What are Notes or Film/Digital Notes in the catalog?

The Notes and Film/Digital Notes sections of a catalog entry provide details about record content and format. If the item is printed material, you see a Copies section instead of Film/Digital Notes.


The Notes section is near the top of a catalog entry and can contain this information:

  • The origin and description of the record
  • The language of the records
  • The format of the record
  • A notice in red if the item is available online, with a link to the digital version.
  • If the original record includes an index.
  • For multi-volume works, which volumes the library owns.
  • A link to WorldCat for items in book form

Film/Digital Notes

The Film/Digital Notes field can contain this information:

  • Note—the record type, date range, volume numbers
  • Location and Collection or Shelf—the location of the item in the FamilySearch Library
    • Off-site storage means that the item is digitized and in storage away from the library. Guests can contact the FamilySearch Library and request a digital copy to view at the FamilySearch Library.
    • On loan means that the item is out of the library temporarily.
  • Film— a microfilm or microfiche number with or without an item number
    • When you click to view images, it always opens at Item 1. To find the specific Item number of interest, navigate through the thumbnail images.
  • Image Group Number (DGS)—the number for digital images
  • Format—icons to indicate ways to view a record
    • Magnifying glass indicates that some portion of the item is indexed.
    • Camera allows you to browse digitized images.
    • Camera with a key explains viewing restrictions.
    • Film reel indicates that FamilySearch has a physical version of the material—a microfilm or microfiche. The record custodian denies user access to the digital images.
    • No icon means FamilySearch lacks a physical copy and the record custodian denies user access to the digital images.

Why is no camera icon showing for a digitized microfilm in the catalog?
Where do I find a FamilySearch history center?
How do I use the catalog to learn more about the collections in Historical Records?

Was this helpful?