Provenience of microfilms and microfiches
Hello! In the catalog of the FamilySearch Library, I have recently discovered some interesting baptism records from East Prussia (Germany): there are series of baptism-books ("Kirchenbuch" in German) accessible that originate from 18th century to the 20th century and have been photographed sometime in the 30-ties in Germany. According to the catalog, the FamilySearch Library possesses a series of black and white microfilms of these books (accessible online) and parallel series of microfiches (available in the reading room of the Library in SLC), here it is where I found it:
I would appreciate very much, if I could contact specialists from the FamilieSearch Library, who could provide me with more detailed information about the origin of these microfilms and microfiches. I guess this should be a historian or a specialist on the bibliography. I would like to discuss this question with someone competent.
Let me explain the nature of my interest: my Name is Vaidas, I am a researcher from Europe and the main field of my research is the East German literary history, especially the life and work of an important writer (who was also a priest) Christian Donalitius (1714-1780). Among the baptism records mentioned above are many written by Donalitius personally: being the priest, he baptized hundreds of children in his time and these particular records constitute the main object of my recent research. But there is no information about how and when these films and microfiches happen to come to Salt Lake City, which is the reason why I decided to contact the library with my question. I would appreciate very much a contact to competent person for this kind of information.
If you would like to know more about my academic activities and the research on Donalitius, please contact me.
Good morning @Vaidas6 You may wish to post in the group for Germany Research where you will find some people who may have more experience with the records.
You can also use the Free Research Consultation - button in Quick Links on the Home Page of this Community. https://go.oncehub.com/ResearchStrategySession0
I am not connected with FamilySearch. I would suggest emailing the FamilySearch Library at [email protected]
My general understanding is that in the 1930s the LDS church adopted a policy of microfilming church records in Germany and England, and perhaps in some other European countries. The LDS church had congregations in Germany, but from an article I read some time ago and only remember vaguely, I think a lot of the filming was done by LDS Church missionaries from America. Presumably the films came back to the Library in Salt Lake City.
The record for https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog/554679 says Publication: Leipzig, [Germany] : Zentralstelle für Genealogie, 1990 which means that FamilySearch has purchased a series of Microfilms published by this organisation, but when you look at this in conjunction with the other catalog entry https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog/28258 "Publication: Salt Lake City, Utah : Gefilmt durch The Genealogical Society of Utah, 1936", I think it is very likely the 1990 microfilms were filmed by Genealogical Society of Utah (now FamilySearch) as well.
Edit: The following article is about filming records after the war but it implies that pre war filming was not done by the LDS church https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/ensign/1981/06/the-langheinrich-legacy-record-gathering-in-post-war-germany?lang=eng Perhaps the 1936 filming was done by the Reichsamt fuer Sippenforschung,, as mentioned in the article?1
Thanks, MaureenE123. I am quite familiar with the pre-war history of the filming of German baptism-books (the article You mentioned describes it very vividly). It is the post-war history of the records that remains somewhat dim. By posting my question I was hoping to reach specialists from FamilySearch library responsible for the archival work at the FSLibrary: I guess, the library should possess the information about when and how those films and microfiches of German "Kirchenbuch"s were produced or purchased. Let me hope, someone will answer :)
Thank You for the suggested contact at FilmRequest, I'll try that one too.
@Vaidas6 Community is a public online forum. For privacy reasons, your request was edited to remove your contact information. Please see the Community Code of Conduct for more details.1