Digital photographs make everything as readable as in the original books. At ArkivDigital we are experienced genealogists and understand the skills needed to find what you are looking for in the source material.
Below you can read about ArkivDigital and why we think it is so important to photograph the church books again, in color.
ArkivDigital - by genealogists for genealogists
History - black and white microfilms
Years ago very few people had the opportunity to try genealogical research. You had to travel to the different parishes or archives. If your relatives had been living far away you had to make long journeys and spend a lot of money just to find more information.
Between 1948 and 1963 the Mormon church (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) carried out microfilming of about 100 million pages from the Swedish archives. For the Mormons genealogy has a religious foundation. They try to map out relations to perform baptisms to bind together families in an eternal chain of relatives. Since the Mormons have their headquarter in Salt Lake City in Utah, USA and most Mormons live in the United States, the availability of the material was very important to them. As a thank you the Swedish state got their own set of the microfilms.
With the Mormon’s filming the availability improved for Swedish genealogists. You could lend a copy of a volume or visit a library to watch the films and it was possible to make copies of the material. In the 1980's the microfilms were converted to micro cards (microfiche) that are easier to handle.
Future - digital photographs in color
During the 90's and 00's both SVAR and Genline digitalized many of the old microfilms. Many people think that the original books at the archives are as black, and in many cases, unreadable as those images sometimes are. Fortunately that is not the case. It is the copies that are black and hard to read because the technology in the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s was not as advanced as today and the copies have been transferred several times since then, making the digital images copies of copies of copies. Since ArkivDigital photograph the old unique source material using modern technology the readability is far superior to the old images.
We have photographed all of Sweden's church books (series AI, B, C, E and F) up until 1894. Now we are digitizing the more modern church books (1895-1941) as far as rule of secrecy allows and we are almost done and hopefully we will finish this work by the end of the year 2012. When this, step 1, is done we will continue by photographing other exciting material available at the archives and that is useful for genealogists.
Everybody interested in genealogical research in Sweden need the church books. It is in this material we find all basic information about names, birth records and family. However, when you have researched a while you start to look for other kinds of information. You want to get to know your ancestors. What was it like living in former times? Were they rich or poor? When did they buy their house? The questions are probably as many as the number of genealogists. We will photograph all the material that makes it possible to learn more about you ancestors.