With the one week extension, to 7 September 2017, this day becomes the last day to order microfilm through the FamilySearch.org rental program. For genealogy, this is a milestone event. But for the vast majority of family historians and genealogists, it will pass unnoticed. I have been continuing my ad hoc polls about microfilm usage and I find that very few of the people who volunteer or visit the BYU Family History Library have used microfilm for research during the past year.
There are a number of articles and blog posts on the subject of the discontinuance of the microfilm shipments. You might want to read a few if you are interested.
- Why FamilySearch Is Ending Microfilm Rental & How to Get Genealogy Records Now
- FamilySearch Digital Records Access Replacing Microfilm
- UPDATE: FamilySearch Digital Records Access Replacing Microfilm
Here is a summary of the current situation as of the 7th of September 2017 from FamilySearch:
- Patrons can still order microfilms online until Thursday, September 7, 2017.
- After film ordering ends, if customers need access to a particular film yet to be digitized, they can express interest to have it added to the priority digitization list by contacting FamilySearch Support (Toll Free: 1-866-406-1830).
- All of the microfilm rented by patrons in the past 5 years have now been digitized by FamilySearch—over 1.5 million microfilms (ca. 1.5 billion images).
- The remaining microfilms are being digitally scanned at a rate of 1,000 films per day and are projected to be complete by 2020.
- New digital images are available as they are scanned in the FamilySearch.org Catalog.
- Films currently on loan in family history centers and affiliate libraries are automatically granted extended loan status.
- Affiliate libraries now have access to nearly all of the restricted image collections as family history centers.
- Visitors to the Family History Library in Salt Lake City will still be able to order needed microfilms to use during their research visits.
I am on my way to the BYU Family History Library to view a microfilm that is only available for viewing in a Family History Center or Affiliated Library.