Why are some catalog items available only as microfilms?

Not all microfilms are digitized yet, which means a microfilm is not yet available in a digitized version on the FamilySearch.org website. There are several possible reasons:

  • The microfilm may not be a priority to scan now, because the same content is already available on FamilySearch.org, on a partner or subscription site offered in family history centers, or on a free archive site.
  • The microfilm may be scheduled for future scanning.
  • There may be a contractual, data privacy, or other restriction preventing access to the microfilm. FamilySearch is making every effort to ease restrictions, which are dependent on the decisions of record custodians and applicable laws.
  • In some cases, we do not have permission from the content owners to digitize the content.

Some content is digitized (you see a DGS number in the catalog entry), but not available to view online (you do not see a camera icon in the catalog entry). In these cases, a contractual, data privacy, or other restriction prevents us from making the images available online.

Related articles

Why are some catalog films unindexed?
How do I request that a microfilm be digitized?

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