Thursday, May 19, 2011

Scanned books go into the black hole of Family History Archives

More than a year ago, I had a book scanned by the Mesa Regional Family History Center. The Mesa FHC is scanning books in conjunction with the FamilySearch/BYU Family History Archives to scan its collection for inclusion in that of FamilySearch. No one seems to know where the scans end up and why none of the scans appear online.

The book I had scanned was a large book compiled by my Great-grandmother on her family and on my Great-grandfather's family. Although the book lacks many sources, it has photos and histories very much worth preserving and valuable to the family. I also happen to personally possess the copyright for the book. There are absolutely no copyright issues in making a copy available online. This is the book:

Overson, Margaret Godfrey Jarvis. George Jarvis And Joseph George De Friez Genealogy. Mesa, Ariz: M.J. Overson, 1957.

A link to the Archives recently showed up on the startup page for FamilySearch.org entitled "Books."  The Archives has a counter on its main page that has been stuck at 17,777 now for almost a year. If you search for the Jarvis book it does not show as in the collection. Also if you do an advanced search for the Jarvis book, you also get no results but if you click "search again"  you are taken to the Harold B. Lee Library at Brigham Young University's Digital Collections page. That page used to list the Family History Archive with more than 34,000 scanned books and documents. However, that number has now disappeared with revisions of the Digital Collections page.

Now, for over a year, books continue to be scanned by the Mesa FHC and vanish into the Family History Archives black hole. At RootsTech in February, I spoke with several representatives of FamilySearch who acknowledged that there was a huge problem but assured me that the whole thing would be straightened out by June. Well, here we are at the middle of May. I guess I can wait until June.

The Jarvis family is planning a huge family reunion and is anxious to have family history materials available. Many members of the family have never had access to the book due to its age and lack of availability. It would be nice if we knew what happened to the scanned images and whether or not they will ever be available online. Just wondering.

1 comment:

  1. James,
    I hope you post when the book does finally come up. I was unable to get the search engine to show it to me. I have a Jarvis line I've spent considerable time on over the years.

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