Prepared by Elisabeth Lindsay.
Indexing is the process of classifying data to make items easier to retrieve. As defined by FamilySearch, indexing is "the transcription of the key fields in a record . . . so it will be searchable." Indexed records take time and are highly valued.
Through its volunteer indexing project, FamilySearch is indexing the digitized records of the LDS genealogical archive, making them searchable and available to the public online. At this writing, over 140,000 volunteers are signed up to do indexing and, working from home, are indexing about 1 million names a day. As indexing is a time-intensive process, the most important records are indexed first. To make more records available sooner, FamilySearch has developed its data straight through process, providing "image only" collections without indexing, allowing more records to be made available sooner. Indexing volunteers have the benefit of accessing restricted images. Those interested in joining the indexing project can learn more by visiting, FamilySearch.org.