digital

Prepared by Elisabeth Lindsay.

As pertains to computers, the word digital refers to data in the form of numerical digits; that is, data available in electronic form that can be read and manipulated by computer. A digital camera, for example, requires no film and allows you download digital images to your computer. A digital document can be sent electronically, rather than in the physical form of paper and pen. Digital also stands in contrast to analog, in which numerical digit transmissions replace wave forms: digital radio, digital TV, digital cable, etc.

It might be said that we live in the "digital age," an age in which many physical properties become virtual or non-tangible. The digital age has been and continues to be of great benefit to genealogy. Volumes of data, previously accessible only in physical form, have now been digitized, allowing content to be stored and transmitted on computers. Much of this content is available for free on the Internet and even more is available through commercial genealogical web sites. The digitizing of small and large collections by local and federal governments, as well as private repositories, is a boon to researchers. Perhaps the most anticipated digitization project is that of the LDS Church and its efforts to digitize it's entire archive of content, to be made available for free through the Church's web site, FamilySearch.org.

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