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Collections Need to Be Viewable from Any Location

I found myself getting all excited the other day when I saw that the records for the Campobasso area of Italy had been added to the collections list. Unfortunately, as I sat down to try and finally make some headway on my research in this area I learned that every image I tried to browse was only viewable if I was physically sitting at a FamilySearch Center. I have had a similar situation with a few other collections in the past such as the Landed Estate Court Files for Ireland. I do not understand why this is necessary. Whether a person is sitting at home or in a public library or at a FamilySearch center, the image that they are seeing would always be the same. I am assuming that a person would be allowed to photograph/print copies of these images at a center anyway. This research limitation is very frustrating as not all of us have a center close to our homes or the luxury of time/money to commute and work around its hours. It also does not seem to be very modern in light of all the other changes taking place on the FamilySearch site to make everything more open and shared. I would like to see the reasons for these restrictions re-examined and all collections posted to the catalog to be viewable from any location if they are going to be made viewable at all. Thank you.
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  • 1
    Such restrictions are due to the mandates of document owners. If FamilySearch did not accept the owner's conditions, the images (and possibly the indexes) would not be available at all.
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  • I like this answer to your question JML; http://bit.ly/TBPify I hope it helps, in addition to Jade's answer.
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    I think that video should be available as a context sensitive help whenever FS displays a "limited" collection.
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  • I appreciate your replies and understand that the document owners have concerns about granting access, but I just cannot understand the logic behind the location-specific viewing agreement. If I go to a FS Center and look at a collection and ask to take photos or make print-outs of documents relating to my ancestors/relatives, am I going to be denied? I don't think so (and again, maybe I am misunderstanding something here). Therefore, it seems that anyone can just photograph or scan copies and then share the documents after they leave the center whether it be on social networks, emailing them to relatives to discuss, posting them to online family trees, etc. I know that I am just one user of the site, but I wanted to share my frustrations as it is a big let-down for me to learn that something I have been hoping for a long time to access is finally right here at my fingertips on FamilySearch on my laptop/phone, and yet I cannot see it in its full form and examine it for myself (and in some cases, there are not even indexes yet to assist with it).

    I have done a lot of indexing in the past too, and so I understand that there are limits it presents as well. Human error aside, there limits to the amount/level of detail that is often indexed and there are often very long turnaround times involved (especially for non-English records). I am still hopeful that some changes can take place in the near future as more people and document owners understand the changes that technology is bringing about and that we are in a much more open, shared environment than has existed in the past. Thank you again for your replies.
    • Some or many holders of documents to which genealogists want access have policy or doctrinal guidelines that do not value your genealogical interests. There may be no sympathy at all to a "much more open, shared environment than has existed in the past."

      Access restrictions may prohibit copying by any means.
    • Much as I agree with most of the views expressed by JML4543, it is probably best not to make too much fuss about this issue.

      When I visit the Society of Genealogists' library in London I have to sign an undertaking not to copy any material viewed relating to the county of Suffolk. I assume this ensures all applications / payments for copies goes directly to Suffolk Record Office.

      If not careful, we could find ourselves worse off - by the custodians of the original documents placing a prohibition of copying of "their" material at FHCs.
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