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. Request a copy for use at the library with the Off-Site Storage Book Order Form.
    • On loan means that the item is out of the library temporarily.
  • Film—A microfilm or microfiche number
    • Some numbers include an Item number. When you click to view images, the image viewer always opens at image 1 of 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.

Important note

One or a few items with only film reel icons: Sometimes you see a catalog entry in which many films have camera icons, but 1 or a few have only film reel icons. Usually, the film number shows an Item number. If any items on a film have restrictions, FamilySearch must restrict all the items because portions of the digitized film have custodian restrictions. We cannot make any portion of it available.

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

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