10 February 2013

FamilySearch dCamX videos, image pipeline, and being involved in records donations

Recently I have been thinking a lot about the process of donating collections to FamilySearch. I donated a collection and have been quite curious about what happens behind the scenes. I've also been talking with FamilySearch employees about the possibility of helping them image new collections. The whole process is rather internal, and I do not know nearly as much about it as I'd like to. This and more has motivated me to write posts about the topic.

The process is more complex than I first would have assumed. My limited understanding comes from several sources.

In August 2007, Ancestry Insider posted a four part blog series on "The [FamilySearch] Digital Pipeline." That post has a picture that shows what looks like a 10-phase pipeline. When I was discussing the donation I made with a FamilySearch employee in January, he mentioned the "12 step process pipeline." Exactly how the process is different today than in 2007, I wish I knew.

In February 2011, the Ancestry Insider blog featured the "FamilySearch Technology Booth," a post about the new dCamX technology.

The same post brings up the idea of donating to FamilySearch: "If you’re in the Salt Lake area, bring your family history photographs and documents down and FamilySearch will scan the documents for you. Your document images will be stored on the Internet and you will receive an e-mail with a link to them."

I have no idea how this was managed and I've never heard of anyone actually having FamilySearch host their family photos until the recent addition of the FamilySearch Photos beta. In my opinion, this is an example of one of the many times that FamilySearch has a good concept for a long time before a practical system is put in place to make it easy for the average patron to get involved. I am guessing very few photos were donated to FamilySearch until this new beta in the past month.

The Archives page at FamilySearch.org gives a brief description of dCamX:
"2012 dCamX image capture technology and Digital Reading Room (DRR) solutions introduced, opening a new era of digital capture and sharing. These technologies are now being provided to archives around the world, allowing them to capture and share their own records with their users."

It looks like the digital pipeline is becoming a little less private, as FamilySearch seeks to get others more directly involved. 

At the end of January, FamilySearch quietly posted several dCamX training videos on YouTube under a new channel: http://www.youtube.com/familysearchdcam Before that, the training videos were only available on a page that required authorized sign-in.

In the past month, a FamilySearch employee has told me a little about a pilot to allow individuals to use the software and a prosumer Canon camera to gather collections. This appears to be limited to a select few. The majority of all camera teams are official records preservation missionaries or employees of FamilySearch. If I have the privilege of being involved, I will likely post again about this beta.

If you post with your questions or thoughts, I will be able to consider them in my discussions with FamilySearch--and maybe get an answer.

1 comment:

  1. Michael,
    Please email me at genealogyarizona@gmail.com about this issue.


Thanks for your kind and thoughtful comments.