Why are some records only accessible to members of LDS?
Why are some records only available to LDS members and not to all FamilySearch members? There are quite a number of records I cannot access for my ancestors because they are locked for access by members of LDS only. It is holding up my research because I cannot the see the records online and am too far away from one of your Family History Centers. Why can't these records, be accessible for everyone?
Thank you for your question.
FamilySearch is dedicated to providing the broadest access possible to records in its growing collections. Access limitations usually come from third parties who own data or technology pertaining to patron use of historical records. These limitations determine where and how FamilySearch can make the records available. We do our best to support these agreements so that we can maintain the trust of those we partner with and continue to work with them on future projects.
The Family History Library's Look-up service or the free online consultations might provide valuable help to further your research:0
These restrictions are usually due to contracts between the record owners (e.g. an archive, church, newspaper company, government department) and FamilySearch. Sometimes the big genealogical companies such as Ancestry.com and FindMyPast also have ownership of online records.
If a government department or archive is involved, you may be able to use Freedom of Information Laws to find out more. ReclaimTheRecords is an organisation that has had much success with this approach. It is usually illegal for a government to allow Latter Day Saints to have greater access to records than non-members. For example, in the USA this would be a violation of the 1st Amendment.0