I hesitate to accept the statement that all microfilm in the collection has now been digitized. As I recall, there are many microfilms that have contract limitations that restrict the Church from doing this. Am I wrong?
The digitisation of microfilms refers to the records produced in a digital format. This does not mean that all the digitised microfilms are available now to view online, in fact many are not, due to contractual or privacy reasons.
Yes and it also suggests the need to explain this to all who use FamilySearch. Just because something was on a film you have used does not mean it will now be available in a digital format. Contract limitations still apply.
In short: "digitized" does not equal "online".
Unfortunately, most people assume they're equivalent.
Yes, see my comment above.
The blog article came out at the time that the blog was migrating to a new platform. The article was updated on the old platform, but missed getting updated on the new platform.
This is the information that was added to the bottom of the article:
"All of the microfilms are digitized and published on FamilySearch. However, that does not mean they are all “available” for viewing. While the majority are broadly accessible, some will have varying degrees of access limitations governed by contractual agreements or other restraints. Where access limitations exist, most will be available through the FamilySearch Family History Library, a local FamilySearch center, or a commercial website. There are also some digital collections that are not currently available. We apologize for any inconvenience in these circumstances. "
The blog is still being worked on. The comments from old blog articles are being migrated into a new platform. Once that process is complete and the comments become viewable on the new blog, the ability to make comments on the blog will begin again.
See also the Press Release:
It has the note at the bottom that is currently missing from the blog article.
Thank you Amy Archibald for posting the Press Release dated September 21, 2021
Perhaps however the contents are not considered to have the desired "spin" for current users of the FamilySearch website, as from the FS website site map I accessed the category "In the News", and the Press Release just mentioned does not appear there.
The site map for "In the News" is from the News and Events section of the FamilySearch Blog.
The link I gave you is for the FamilySearch Press Room: https://media.familysearch.org/
Article quoted by Amy Archibald: ""All of the microfilms are digitized and published on FamilySearch. However, that does not mean they are all “available” for viewing."
I would assume from this that there should not appear in the catalog any items showing a microfilm icon (unless they are on Microfiche which I assume have not yet all been digitized.) You can tell by the reference number whether a microform item is on film or fiche and it seems to me, many items still have only the microfilm icon that are not on fiche. I assume it will take some time for all the digitized microfilm to make it into the collection of digitized items, how long I don't know, and those items under a contractual restriction should then appear with a camera icon with a key above it. Am I right or wrong in this? There are many items that used to be freely available as microfilms at FH libraries which are now simply not available at all because (according to the catalog) they haven't yet been digitized. I'm thinking for example of a burial register covering 1813 to 1890's for which the corresponding baptisms and marriages are freely available. It would be nice to know when we can again freely access these records.
@Barrie Robinson, the film-reel icon has been repurposed in the Catalog: it now means "not available online". Usually, this is due to contractual or privacy reasons. If the restriction does not seem to make sense, check whether it's a multi-item film. FamilySearch applies contracts and privacy laws on an all-or-nothing basis: if there are multiple items from different record custodians or jurisdictions, then the contracts with all of those custodians and the privacy rules of all of those jurisdictions must allow online publishing of the material. If there's even a single restricted image on the film or in the image group, then the entire film or image group is restricted.
Unfortunately, the digitizing project has not restored access to everything that went away when film lending was discontinued. The old contracts that applied to microfilms sometimes simply can't be re-interpreted to transfer to online publishing, despite the best efforts of FamilySearch's legal department.
@Julia Szent-Györgyi, thank you for the explanation of the repurposing. So I will need to look at the film contents in the catalog, and that may explain why an apparently unrestricted by contract item is no longer available. By this, I understand that the item might also not have been available at a family history centre? As the film would contain material that may not have been permitted by the contract to be viewed at all at the present time? Is there any process envisaged whereby unrestricted items on a film containing embargoed items can be extracted, catalogued and placed separately on the system so as to be available to view? If not, surely this defeats almost the entire purpose of microfilming the items in the first place?
From my relatively uninformed point of view it ought to be possible to separate these out automatically if there is a flag set for 'embargoed'.
But now I have just consulted the catalog and note that one set of burials I saw was not available was the only item on a film and ran from 1813 to 1847, so clearly the entity which gave permission for microfilming these records made a contract possibly not allowing the burials to be placed on-line until ALL of the burials were over 100 years old. So this explains some apparent anomalies.
Thank you again.
The microfilm digitization purpose was to digitally preserve the microfilm. Contractual rights by record custodians still prevail. Every microfilm was digitally preserved. That does not mean it is digitally accessible. Accessibility is determined by contract. If a record in the catalog shows a microfilm reel, that is how it is accessible.