Catholics wished we would film their Records
The Lord is helping the Church move forward. About 7 years ago, some Catholic archbishops were telling their parishes not to let the Mormon Church see their family or parish records for christenings, marriages, and so forth.
About 3 years ago, as I was working on the second floor of the Family History Library, I was talking with a Catholic visitor from New York, I think Manhattan, and she said how she wished that our Church would come and microfilm her parish records, since they were in the basement of their cathedral and were badly deteriorating. I found that interesting, that a Catholic genealogist would recognize the value of what the Church was doing then. Her friends with her agreed.
In addition to teaching classes in the Family History Library on my mission, I also served in the Data Quality Zone in the Information Department, fixing goofy records on New FamilySearch. In addition to correcting errors in records, including temple records and sealings, the information department is the one that handles most of the indexing of the world records. Part of the department works with genealogy, historical, government, and religious entities to either buy or acquire copyright permission to film their records. Part of the department has digital cameras with special missionaries who go out to all parts of the world and film the records of the area they are assigned to. Some missionaries are up in the Granite Vaults filming.
Another part of the department then prepares those filmed records for publication on the Indexing website for members and non-members to index, so that they are more easily searched by folks seeking to find ancestors. Part of the department reviews all the records, indexed or otherwise to see if they are okay. Another part is responsible to publish those records on the internet as part of FamilySearch.org > Historical Records.
About 4 months after my experience with the Catholic ladies, in February or March, we had a bi-annual business meeting of the Information Department and learned some pretty exciting things. One thing they showed us was a video of a group of Catholic parish members sitting at computers indexing their parish records. Their leaders had been convinced by their members of the need to preserve their records by having our Church film them. They approached the Church to do so and the Church said they would, if the parish could get their members to index the records, since we are constantly in need of volunteers. They agreed. It was pretty remarkable to see Nuns sitting at computers indexing records, while the local Archbishop presided over the whole activity. What a turn-around! What a testimony that the Lord works in miraculous ways to bring about his purposes!
cathy anderegg Page 1 11/30/14