Family History Microfilm Discontinuation

Updated August 29, 2017


On September 7, 2017, FamilySearch will discontinue its microfilm circulation services. Due to system outages during the week of August 20, 2017 FamilySearch has decided to extend circulation an additional week.

Family history centers, including affiliate libraries, may retain their microfilm collections already on loan from FamilySearch after microfilm ordering ends. The last day to order microfilm will be on September 7, 2017. All microfilm currently in circulation will be converted to an extended loan. Additionally, recent changes now make it possible to view many formerly restricted images in affiliate libraries as well as local family history centers.

FamilySearch is a global leader in historic records preservation and access, with billions of the world’s genealogical records in its collections. This change is the result of significant progress made in microfilm digitization efforts and the obsolescence of vesicular microfilm as an access medium.

• Over 1.5 million microfilms (ca. 1.5 billion images) have been digitized by FamilySearch, including all microfilms that have been borrowed in the last 5 years

• Microfilms, not available digitally, are being scanned at a rate of 1,000 films per day, and the remaining portion of the collection should be digitized by the end of 2020. New digital images will be made available as they are scanned on

• All new records gathered in the ongoing global efforts are captured using digital camera equipment.

• FamilySearch remains committed to providing access to the vast record collection. Increased online access to digital images of records allows many more people to use these records faster and more efficiently.

Those seeking digital images of historical records can access them today in 3 places on under Search.

• Catalog includes a description of genealogical materials (including books, online materials, microfilm, microfiche, etc.) in the FamilySearch collection.

• Records include historical records indexed by name or organized with an image browse.

• Books include digital copies of books from the Family History Library and other libraries.

Family history centers will continue to provide access to relevant technology, premium subscription services, and digital records, including restricted content not available at home. Centers have the option to return microfilm that is available online or otherwise not needed. As more images are published online, centers may reevaluate whether to retain microfilm holdings.