Digital Content and the FH Library Catalog

The FH Library in Salt Lake has a very comprehensive and helpful catalog that is available to us online at FamilySearch.org.  It is helpful in finding what records are available for the place where our ancestors lived, so we usually search by Place.  There are many other ways to search but they would need a whole workshop!

We have been pleased to see the great efforts being made by FamilySearch to digitize family history resources.   This isn’t limited to microfilms – and the companion Indexing projects.  There is now an extensive collection of digital books available at FamilySearch.org (currently under the Search tab and select Books) – that collection is now over 150,000 items – not just family histories but also reference books – and is generally accessible to us from home.

The Family History Library has other digital collections that have been available on computers at the library – books and CDs –  but some of which are being made available to us over the internet!  This is good news!  But, you need to understand some of the rules for accessing them!

You may encounter access to digital materials when you do a search in the Catalog (Familysearch.org, under the Search tab, then Catalog).  You may then find that you are denied access!  You need to understand the following:  Copyright, Number of viewers, and Location!

Some digitized materials are still under copyright and the owners of the material may limit the number of simultaneous viewers – so  if the library has one copy of the resource only one person at a time may use it, even after it has been digitized.  Some times the limit is more than one!  Also some materials are only available in the FH Library or in a FH Centre.

I found the following question and answer on the Internet this week in the FHCNET group:

Question:

“I punched in the film number, 1035529 (a book), in the search function of the

catalog. Apparently it has been digitized  and is available on the Internet.

I get this message in red:

“To view a digital version of Vol. 1 of this item click here.

To view a digital version of Vol. 2 of this item click here.”

When I “click here,” I get a new screen that says:

“You do not have sufficient rights to view requested object. Access Denied”

Where do I go from here?”

Answer from the Manager, Cataloging and Metadata Services, FamilySearch:

“When you click on the “To view a digital version of…this item click here” you are going to a digital copy of the book on the FamilySearch book site. In this case the book is under copyright and access is restricted to one user at a time, and only if you are in the Family History Library, a family history center, or a partner library. If you are in one of these locations and get this message, someone is viewing the book, and you need to try later.

We have been trying to get the message changed to explain this, but the request is sitting on the enhancement list waiting for priority. “

Let’s hope a clearer message appears soon!

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