How do I use the catalog to learn more about the collections in Historical Records?

Historical Record Collections

Historical record collections on FamilySearch can come from various sources:

  • Digitized microfilms: A record collection can come from more than one digitized microfilm of similar content.
  • Images of historical records that we captured as digital images
  • Third-party subscription websites who share content with our users, sometimes for a fee

Search the catalog

To find more historical records or learn about the contents of a microfilm, search the catalog.

  • To see what additional historical records are available, search by place.
  • Search by number. Find the number as you browse images of historical records. Or look at the Document Information field on a record details page (the page that shows the indexed information from a historical record).

In a catalog entry, scroll to the Film/Digital Notes section. Here you can see the kinds of records and date ranges for each microfilm number.

Find historical records not included in Historical Record Collections

The catalog can help find other microfilms that are not in the Historical Records Collections. After you search, if you see a camera icon in the Film/Digital Notes, you can click it to browse digital images. If you see a camera icon with a key over it, the digitized images have some viewing restrictions. To learn about the restrictions, click the icon. A magnifying glass icon indicates that some portion of the microfilm is indexed. To see if you can search the index, click the icon. Some indexes have restrictions that do not permit use of the index.

How do I search the Catalog for records?
Where do I find the film number for a record image?
What is the document information in Historical Records?
Getting the Most from Your Search: Understanding the Search Records Page

Was this helpful?