Sad news for many genealogists: the Provo, Utah Tabernacle went up in flames early Friday morning from an unknown cause. The roof has collapsed into the structure and the building is probably not salvageable. It was one of the oldest buildings in Utah.
You can read more about the fire on dozens of web sites if you start at http://goo.gl/YNHai
As sad as this news is, I doubt if there is any huge loss for genealogists. While there may have been genealogy materials stored in the building, I doubt if these were the only copies. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has wisely created duplicate copies of almost all their holdings on microfilm and, more recently, in digital images. A single fire in any one location will not destroy a significant amount of the Church's records.
Do you have similar precautions for your personal records or for the library or society that you belong to? If a fire or other disaster occurs in your society's library or in the nearby museum or in your home, will the information still be available to future genealogists?
In the past year or two, this newsletter has contained stories about original records destroyed by fire, earthquake, a building collapse, floods, and even by burst water pipes. Sadly, not all of the records had been copied with those copies stored elsewhere.
Whether on paper, on microfilm, or on computer disks, every bit of potentially valuable information should have duplicate, triplicate, and even additional copies made and then stored in multiple locations.