I saw this on FamilySearch recently – 3 Challenges in the Genealogy World and How FamilySearch Is Helping: https://www.familysearch.org/blog/en/stephen-valentine-keynote-2019-byu/.
The global genealogy community enjoys unprecedented growth but faces major challenges too. Here’s what FamilySearch is doing about three of the most crucial needs.
In a keynote address at the recent BYU Conference on Family History and Genealogy, FamilySearch executive Stephen J. Valentine reported on the ongoing efforts of the world’s largest nonprofit genealogical organization.
“FamilySearch has been helping you discover your ancestors since 1894, when it was the Genealogical Society of Utah,” he told a packed lecture hall on the Brigham Young University campus in Provo, Utah. “Whether it was our pioneering work microfilming records in archives in 1938, our libraries, digitizing our vast microfilm collection and more records around the world, or building the FamilySearch Family Tree, we have been meeting the challenges and needs of family historians for 125 years.”
Today, family historians enjoy unprecedented access to resources that help them reconstruct the stories of their ancestors. But there’s still much to be done, said Valentine. He described three pressing challenges facing the global genealogy community and what FamilySearch is doing to meet them.
Preserve Records around the World before They Disappear
“There is an urgent need for record preservation,” said Valentine. “We take for granted that old records will always be there. But they won’t. The information you may need about your family history may be deteriorating in an archive right now, or it may sit in the path of a coming natural disaster. It’s a race against the clock.”
Make More Records More Accessible—Faster
All these record imaging projects, as well as the ongoing digitization of previously-microfilmed records, have produced a mind-boggling repository of digital data. Valentine reported that FamilySearch currently houses 18 petabytes of digital storage—“72 times what is in the Library of Congress.”
Awaken New Interest in Family History, Especially among Young People
A final challenge FamilySearch is addressing is that of introducing the joy of family history discoveries to new audiences. “Some who haven’t participated in this activity before might ask, ‘What’s the point?’” said Valentine. “They need to have their own discovery and connection experiences.”