For convenience, here is a link directly to the FamilySearch Catalog.
First, we need to know about the FamilySearch Catalog. Originally, this online catalog was taken from the massive paper card catalog maintained by the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah. Information about the Catalog can be accessed on the FamilySearch Research Wiki page, "Introduction to the FamilySearch Catalog." It should be noted that the FamilySearch Catalog now includes genealogical resources held by FamilySearch.org, the Family History Library, selected FamilySearch Centers, and selected partner libraries. It is also extremely important to understand that the FamilySearch Catalog is also integrated into the OCLC WorldCat.org Catalog. See this statement from the Research Wiki:
Also, the FamilySearch Catalog has been made available via OCLC WorldCat since 2014. OCLC WorldCat is an online union catalog of over 2 billion titles at 72,000 libraries in 172 countries and territories. Although it is the world’s largest bibliographic database for materials held around the world, OCLC WorldCat does not list sources housed in repositories outside their consortium.I am including footnotes and other references where applicable. I might also note that this Research Wiki page was last updated on 2 October 2015.
Now, what is included in the Historical Record Collections? Again, going to the Research Wiki, I find the following page: "FamilySearch Historical Record Collections." This page was last updated on 18 September 2015. Unfortunately, there is nothing on the page about the catalog entries made from the Historical Record Collections to the FamilySearch Catalog. Is there a way to tell if a collection added to the Historical Record Collections came from digital copies of microfilm in the FamilySearch Library or from the Records Acquisition Teams directly from digital cameras in the field? The answer to this question is yes, there is a way to tell the difference.
I selected one of the newer collections of images uploaded to the Historical Record Collections. In this case the collection was North Carolina Estate Files, 1663-1979 for Columbus County. I selected an image at random. Here is the image.
This particular collection contains 4,946,676 images. The citation to the collection is as follows:
"North Carolina Estate Files, 1663-1979." Database with images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2015. Citing Division of Archives and History. State Archives, Raleigh.
From the format of the image, it is apparent that this image was acquired via a digital camera. The reason this is evident is because the image is cropped on the sides. The images that are made from microfilm show the entire microfilm frame. Here is an example of an image copied from a microfilm record. The first frame in the series will be the microfilm number.
The dead giveaway is the second image on the roll of microfilm.
This particular film was also selected at random. For reference, it is United Kingdom, World War I Women's Army Auxiliary Corps Records, 1917-1920 with 264,610 images. The citations is as follows:
"United Kingdom, World War I Women's Army Auxiliary Corps Records, 1917-1920." Database with images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2015. National Archives, Surrey.
Both of these collections were added to the Historical Record Collections in November, 2015. The North Carolina Collection on the 4th and the UK Collection on the 6th. I make a point of this because there are two issues here. One is whether or not all of the collections are added to the FamilySearch Catalog and the second is how long it might take for the collections to be added given the fact that this is done by two different FamilySearch departments. What I am saying here is that the people adding the records to the Historical Record Collections are not the same people adding entries to the FamilySearch Catalog.
Now, it should be pointed out that both of these new collections have their individual page in the FamilySearch Research Wiki. Here are the screenshots of the Research Wiki pages for both collections:
Now the question; do either or both of these new collections have catalog entries in the FamilySearch Catalog?
The first collection, the United Kingdom, World War I Women's Army Auxiliary Corps Records, 1917-1920, is absolutely in the Catalog. It came from a microfilm. Here is a screenshot of the catalog entry showing the red link to the brand-new Historical Record Collection:
Now moving on to the newly acquired camera record. Is it also in the catalog? Hmm, yes it is in the catalog, but there is an issue here. It appears that the images were digitized in 2011. Were they actually done in the field with cameras or were they done as microfilm? Here is the screenshot of the Catalog entry.
Let's go back to the first image on this file and see if there is any microfilm information on the record. Hmm, there isn't any reference to a microfilm number. My conclusion is that given the date of the acquisition and the format of the record, it is likely that these images were digitized directly and are not microfilm copies. But that would only be conclusive if the images were acquired after they stopped using microfilm entirely.
The only real way to know if each and every collection in the Historical Record Collections is in the Catalog is to go through one-by-one and search. But rather than do that, I went to the next newest record on the Historical Record Collections list. These records are the New Zealand, Auckland, Port Albert, Membership Lists and Minutes from the Church of Christ, 1875-1926 added on 4 November 2015 and consisting of 108 images. Now, this particular title does not appear in the Catalog. But is there a catalog entry?
In fact, there is an entry for New Zealand, Auckland, Port Albert Church of Christ, Church Registers for 1875 to 1926. Here is the screenshot.
Note the arrow pointing at the new icons in the Catalog. This indicates that images are available for this record. In fact, there are 1121 images, many more than are included on the Historical Record Collection. Here is a screenshot of the thumbnail images.
From looking at these images, it is evident that this record was microfilmed back in 2004. See this frame from the record:
So what is the new Historical Record Collection? Are these some of the same records? Here is the record description of the records in the Historical Record Collections:
This collection will include membership lists and “reminiscences” (church minutes) from the Church of Christ in Port Albert, Auckland. The records span from 1875-1926. The original records are located in Albertland and Districts Museum in Wellsford, New Zealand.
You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for New Zealand, Auckland, Port Albert, Membership Lists and Minutes from the Church of Christ, 1875-1925.Does the microfilm contain the same records as the collection in the Historical Record Collections?
Well, there seems to be an issue, but there may or may not be. For the time being, unless someone wants to clarify this from FamilySearch, I suggest you keep looking at all of the records in the FamilySearch Catalog whether they have or have not been digitized and also that you review the records in the Historical Record Collections on the chance that the records have not been included, as titled, in the FamilySearch Catalog.
Thanks for the comment, it opened up a whole area for consideration.