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I’m Frustrated

Browsing records using the FHL catalog number

Yesterday searching the death cert for Chicago, Cook, Illinois I was unable to find a record. Most likely the name was badly misread. I went to the FHL catalog to look up the number for the film and then went back to the pilot site and chose browse. I now see there is no way to browse records using the FHL# instead I need to know the DGS number.

After 15 + years of researching and always using the FHL film # in my source, I now find that film number useless. I wish the DGS and FHL# were linked so browsing can be done using either number.
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  • I am having a time thinking this problem through. We have two sites where the images are now available. Pilot which is being phased out and beta.familysearch.org. All Pilot records are now being placed within the Beta site. So I hope you looked at both sites for the name as well as every variant spelling you could think of. Sometimes looking for the spouse or children will give you a hint as to the spelling on the record.

    You state that you were in the pilot site and did not find a record and yet you are looking for a film number. I assume you looked in the Family History Library Catalog for the Illinois Death and Stillborn Certificates for 1916-1947. This Entry: Death certificates for the State of Illinois, 1916-1945, excluding Chicago with the exception of stillbirths; index, 1916-1938; internet index, 1916-1950 has one film number for the and many for the certificates. The catalog entry also gives you a link to the digitized records.

    On the pilot site for any record, there are several options. The bar above the name states the collection name and date, digital film number and the image number.

    The record, when you hold the curser over the name, gives details including the film number and then by clicking on the name, the record shows another listing of the certificate details including, the film number, digital film number, the image and reference number. The image number may not match the exact number on the image on the screen.

    As you state correctly that the film number will be the source number but now also the digital film number will need to be added as an additional source of the actual record.

    I feel that the digital film number and the FHL catalog film number are already linked in the details of the record as stated.

    I will forward this suggestion to the digitizing department for their review.
    Thank you for your input and please keep using our sites and giving us your suggestions.
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  • Bonjour
    I tried to acceed directly an image using URL looking like this one :
    http://pilot.familysearch.org/records...
    where
    - fs%3A1636101 is the collection
    - 04271765 is the DGS (digital film number from the Genealogical Society of Utah)
    - 00383 is the image number
    But that don't works correctly.
    So, I am obliged to use an URL running a full research :
    http://pilot.familysearch.org/records...
    This one works correctly, but is heavy and sometime inoperant for other events.

    Help me please to find the right syntax for direct access if it is possible.

    Thanks

    Robert Marhic
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    One should be able to browse the FHLC and if a film is digitized, one should be able to click on the film and browse through the film.

    I have been told that some links between the FHLC and Historical Records are being made at the collection level. It should also be on the film level.

    Historical Records is linked to the Research Wiki and visa versa. They should also be linked to the FHLC. In other words, all three should be linked to each other (FHLC to Historical Records & Research Wiki, Wiki to Historical Records & FHLC, Historical Records to FHLC & Wiki).

    As was explained, the DGS # is pretty close to a film. Why have another # instead of reusing a # that is already in use?
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  • Gentlemen,

    As records are digitized from the films, the films will become obsolete. The DGS # is different than the film #, because the DGS # it is the number given for the specific image, page, document that is digitized. The order may be different than on the film and corrections can be made to the collection containing a group of DGS #'s, etc. At some point the only number we will have is the DGS #.
    • So, are you saying that the films will be completely going away in addition to the FHLC?
    • That is good, but there is a very large body of material taht refers to the microfilm number that exists, whther it be online, offline, or in a variety of other formats, rendering it impossible to fully discard the old film numbers.

      One project on the wiki was started early because of all the old documents and articles circulating, and that was the early-70s changeover to the current film numbering and how to convert the old film numbers to the current way of film numbering.

      Therefore, there will have to be a way to cross-reference the old film numbers to the DGS numbers. What is being done about that?
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  • Good points James. One thing that we need to also remember is the amount of time it will take to digitize and index all of the films. Until that time happens, the old process will still be very much needed. The suggestion on cross-linking ALL the FHLC, Wiki, and Historical Records seems like a great solution for those that have made some decisions and those doing research.
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  • There has been some talk about having the Family History Library become a "Virtual Library".

    What is a virtual library?
    1. The worldwide collection of online books, journals and articles available on the Internet.
    2. It is a library in which the holdings are found in electronic stacks. It is a library that exists, without any regard to a physical space or location. It is a technological way to bring together the resources of various libraries and information services, both internal and external, all in one place, so users can find what they need quickly and easily.

    Here is a very interesting article with advantages and disadvantages of this concept, if you are interested. http://www.llrx.com/features/virtuall... article by Holly M. Riccio In this article is a quote: "We, as librarians, are going to have to live in both [the print and the digital world] for some time."

    Have a great day!!
    • It seems like you are suggesting that the Family History Library (FHL) will be going away which would mean that Family History Centers (FHCs) would also. That is contrary to everything that I have heard. If that were to happen, I really doubt it would be for several years, so that does mean that we need to live in BOTH (print & digital) worlds and therefore would need them to be cross-referenced.

      Just because Google Books has a book digitized does not mean that they eliminate the call number. They may have a special digitized ID, but you can still access the book by call number. Likewise, we should be able to access via call/film number or digitized ID and have full cross-referencing.
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  • I’m wondering when some one will wake up
    SOrry to say this - but ---- there is no guarantee that future researchers will have the means to 'view' a virtual library that we construct today. IViewing requires a device that a human can use(a screen or such) (probably powered), and a device to 'decode' the virtual image ( could be same as first device) . There is no guarantee that these will exist. THe Rosetta stone and papyrus scrolls are still usable as all they require is being looked at. The microfilmed rolls are also readable without anything more than light and a magnifier - both very low tech. These resources in the FHL should not be allowed to disappear in favor of an all virtual collection.
    Having said that before the beta site or old search is shut down - the 'geek ' squad putting together the new site has to incorporate the ability to browse records that was so useful on the beta site. The ability to browse is a necessity - record keepers from earlier days had different ideas on spelling. We know our families and often find the missing member by 'browsing' surrounding pages in an historical records. Indexing does not help when the missing child is listed by a nickname and mispelled surname ( say Soblau instead of Peplow or Line instead of Lyons). Every film for which you have a digital image should have an icon next to it in the library listing to click on for browsing. If part of it has been indexed the icon should also appear next to the reference in a search result listing.
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  • I’m VERY frustrated!
    In my opinion, this is still a huge problem. I, too, would like to browse a birth register, because I am pretty confident about the year of birth, but not at all sure that the name was spelled correctly, either by the original recorder on the register, and/or by the indexer. I know which FHL film number I need (1287729, for June 1884 - May 1885)), but NO idea which DGS number this would be - and I should not have to browse ALL the DGS files for the collection (Illinois, Cook County Birth Registers, 1871-1915) just to figure out which is the right one!

    It seems to me it should be simple enough to set up an index or wiki page showing the correspondence between FHL film numbers and DGS file numbers.
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