Frequently Asked Questions: FamilySearch Affiliate Libraries 

June 6, 2019  - by 

What is a FamilySearch affiliate library? 

An affiliate library cooperates with FamilySearch International to help patrons have fun personal family history discoveries. This outcome is accomplished by affiliate libraries sharing FamilySearch’s digital record collections with patrons locally.

This partnership requires a signed contract and a shared static IP address with FamilySearch, which enables access to additional digital record collections.

What are the benefits of being an affiliate library?

A major benefit of being an affiliate library is access to additional digital records not available outside a family history center or an affiliate library. These digital records include images and names indexes. Currently, there are about 400 million original records available in a digital format that affiliate libraries have access to.

Affiliate libraries also receive a monthly e-newsletter subscription for reference staff to stay abreast of what’s new and the latest tips and tricks for supporting family history patrons.

A smiling family gathers around a computer at a library.

What does it cost to be an affiliate library?

There is no cost to be an affiliate library.

What is a partner library?

A partner library is a library (whether public, special, or university) that participates in FamilySearch’s Family History Book Scanning initiative to preserve local genealogical collections digitally.

FamilySearch provides all the equipment and resources to digitize the books, and the partner libraries help provide content to be preserved digitally, such as books that are in the public domain and have a genealogical or local historical value.

Some partner libraries host a FamilySearch scan center. Others may send books to a center to be scanned.

The contributing library for all books on the website is clearly identified. We also provide monthly statistics on usage for books from a partner library.

Is an affiliate library also a book scanning partner library?

It is possible to be both an affiliate library and a partner library. If you are interested in becoming an affiliate library or a partner library, email support@familysearch.org.

What is controlled digital lending?

Controlled digital lending is an option for some libraries and companies to circulate books digitally that are still under copyright. Currently, FamilySearch does not participate in controlled digital lending.

Does the Family History Library participate in interlibrary loan?

FamilySearch does not participate in interlibrary loans. Visit here to find libraries and organizations that participate in interlibrary loans.

What do the different icons in the FamilySearch catalog mean?

A screenshot of the FamilySearch catalog, including icons on the right describing the different kinds of access to records.

The FamilySearch catalog uses icons to quickly tell the patron the accessibility of the records they are seeking.  

A document icon.

  A document icon means that the resource is only an indexed record or transcription of the document.  

A camera icon.

  A camera icon means you can view the image of the original document from any web-enabled portable device.

A camera with a key on top icon.

A camera with a key icon indicates that access to an image is restricted, such as an image that can be seen only at an affiliate library or a family history center. 

Why are some images restricted to family history centers and not included for affiliate libraries?

FamilySearch publishes copies of records only after gaining permission from the original record custodian (generally a government agency) and faithfully abiding by all the stipulated conditions and applicable laws. To remain in compliance with these agreements and standards, FamilySearch occasionally needs to adjust access to specific records. If you cannot find a record that was previously accessible, it is likely due to stipulations from the record custodians. 

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Comments

  1. I have a lot of Genealogy research Books. Mostly regarding Irish research. For example: Index to Townlands and Towns, Parishes and Baronies; Topographical Dictionary of Ireland, Hand books, Histories, Clans of Ireland, etc. I have about 25 books in all and would like to donate them. Can you tell me where I can donate them and how I go about it?

  2. I look after the network (20 computers) for the Cooroy Noosa Genealogical and Historical Research Group. We are looking to become an affiliate library with Family Search. A question about the requirement for a static IP address. My instinct says that the static address is required for the external access from outside the group; nor for an internal computer.

  3. I need copy of original christening record. Where can I find access to microfilm of original document. Do all family history centers has access to the microfilm?

    1. The Family History Center has access to the documents, but you probably do too! Most of the films have been digitized and are available to you from home. For some you will get a message that they can only be viewed in a Family History Center. To find a christening, go to FamilySearch>Search>Catalog and then enter the place of the church. In the results go to churches and then select the church you are interested in. The listing will indicate if it has been digitized. 75% of films have been digitized and the rest will be completed next year.