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I’m frustrated

We need something on the catalog page that tells whether a record is restricted when it has a DGS number and a microfilm reel.

Here is an example: https://www.familysearch.org/search/c...

For those who know,we can tell that this microfilm has been scanned. However, there is no way to tell if it has restrictions or if it is in the process of being put online or if something isn't working quite right.

We get calls about these sorts of records in the Historical Records department and really have no way of telling. Something like the access levels for the book section would be very helpful.

Also, currently, the camera and key links are not working most of the time and just take us to an error message that says "Image Unavailable
This image is unavailable for online viewing at this time."

In other words, the only way we can tell patrons anything about restrictions on films is to look using a non-member account and look using the FHC test machines, and that only works for records with a camera symbol. We can't tell them anything about those with the microfilm symbol.
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  • Looking at the catalogue record above, I would take this to mean it is not available for the reasons given at the bottom of the catalogue page

    "The microfilm may have been scanned, but have a contractual, data privacy, or other restriction preventing access. FamilySearch makes every effort to enable access dependent on decisions of record custodians and applicable laws."

    Data privacy doesn't seem an issue in this case. There have been other topics about this issue, but the most likely reason is that the issuing archive, although it allowed microfilms, will not allow digital images of these same microfilms. Perhaps there is a pay website somewhere where these records are available online, and this is the reason digital images from FamilySearch have not been allowed.
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  • Rebecca

    On your first point, FamilySearch has never publicised this sort of detail. I once waited around three years before a collection I wanted to view finally appeared online. Up till then I had no idea if I only had, say, a few weeks more to wait or possibly another three years! For some time there were not even notifications when new material did become available - even now that can be rather useless if the announcement reads, say, "22,876 images added to existing collection". Without finer detail you are clueless as to whether these might relate to your place / parish of interest, or something in the collection in which you would have no interest.

    At present, the Catalog generally seems to be the best way to discover the status of FamilySearch material - but you have obviously found the flaws with this. So, regarding your second point, you might wish to read the comments at https://getsatisfaction.com/familysea.... It was confirmed to me that the message can appear wherever you are (home or FHC) so, until the problem can be sorted, one has to be patient and keep loading the page until the viewing status of the film is confirmed.

    It really is too bad that the precise details that must be held by some internal department within the FamilySearch organisation cannot be shared more widely.
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  • Here is another Image Unavailable notice - GenealogyBank Obituaries, Louisiana, Time-Picayune 1997 Pt 8. The camera icon is shown and clicking on it without viewing the record you get to the film viewer, then the notice appears. If you do look at the record you see a note that says no image is available.
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  • Terry

    Found the same myself when initially loading the page, but after reloading a few times got the "correct" message, as shown:



    (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/619...)
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  • Interestingly, FamilySearch manager Robert Kehrer once asserted that there could be no warning of any possible restriction at the start of a search on a historical records collection. The reason, he stated, was that SOME of, say, the parishes and/or periods for material in a particular HRC might be available to view without restriction, but other parts not so.

    I would be grateful if a FamilySearch employee could confirm this is NOT the case when it comes to a collection under a particular DGS number in the Catalog, and that ALL the records under that DGS film number must have the same status - restricted or otherwise.
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