does not do the digital conversion of those or for slides and negatives. But the family history centers will often be equipped with the type of equipment, sometimes it’s a flatbed scanner that has a slide attachment. Other times it’s a carousel with a camera attached to it that allows you to quickly scan through slides. One of those is available at the West Valley book scanning center. But check with your local Family History Center first and see what’s available. Yes,

Unknown Speaker 34:02
BYU in their library, the library has so facilities to do those conversions.

Unknown Speaker 34:11
That’s a very good point. So if you are down in the Utah Valley area, you can always visit the BYU library. But I recommend that you go to the BYU Library homepage and search for their scanning page. And you can make your reservation on a scanner and then you show up at a particular time with your materials and the then you’ll be uninterrupted and you can scan your slides that way. Good point Thank you. Yes. Scanning All right. So as Family Search image capture teams, not just the US and Canada. Our goal for US and Canada is 22 million images, but we’re on track to get 30 million images this year 150 million images worldwide is, is what we captured each year and growing. Growing. It’s amazing, right? You’re part of that team. Yes. Any other questions?

Unknown Speaker 35:32
images that we

Unknown Speaker 35:37
have. So at the scanning center, how many images would you say we do each week somewhere between 10 and 12,000? Somewhere between 10,012 1000s That kind of a goal? A day. Okay. And 71,000 71,000 in a week, that sounds more like, Good. Keep that going.

Unknown Speaker 36:13
Thanks for records are digitized and online, what’s being done to index so that they’re searchable? As available?

Unknown Speaker 36:26
So that’s a very good question. Question is what’s what is being done to help things be indexed and searchable so that people can find these? Well, it depends on the records. So in the in the books world, we make our books as searchable as we can, if it’s typed. If it’s handwritten, we don’t currently make those books searchable. But we do make them catalog so you can find them. But we try to OCR which means that we try to make the characters in the book recognizable so that if you do a keyword search, doesn’t just search about the book, it searches through the books. Then there’s a whole separate mainstream search experience at Family Search to look through the historical records. And those are indexed by indexing volunteers. And right now, you can go to in the indexing part of Family Search, and select the type of project that you want to help with and the indexing is done right within your browser, you don’t have to download any images to your hard drive like you used to a long time ago, you could do it right within the browser. We are working on enabling communities to be able to work together to index certain collections that they want to sponsor index. We’re not there yet. But that’s where we want to get to very, very soon. So if there’s a particular project that a state wants to do, or a certain community, and it doesn’t even have to be members of the church, it can be local community, people that just want to help. These are all the types of initiatives that we’re working on right now. Yes,

Unknown Speaker 38:06
it is a church in areas outside of the United States. We have our missionaries go to Scotland, that there was just a library and they said no, to digitize these records, got a person’s Europe,

Unknown Speaker 38:23
and that was Scotland, I actually use somebody that just went to Ireland recently. And they said they paid. They paid $10 to go into this family history center area. And they sat them in front of a computer after after seeing kind of the exhibits that were in the area, they sat in front of a computer and looked at the screen. And it was Family Search. She said, Oh, I could have done this at home. But then there are many, many libraries that we haven’t gotten to an archives. And if you know of ones, you know, help us to connect the dots of them, we want to, we want to know that we wanted other people to build the relationship and understand what they have in their collection. And I actually get to work with the teams that go out to the libraries. And then the other teams get to go out to the archives. And they’ll pick up the phone and call, you know if it’s if it’s 3am 5am, or whatever, they’ll try to coordinate the best time to reach out to them. Or we’ll send it over to our Europe team and our Europe team will go visit the location. Check it out. Yeah, we’re in many, many countries. In fact, we’re in Africa right now, capturing oral genealogies where records don’t exist. We sent volunteers out there with laptops and a cell phone to try to get internet somehow and capture oral genealogies by talking to people recording what they say transcribing and all of that and Yes,

Unknown Speaker 40:01
I have an old stick book that I found in the floor. It’s long, I think to the father or grandfather’s. And it’s about that thick and it’s an old the old mistake. Instead of just sitting in the group, can I take it someplace, have somebody look at it and say, this is worthless. Or this is okay.

Unknown Speaker 40:27
We do that every day, at their West Valley scanning center, we’ll look at items and say, it’s either worthless or very worth our time to scan it. So we’ll tell you, and we’ll tell you if it’s copyright protected, or if we need permission. In many cases, we can scan it and in some cases, we can’t. We may have already scanned it, though. So you if we have, you’ll want to check. So you go to Go up to search and then down to catalog to find this. But I’ll tell you what, when you brought that up, you already had me at I found something old in a drawer, you already happy.

Unknown Speaker 41:03
So what happened that it needs to be digital?

Unknown Speaker 41:08
Okay, so we’ll look it up and see if we’ve already scanned it. That’s a that’s a great thing. So send us an email at Tell us the title, tell us what state tell us what year and we’ll look it up and see if it’s in our catalog. Or you can go to the catalog to check it out. Or one of these wonderful volunteers that serves at the scanning center would love to help you with that to look it up and see if we’ve done.

Unknown Speaker 41:34
Any other questions? Okay, well, thank you. So we have one more question.

Unknown Speaker 41:43
Before you go. As you were introducing yourself, because you mentioned several projects that you’ve been involved with kind of capture people’s imagination you know, have to come in on this. But tell everybody about went to get the Leningrad Codex. And what that is.

Unknown Speaker 42:09
This person knows about my past because he’s my father’s and he’s a plant in the audience. He’s referred to a project that I had the opportunity to work on with some of the scholars at BYU as they were preparing for a Dead Sea Scroll exhibit that never happened for the 2002 Winter Olympics. But before September 11 happened, everything was gung ho to have this exhibit and my wife and I had the opportunity to go as representatives from BYU over to St. Petersburg, Russia, to do something else that was going to be displayed as part of the exhibit called the Leningrad Codex, which is the world’s oldest complete copy of the Hebrew Bible. And so we got to go into the basement catacombs of one of the world’s largest libraries, the National Library of Russia, and see this manuscript and the curator turned it page by page. And of course, it’s on vellum, and animal animal skin. And so they were able to show this document to us page by page. And it was amazing. It hadn’t been pulled out for several years to be shown. So it was a very special experience. But that’s that’s a good question. I’m full of those kinds of stories. So I apologize for that. But if I put anybody to sleep, you can thank my father.

Unknown Speaker 43:36
Yes. We actually have had projects in the Vatican. And it’s I know of several BYU scholars that have gone there. And I don’t know family searches has been there. But I do know that BYU scholars have gone there and done special projects in the Vatican Library. Yeah, we’ve been there. Yes.

Unknown Speaker 44:06
is said to be planning to open the Vatican archives library, to outside research, right. So presuming the church

Unknown Speaker 44:20
there is an increase in that? I did. I did see that as well. So I don’t know what family searches looking to do there. What kind of projects were looking to partner with? I don’t I don’t know that. But certainly there’s greater opportunity now than ever before.

Unknown Speaker 44:39
Have you ever had occasion to talk about being yourself in the Journal of Mormon history? And

Unknown Speaker 44:48
so here’s another project plug for you. I had the opportunity to work with some historians and county clerks in upstate New York and one of those was Is the Wayne County clerk in the Wayne County and I did a project for the Wayne County Historian. There was in partnership with the church history library to digitize the earliest town records of the town of Macedon. From 1797 and Macedon was one of the towns that’s close to Palmyra, in Rochester, New York, that area. And through a series of very serendipitous circumstances, we also came across a manuscript that a historian had in her possession that was given to her by her neighbor who had kept it in his attic. But it was old school records from the school, the first. And so old school records from a school master his own personal records from the first school district in Palmyra. And he had a listing of everyone in his classes. And really, it was the names of heads of household and Joseph Smith was listed on one of those, as well as agricole and other people from early church history time periods. So historians recognize almost all of those names on that list. But Joseph Smith, certainly, the as the father had tried to enroll his kids in school. But on these Ledger’s that showed the attendance and the amount paid, the Smith family had the lowest recorded attendance of any family in the community. And they only had two and a half days of school attendance recorded when everyone else was going to school every day, and that they owe 10 cents and that they paid it. So that’s what we get from the school record. And so it’s pretty interesting to learn that. But that’s exactly what people want to know. They don’t just want to do research about the Smith family. They want to do research about the community. How much were teachers making in that time period, $15 a month? What were they teaching, things like that. And so when you go on to Family Search, and when you go into the collections, you’re not just looking up names, you’re also looking at places you’re trying to find out more about the areas where they lived. And that’s just as important as learning about families. Okay, thank you so much for your time, I hope you felt like it was a great experience. And thank you so much for dinner.

Unknown Speaker 47:41
Thank you, Michael, for coming. I just want to add a closing comment from the other end of Family Search. I do genealogical research professionally. And I work for an online company that sends me clients from around the country and other countries. I just passed. I’ve been doing this for about 10 years. And I just passed the 270/5 family mark. For families that I’ve done research for all that group, only five that I know of were LDS families. So most of my research is done for non LDS families. But every one of them uses Family Search. And I have come almost all of my research through the records that Family Search and its associated partners have provided. So this work is being done not only for the 16 million in the church, but for the 7 billion around the world. I could bore you for hours with stories about how I have found people that only the spirit could have directed me to and I feel very much only by directing me in the Family Search area. Joe, could we get you to offer the closing prayer for us

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