Why are there access limitations on Historical Records?

Most access limitations come from the organization who owns or manages the original historical records. Others are most likely based on local data privacy laws. Limitations determine where and how FamilySearch can make the records available. We do our best to support these agreements and legal requirements so we can maintain the trust of our partners.

You can determine whether a record you want to view has access limitations.


  1. Search for a historical record.
  2. In the search results, a camera icon on the far right tells you that FamilySearch has images of the record.
  3. Click the camera icon. If the image has viewing limitations, a message explains the situation. For a list of the various messages and what they mean, see the related article.
  4. When you encounter a record with limited access, you may be able to get access in one of these ways:

What are the image restrictions in Historical Records?
Getting the Most from Your Search: Understanding the Search Records Page

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