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Lack of citation information for unindexed images only viewable at family history centers

Some unindexed probate records are attached to my ancestor, Lewis J Clifford (K2N7-Y6K). Some of the images are only viewable at a family history center, which is fine. The problem is that no film numbers or any other citation information other than a URL is visible on the record when linked to from Family Tree.

This needs to be changed. We need to have at least a film number, and preferably also the name of county, state and country, not just "Probate records" and a string of numbers. Some basic citation information should be visible in the public view, not just at the family history center.



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  • It would seem reasonable to get the system to attach the film number (or its new equivalent?) However, all the rest depends on someone actually looking at the data on the film to find out what the parish is, etc, etc, and the point is that this hasn't been done for un-indexed data. (Not from the point of view of the image).

    While the cataloguing data would seem useful for this purpose (because you probably go in via Parish X, Events Y, Year Range Z) you could actually navigate out of this range into a different parish on the same film (say) before attaching an image.

    Presumably the only current real answer is to ensure that the title of the source record is updated after attachment, because you are very right in highlighting the uselessness of that title! (Not that some of the FS indexed titles are much better - "England Births & Christenings" isn't particularly descriptive!)
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  • You might try contacting the contributor who attached it, and ask for a better citation. This can be done when attaching, at minimum replacing the title field with something more helpful. When I attach a nonindexed record I replace the title with the principal's name, the event, the place, and the year. This takes little effort.

    There is a notes field available, which may not appear on your example because it was left empty. I use that for a standard citation, with general information from the catalog and specific information from the image set. And I save them all to folders in my Source Box, in case I want to tweak the formatting or correct an error like navigating away from the image as Adrian mentioned.
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  • I am aware of these workarounds, and it is best practice to add as much information as you think is needed when attaching the record. But we all know not every user is going to do that.

    Even when looking at publicly available records, there is very little information provided by default about the unindexed sources attached to the tree. All it shows is the film number:



    As an advanced user, I would search that number in the catalog to get more information about the source, or look at the other images on the film to get my bearings. A beginner is not going to think to do that. FamilySearch could make it a lot easier by just copying over the film notes by default. You don't even have to put it in the citation field. Just put it somewhere where it is visible.
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    • Oh, I meant the breadcrumbs that sometimes appear above the film image, usually indicating a hierarchy of places, i.e. "State > County > Probate records, 1811-1962"

      Those are useful when they do appear.
    • If the film number is always included in the URL, that is helpful too, I hadn't thought of that. But again, it is something only an advanced user would use.
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  • Sorry; I'm late to the party. Here's the situation:

    - If there is a breadcrumb trail, there will be a citation and the trail will be included in the citation.
    - If there is no breadcrumb trail, the code that is supposed to produce the citation is failing. It was written before FamilySearch offered images without breadcrumb trails, and this situation had not been conceived of. I am campaigning to get the design fixed so that the citation appears, and does so with the image set number (DGS/film number).

    If and when this change takes place, all previously attached records will be updated automatically.

    We've considered including film notes or otherwise extracting information from the catalog entry. Unfortunately, the necessary information is not fielded, not well formatted, or too voluminous. We can't manually fix millions of film entries, so we are limited to whatever can be done via automation.

    --- Robert
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