I have finally gotten back to indexing records for FamilySearch while watching television (instead of playing games on my phone). I've been working on the Elkhart County, Indiana Marriages and I am wondering if my indexing is discouraging people from finding the original records.
Indexing is supposed to make it easier for researchers to find the original documents. But when you index everything on a record, do people still want to view it? I know that great researchers want to see everything, but what about everyone else? If the image is attached to the index, then people will be more likely to view it. But what if they have to go searching for the document in microfilm or through a courthouse? If "everything" is in the index will they spend the time?
I love being about to search by parents' names and find my ancestors' siblings. I love finding their birth dates and places in the indexes to verify that I have the right person. But how much is too much in an index?
From the Indiana Marriage project: Does the index really need to include the name of the wedding officiant? It's great info to try to find a marriage record within church records, but does it need to be in the index? Should the index contain the number of previous marriages of each participant? Or should researchers use other information and the original record to find out about other marriages?
I know that some people will always only look at the index. But should FamilySearch be helping them out? Or should they limit the number of fields indexed? Another reason to limit the amount of information that needs indexing is that it would take less time to index and increase the number of records completed.
What do you think? Is this just me adding to the age old debate about indexing and original records or am I on to something?