My roots are in Hampshire and several parishes in the Catalog are just displaying the film reel symbol, indicating that they have not been digitised. When will these records become available, please?
Hello @Adrian Martin, thank you for posting in Community! Although all FamilySearch records are digitised, there are still restrictions in place. The following statement regarding this may be helpful.
"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. "
When you try to access your record, it should give some information as to where you may be able to view it. Hope this helps you, but if it doesn't, please reply to this discussion 🙂
The film reel icon doesn't indicate lack of digitization. It just indicates lack of online availability.
If there is a number in the DGS column, it means the film has been digitized.
Many records are digitized but are not available online, or are available only at FHCs and Affiliate Libraries, or to Latter Day Saints only.
There is a huge amount of microfiche material has has not been digitised. In my experience, this often relates to indexed material - some to (indexed) IGI batches.
Looking at the page at https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog/766154?availability=Family%20History%20Library I believe the microfilms (like the film listed here) relate to print-outs, but the subject content is probably quite mixed.
The material I was most glad to see digitised was that taken from 16mm film. The GSU used a variety of formats for its records, but 16mm microfilms were generally very difficult to read - especially with the poor quality of dedicated viewers that are / were available.
Much of the microfiche material will not be of any great value today, although some will probably still only be available for viewing at a Family History Centre - if at all.
I am just another 'lowly' User/Patron ...
Further to what has already been proffered ...
Here are some "Knowledge Articles" in 'FamilySearch":
I hope that these may also help/assist, somewhat; and, provide some additional, insight; and, perspective.
Thanks for the various answers. Sadly, having visited my local FHC, the records I want to use are not available. See attached "snip" which relates to my request to view Parish Registers for Soberton.
So much for all the filed records being available!
Sadly, although, in the 'FamilySearch' "Catalogue" above indicates, the "Type" is "Film", they are NOT "Film".
IF, you go take a 'look', in the 'FamilySearch' "Catalogue", for the individual records; THEN, you will 'see' that the "Physical" Form, of all those records is indicated; as, "Microfiche".
Where it states:
We are unable to take requests to digitize microfiche.
We apologize for the inconvenience. With the completion of film digitization in 2021, the family history department plans to begin to digitize our microfiche collection.
We suggest that you return to FamilySearch from time to time to see if the records you want to view are available online.
Attention: @N Tychonievich
................. A "Fault"/"Flaw", in the "Catalogue", for the "Type", for those Records - you may like to join in.
................. ie. "Numbers" starting with the "6", for many experienced Users/Patrons, are "Microfiche", NOT Film
@Adrian Martin Thank you for providing a shot of the actual catalog entry you are interested in. The film reel icon in the format column can be confusing. Really, all it's telling you is the a hard copy of the record is at the family history library in Salt Lake City. That hard copy could be in microfilm or microfiche format. But, notice the Collection/Shelf column indentifies all of these as fiche (microfiche). Lots of folks assume that fiche and film are the same thing, but they aren't. All of the microfilms are digitized, but not necessarily available to view online. So far, FamilySearch has not begun to digitize the fiche. This help center article raises the expectation that digitization of the fiche is coming--but we have no idea when.
The physical microfiche are still available to search at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah. And some family history centers still have fiche collections. Unfortunately, we do not have a record of which centers have which fiche, so you'd have to contact centers to ask about any given fiche.
Sorry for the frustration this causes. The announcement of film digitization certainly created an expectation to be able to view anything you find in the catalog online. Sadly, that is not the case.
When microfilms were recalled (and despatched), we were told to destroy all microfiche - and did! In hindsight, as ever, we should have just kept the microfiche! If I want to view microfiche records, I now have to travel to the appropriate County Record Office - or the Family History Library in Salt Lake City! Great!
Assuming what you said is true, our FHC still has all microfiche. We want to update the center and haven’t used fiche for years. We have started looking online to see if fiche are available. Some obviously are and some have more than one area of research on one fiche number. If we do this work is it worth our while?
I have the same problem with films 6300879-6300883. These films obviously do only exist on fiche. They are supposed to be from the Erzbischöfliches Diözesanarchiv in Breslau (Wroclaw), but in their catalogue these church books don't exist anymore (so I suppose they might have been destroyed in WWII).
Are there any people (service providers) in SLC who might for a fee have a look at those fiches? Otherwise I do not see any chance to access this data (i.e. it is lost) as a trip to Utah from Europe is somewhat inefficient for only a few data.
As far as I am aware, there has been no update from FamilySearch concerning the digitizing of microfiche - which it had been announced would commence after completion of microfilm digitization.
It is possible that someone at SLC would be prepared to make limited checks, as part of the free look-up service. Perhaps another Community member could advise of the contact details, as I have never used this facility myself.
Also, perhaps a FamilySearch employee / moderator would kindly arrange for an update regarding any progress (even a start!) in digitizing its microfiche collection.
I checked with the free lookup service and they told me, that due to restrictions they cannot give me any data (not even verbally or a transscript) from these films.
Support on the other hand told me, that I can view the films in SLC (so why not any other person?) or I would have to research for the original church books (which do not exist anymore).
So I am somewhat deadlocked here.
If these records are subject to restrictions (perhaps the record custodian holds the rights to publication of the transcripts, too, in spite of the originals possibly being destroyed) there is indeed little you can do. However, I understand that some individuals who provide information through the look-up service take a different angle from others on the issue of "restricted material". So it might be worth having another attempt later on, to see if you can get a satisfactory response.
I assume you have tried other avenues, such as availability of the material on a commercial website. Again, another Community member might have alternative suggestions.
Depending how important these records are to you, perhaps you may consider hiring a researcher to look at the microfiche for you.
In 2019 I asked on the then Forum about a researcher and was told "Two places to find a researcher in Salt Lake are .... and the Association of Professional Genealogists directory." The website for the latter is
I have no connection with this organisation, and I have not hired a genealogist myself.
Edit: Even if microfiches are digitised I suspect that they will be treated like books for copyright purposes, and will not be available because they have been "published" relatively recently in most instances.
Repeating the URL above