The Genealogical Society of Utah initiated a worldwide microfilming program at the advent of modern microfilm technology. It succeeded in negotiating for and filming records because of the religious commitment of its leaders and workers, the financial assistance of the LDS Church, the increased concern for records loss as demonstrated by World War II, the maturation of microfilm technology after the war, and the concentration of many religious records in civil archives. Religious commitment enthused the Society's leaders to persist in their efforts in spite of seemingly insurmountable obstacles. The resources of the Church permitted the filming to continue without regard to profit. The destruction of World War II made archival leaders more amenable to the Society's program as a means to preserve the information in their records from catastrophic loss. The development of microfilm technology made the production of a good image possible and affordable. With religious records in civil archives, the efforts of religious leaders to restrict access were more easily overcome than might have been the case.
College and Department
Family, Home, and Social Sciences; History
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Mehr, Kahlile B., "Preserving the Source: Early Microfilming Efforts of the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1938-1950" (1985). Theses and Dissertations. 4936.
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Genealogical Society, History