Behind the Scenes of Image Capturing

May 17, 2013

Have you ever wondered what happens behind the scenes of indexing and image capturing? There are more than 1.5 million images captured each week. Who makes this possible? Records preservation missionaries, contractors, FamilySearch employees, archive employees, and many volunteers are responsible for capturing millions of images each year. These historical records are captured so that they may be indexed, preserved, and published on

There are about 222 cameras located all over the world; 92 cameras in the Western Hemisphere, and 130 in the Eastern Hemisphere. These industrial cameras can each take millions of images ranging from 16 to 50 megapixels. Computer software is used to calibrate the camera, capture the image, manage the project, and capture metadata or information about the records. Clamps and foam wedges are used to keep the book level and the image in focus. All images are saved on an external hard drive at the end of each week, placed in a protective case, and sent to Salt Lake City, Utah. Once the hard drive arrives in Salt Lake, it is sent through an auditing process where rejected images are sent back for rework and approved images are processed and published. View the video, “FamilySearch Records Preservation Missionaries,” to see the record preservation missionaries in action.

Once these images are captured, they need to be indexed to be searchable on Volunteer to index these images today.

Current and Completed Projects
To view a list of currently available indexing projects, along with their record language and completion percentage, visit the FamilySearch indexing updates page. To learn more about individual projects, view the FamilySearch projects page.

New Projects Added

• België, Oost Vlaanderen, Sint-Lievens-Houtem—Burgerlijke Stand, 1901-1910 [Deel 2]
• Brasil, Rio de Janeiro—Cartões de Imigração, 1900–1965 [Parte 3II]
• Brasil, Rio de Janeiro—Cartões de Imigração, 1900–1965 [Parte 3JJ]
• Canada—1911 Census
• Colombia, Antioquia—Diócesis de Sonsón y Rionegro, 1814-2008 [Part 3]
• Deutschland, Hessen, Landkreis Marburg-Biedenkopf—Sterberegister, 1946–1980
• Italia (Antenati Italiani), Bergamo—Nati, 1875-1894 [Part 2B]
• Italia (Antenati Italiani), Modena—Nati, 1875–1902 [Parte 2]
• Magyarország, Szabolcs—polgári anyakönyvi adatok, 1895–1978 [5. Rész]
• South Africa, Orange Free State—Estate Files, 1951–1980 [Part 2A]
• Suisse, Fribourg—1834 Recensement
• U.S. (Community Project), New York—New York Passenger Lists, 1942–1957 [Part J]
• U.S., Indiana, Wayne—County Marriages, 1811–1959
• U.S., Iowa—1905 State Census [Part A]
• U.S., Iowa—County Marriages, 1838–1992 [Part D]
• U.S., Massachusetts—State Vital Records, 1841–1920 [Part A]
• UK, Kent—Register of Electors, 1825–1900
• UK—WWI Service Records, 1914–1920 [Part 3]
• UK—WWI Service Records, 1914–1920 [Part 4]
• Zimbabwe—Death Notices, 1904–1976 [Part 1]
• Россия, Тверь—Метрические книги церкви, 1722–1918 [часть 1]

View the FamilySearch projects page to see the full list of available projects and to learn more about how to participate in various projects.

Recently Completed Projects

Note: Recently completed projects have been removed from the available online indexing batches and will now go through a final completion check process. They will be published at in the near future.

• Italia (Antenati Italiani), Pesaro e Urbino—Nati, 1885–1902 [Parte 2]
• Italy, Trento - Baptisms 1784-1924 [Part 2A]
• Nicaragua, Masaya - Registros Civiles 1879-1984
• Sverige, Örebro—Kyrkoböcker till 1860 [Del 6]
• Sverige, Örebro—Kyrkoböcker till 1860 [Del 6]
• U.S. (Community Project), Florida, Key West—Passenger Lists, 1898–1945
• U.S. (Community Project), New York, Northern—Arrival Manifests, 1902–1956
• U.S., Maine—Delayed Returns for Births, Marriages, and Deaths, 1670–1891
• U.S., Mississippi—Military Grave Registrations, 1936–1951
• U.S., Ohio—County Births, 1856–1956 [Part C]
• U.S., Oklahoma—Land Allotment Records of the Five Civilized Tribes, 1899–1907 [Part 1E]

About FamilySearch

FamilySearch International is the largest genealogy organization in the world. FamilySearch is a nonprofit, volunteer-driven organization sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Millions of people use FamilySearch records, resources, and services to learn more about their family history. To help in this great pursuit, FamilySearch and its predecessors have been actively gathering, preserving, and sharing genealogical records worldwide for over 100 years. Patrons may access FamilySearch services and resources free online at or through over 4,600 family history centers in 132 countries, including the main Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.