Genealogy files stored in massive vault to be digitized

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SALT LAKE CITY -- For almost 50 years billions of pages of genealogical files have been stored in the LDS Church's Granite Mountain Records Vault in Little Cottonwood Canyon. Now the names will be brought out from storage and given to the public.

The LDS Church's Family Search along with Ancestry.com, Find My Past and My Heritage will digitize, index and publish the records from the vault. In addition to sharing names and records already stored.

"For us that’s really exciting news that we can work collaboratively with all these different entities to work together to bring these records online," said Thom Reed, partner marketing manager at FamilySearch International.

This means more access for those interested in researching their family's history.

"Anyone interested in learning about their family will be able to go to FamilySearch.org and be able to have access to far greater number of records than they have had in the past," said Suzanne Curley, North America Patron Service Manager of FamilySearch.

It's a task that if the church took on by itself, it would take hundreds of years. Instead, it will be done in just a few decades.

"The more partners we have in a process the quicker it goes so instead of taking perhaps 200-300 years to accomplish our goals of indexing these records it could be done in a single lifetime maybe 20 to 30 years," Curley said.

"We can’t do it alone we need these entities to work with to team up we need their technology and resources and they need our records to serve their patrons and their customers," Reed said.

The new collaboration will also compile records from many other countries, allowing searches to be expanded.

"They’ll have access to other sights and be able to find those records elsewhere as well that will benefit the genealogical community at large," Reed said.