Genealogy from the perspective of a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon, LDS)

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Over 600 Million Digitized Images Only in FamilySearch Catalog

You might not be aware that there are over 600 million digitized record images that are only available for viewing from the Catalog. These images are not included in the commonly searched Historical Record Collections. I have written about this before, but this past week, I have already found people in a Family History Center that did not know that there were digitized records that were viewable only from searching in the Catalog.

The images in the catalog correspond to microfilm rolls that have been digitized and added online but not yet processed into the Historical Record Collections. There are several Brigham Young University Family History Library Videos about searching in the Catalog and they won't go out of date unless there are major changes in the Catalog. Here is one of them.

Catalogs: The Key to Using and - James Tanner

The digitized microfilm rolls in the Catalog are indicated by small camera icons next to the film description. Here is a screenshot of a Mexican microfilm entry showing the camera icon:

If you are looking for records on the website, it is necessary to begin your searches by using the Catalog so that you are sure you are finding all the digitized images. 

There is some confusion over the issue of digitized images vs. those that are both indexed and digitized. Indexing allows the users to search for records using the indexed fields in the records. Indexing on FamilySearch is a labor-intensive operation relying primarily on volunteers. Only a small percentage of the total number of digitized records have been indexed. When you do a search in the Historical Record Collections, you are only searching this small percentage of all the records that are available in either the Historical Record Collections or those only available in the Catalog. The Catalog is the only place on the website that lists all of the available records: those that have been digitized, those that are still in microfilm format and all of the other resources such as the digitized books. Again, when you are searching for a name on you are only searching the indexed records. 

The numbers of records indexed and digitized on the website change almost daily. There are always more records both indexed and unindexed. Keep looking and keep repeating your searches. 

1 comment:

  1. I watched your linked BYU family history youtube about catalogues. Thanks for continuing education.