Since 2009, the Martin F. Schmidt Research Library has been a Family Search Affiliate Library. This affiliate status designated our location as a “FamilySearch Center” and delivery point for the microfilm lending program. For almost a decade, Kentucky researchers have been able to borrow records on microfilm from the FamilySearch headquarters in Salt Lake City, Utah and view them here in our library. On September 7th, FamilySearch decided to end this loan program in order to concentrate on digitizing images for free access via their popular website: FamilySearch.org
Here is a portion of their FAQ concerning the change:
- After film ordering ends, if customers need access to a particular film yet to be digitized, they can express interest to have it added to the priority digitization list by contacting FamilySearch Support (Toll Free: 1-866-406-1830).
- All of the microfilm rented by patrons in the past 5 years have now been digitized by FamilySearch—over 1.5 million microfilms (ca. 1.5 billion images).
- The remaining microfilms are being digitally scanned at a rate of 1,000 films per day and are projected to be complete by 2020.
- New digital images are available as they are scanned in the FamilySearch.org Catalog.
- Films currently on loan in family history centers and affiliate libraries are automatically granted extended loan status.
- Affiliate libraries now have access to nearly all of the restricted image collections as family history centers.
How this affects KHS library visitors:
- The IP addresses for affiliate library access of restricted material was submitted to FamilySearch in early October. They have notified us that our status has been activated and we should be able to view most restricted material on site, in our library – aka “FamilySearch Center”
- There will still be some material that cannot be accessed via the FamilySearch Center libraries due to contractual agreements – but this number should be very small
- While we did get the official word of our access, there are still some bugs in the system – there is a small issue with some records being denied access in error – the issue is still pending resolution and they hope to have it fixed within the next week
- For those of you with microfilm here at the library, FamilySearch has not designated this film as permanent loan, instead, the loan has been extended, but not indefinitely – we will review the return needs of each patron every 6 months until they are finished with use – OR FamilySearch designates a return deadline for all remaining film on loan.
Symbols/Icons to note when using FamilySearch.org:
No matter where you use the website, you will see some icons next to the record listings that guide you in access rules.
If you encounter the symbol of a microfilm reel, this record has NOT been digitized and will only be available in Salt Lake City at the Family History Library. In the FAQ above, a phone number was listed to call in order to request some titles get placed in priority digitization status.
If you encounter the symbol of a camera, by itself, you can access the images from anywhere, even from home.
If you encounter a camera in a dark frame or box, this record set takes you to a partner site that MAY require a subscription to access. FamilySearch Centers/Affiliate Libraries CANNOT provide access to these images unless they are free sites OR have a subscription to the partner site – such as Ancestry.
If you encounter a camera with a little key above it, this contains a set of restricted records. These include images that should be available at KHS or any other FamilySearch Center/Affiliate Library. **With the caveat that a very small portion of the locked images may not be available unless accessing in an official Family History Center or the Family History Library in Salt Lake City. For additional assistance, here is a wonderful pdf instruction on how to access digital images at FamilySearch: http://broadcast.lds.org/fhd/FH_Find_Digital_Records_A4_WEB.pdf
Another Access Note:
When you are visiting the library for access to FamilySearch records, please take note of any blocked access messages you receive concerning restrictions. We will be periodically turning these record titles into FamilySearch until the bugs are eradicated. As of 10/21/17, we still have a case open to help with resolution of this issue – we are still seeing this restriction message with several “camera lock” icon record sets.
**There is also another error you may encounter with images accessed through one of their contracts: ExLibris Rosetta, supplied by ProQuest. We have encountered messages about restricted access, but based on traffic, not contractual restrictions. While talking to a FamilySearch representative, they informed us that the traffic block is based on system-wide traffic, and not based on the traffic of any one location. If you encounter this message, they do not have an estimated time for the block to be lifted – we are guessing this could be a daily reset – based on traffic for each day. Hopefully, even this blockage will be rectified over the months to come as FamilySearch settles in to this new arrangement.
To Sum Up:
FamilySearch projects this change will allow for their entire collection to be converted to digital images within the next few years. So, sit tight, please be patient – they are working very fast, and this change will benefit all in a very short time!