If you have ever done research and find that the records you need are on microfilm, the usual routine was to go to your local Family History Library and order the microfilm from Salt Lake. A few weeks later the microfilm roll would be delivered to your local library for you to search. Now - that process is going to get a whole lot easier.
Twenty (20) million new browsable images are available online at FamilySearch (via their beta site: http://Beta.FamilySearch.org.) FamilySearch is releasing their digital images as soon as possible in browsable format (without indexes), which gives patrons quicker access to the records. You can preview these records in a similar method as if you were reviewing microfilm with a microfilm reader. Below is a sample of one of the "microfilms" now available for browsing:
Announced on October 7, 2010, FamilySearch also published its first digital Chinese collection, along with additional digital image collections from Belgium, Germany, Guatemala, Mexico, Netherlands, Philippines, and Puerto Rico. Twenty million additional indexed records were also published for Civil War and Revolutionary War collections and the 1851 Census for England and Wales.
While we are waiting for these records to be indexed, search them in the comfort of your own home online - it might just save you a trip to the library (and the cost of ordering a film).