Records Preservation Mission Opportunities
Help Unlock the World’s Records and Connect Families Eternally
Whether you serve from home or abroad, you can be instrumental in linking families together forever as a records preservation missionary.
Records preservation missionaries serve in archives, churches, and government offices, capturing genealogically valuable records on microfilm or digital camera equipment. These priceless historical documents contain the stories of our ancestors. As a result of missionary efforts, records are made available to find ancestors, link families, and provide saving temple ordinances.
If you or someone you know would be interested in learning more about records preservation missionary opportunities in the United States or abroad, please contact the Family History Records Preservation Mission Coordinator, Karma Tomlinson.
Read about the experiences missionaries are having as they make a lasting impact in family history records preservation.
Elder and Sister Carmack
Ohio Cleveland Mission
“We love our mission. The work is so rewarding and the people we work with are the best. Our work is mostly with very large books from the 1800s so far. We are the only ones working in our room so we can close the door and listen to scriptures, conference talks, music, and the Mormon Channel if we want. That always brings such a strong Spirit into the room. While we work we try to work as fast as we can to turn the pages and take the photographs, but once in a while a name will catch our attention and we make a connection. We wonder about them and their families and what kind of life they led and the trials they had to endure. When we feel the Spirit strong is when we feel they are rejoicing in the work we are doing on the other side. We know how important it is to us to find someone in our own family, and are grateful we are part of a great work to help others find their families.”
Elder and Sister Hughes
Mississippi Jackson Mission
We were called on a Records Preservation Mission in the Mississippi, Jackson Mission in Oct 2008. It was a great learning experience as well as a very satisfying one. We did microfilming while in Yazoo and we learned a lot about … how to handle and film very old and sometimes very damaged documents. We had an excellent supervisor who was very patient with us and was always willing to help us.
We were guided many times by the Holy Ghost as we were preparing and filming the documents. As we filmed we didn’t have time to look at each document and read the names on it. Sometimes I would be impressed to look closer at a document and find that it did not belong in that folder, but was out of place. When we first started filming we had an envelope left on the desk that needed to be filed somewhere else. Several months later I was impressed to look at the documents in the envelope. The names on the documents were in a file folder that my husband was just getting ready to film. Because of inspiration, the documents were filmed with the correct family.
We have fulfilled two full time missions and I can truly say that serving the Lord gives a joy and a feeling of peace that I think you can find in no other way. You learn to rely on the Lord when you feel that you just can’t quite do what needs to be done, you turn to Him and you find that He increases your ability. I would encourage everyone that wants peace and joy in their lives to fulfill a mission of some kind to help build the Kingdom of God. There are missions that you can fulfill from your own home, as well as those where you leave home.
Elder and Sister McVey
New Zealand Wellington Mission
“The records are not just papers to be digitized, but the stories of real people’s lives.”
“Some [records] catch your attention. We read letters between soldiers and their families. They can be so moving. We find all sorts of interesting things.”
Elder and Sister McVey live above the mission office, so they feel involved in the activities of the mission home and enjoy getting to know the young missionaries. “So it’s great because we’re serving with FamilySearch, but we get the other part of the mission too, of talking with people and the missionaries.”
In the evenings, the McVey’s also help Young Single Adults with family history. “We’ve worked in family history for 40 years and done quite a bit ourselves, Elder McVey said, “But I’ve never seen so much success as with working with these kids. Some of them can go back 10 generations starting with nothing but their own names.”
Whether you serve from home or abroad, the Family History Department needs your help collecting and making accessible records that will be instrumental in connecting families eternally. You will gather, organize, and capture genealogically valuable records using either microfilm or digital camera equipment. As a result of your work, these records will be available at FamilySearch.org and will enable members and others to complete their family histories.
Current Full-time Needs
- Argentina Buenos Aires*
- Arizona Mesa
- Brazil Rio de Janeiro†
- Chili Santiago*
- Colombia Bogota*
- Indiana Indianapolis
- Italy Milan‡
- Massachusetts Boston
- New Hampshire Manchester
- New Zealand Wellington
*Spanish, †Portuguese, ‡Italian Language required
About a Records Preservation Mission
No special skills are needed for a records preservation mission and schedules are flexible. Both full-time and part-time live-at-home missions are available. In addition to records preservation activities, full-time missionaries have the opportunity to perform other types of services as directed by the mission president.
Full-time mission details:
- Live-at-home or live abroad options available
- Serve from 18-23 months
- Spend from 32-40 hours per week on records preservation assignments
Church service (part-time) details:
- Church service (part-time) details:
- Serve for the length of time best suited to your circumstances (6-month minimum commitment)
- Spend from 8-40 hours per week on records preservation
Comprehensive training for specific assignments is provided. Records preservation missionaries work directly with local priesthood leaders and the staff of the Family History Department and Church History Department. In addition to records preservation assignments, full-time missionaries are encouraged to make themselves available to share the gospel, perform service and other missionary activities as directed by the mission president.
Types of Records Preservation Assignments Available
- Camera Operators
- Capture digital or microfilm images of valuable records in government, church, and private archives and records repositories.
- Assist in creating indexing templates for FamilySearch Indexing projects. Assist with creating helps to make it easier to find records in un-indexed digital collections.
- Book Scanning
- Scan digital images of books in various libraries to make the books available online.
- Document Preparation
- Work in archives to prepare old documents for microfilming or digital imaging. This may include sorting records into a logical order, unfolding folded documents, removing staples or other bindings, flattening documents that have been folded for years, and so forth.