Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could access all historical images for free at FamilySearch.org? Unfortunately as long as the ownership to access some of the images resides with other organizations this can’t happen.
I recently noticed some changes in how access to images is handled on FamilySearch.org. Perhaps the associated notes help us better understand the guidelines for accessing images.
Let’s take a test run! Let’s do a case study!
- Go to FamilySearch.org, make sure you are not signed in, browse by location to the USA, Canada and select United States Census 1910 (not 1900!).
- I don’t have any US ancestry (that I know of!) but let’s just search for last name Darby. Wow – over 11000 potential relatives!
- I like the name Sarah – so I click on Sarah G. Darby – but you can select any name you like – and I get the details and an image with a padlock on it and the message “Licensed images require sign in for access options.”
- Don’t panic!
- Look below the Padlocked image and click on the link “About Image Restrictions” – now you see the guidelines:
“Founded in 1894, FamilySearch.org is the largest nonprofit genealogy organization in the world. Working with FamilySearch, more than 200,000 volunteers are expanding the world’s largest collection of free family history records available online.
FamilySearch wants to make the worldwide records preserved in its archives available to as many people as possible—and to do so on a free and unrestricted basis; however, free and open access to digital images is not always possible.
Restricted Records Images
Although FamilySearch holds copies of billions of records from around the world (including more than 2.4 million rolls of microfilm), the organization does not own most of the records it has archived. FamilySearch provides free access to searchable indexes when indexes are available, but viewing digital images online is sometimes restricted at the request of records custodians. As part of the service provided through FamilySearch.org, the site will link to where those restricted images are available on other websites. As a nonprofit organization, FamilySearch does not participate in referral fees or in the revenues generated through its relationships with other websites.
Accessing Restricted Images
The following is a list of ways you may be able to access images that are restricted on FamilySearch.org:
- Visit the site of the records custodian. FamilySearch.org often links to images when they are available on third-party sites. These sites may or may not require payment to view their online images.
- Access the online image from a FamilySearch Center. FamilySearch has more than 4,600 Family History Centers located around the world. Find a FamilySearch Center near you. FamilySearch Centers also provide a microfilm ordering service for records that are not yet available online.
- Make a significant contribution by indexing 900 points worth of records during a calendar quarter. Learn more about FamilySearch indexing.
- Belong to a sponsoring organization. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the largest sponsoring organization of FamilySearch.
If you believe you meet one of the qualifications above, please use the link to “Sign in” above. If you don’t have a FamilySearch account, you will see how to register for a free account after clicking the “Sign in” link.””
- Sign in and the padlock is unlocked, you can access the image, and are given other options.
When we are helping members of the public we should draw their attention to the information on using FH Centres – where many premium sites are accessible free of charge in the portal.
(Please note: I am trying something new – I am including 2 images in this article – I hope they come through OK)
A new website for you to try – familysearch for youth!