Citing FamilySearch image only available by browsing film

There are lot of images on FamilySearch, from digitized microfilm, that have neither been indexed, nor are part of a collection. An example would be found here...

 

https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-99GD-7LXT

 

This is the death certificate for Max Dennis (died September 4, 1993). NC death certificate images from 1931–1994 are available to view, but are not indexed and are not part of a collection.

This film is DGS 4164956. This image can only be found by going to...

1. FamilySearch Catalog

2. Searching under "Film/Fiche Number" for "4164956."

3. Click on "Death certificates,1906-1994 and indexes 1906-1967; still births,1914-1953; fetal death indexes,1950-."

4. Scroll down the page to "Death certificates no. 42500-45499 v. 42B-45A 1993" and click the camera icon.

5. Go to image 3024 of 3203.

 

I'm curious how others here would cite this image. Do you use the headings given above, or simply cite the DGS number along with the image number? Are explicit instructions needed in regards to step 3 and 4 above since they are somewhat intuitive?

Everyone's input would be greatly appreciated.

Submitted byEEon Mon, 04/15/2019 - 20:14
ABCDEF, QuickLesson 25 offers a tutorial that covers citing Paths > waypoints for those browsable images. https://evidenceexplained.com/content/quicklesson-25-arks-pals-paths-waypoints-citing-online-providers-digital-images

I understand that, but that doesn't seem to have a solid application in this instance. These images are not available as "browsable images" like what you would find when clicking the "Browse through X images" link at the bottom of a collection page. For example, the "North Carolina Estate Files, 1663-1979" collection found here...

https://www.familysearch.org/search/collection/1911121

At the bottom there is a "Browse through 6,230,000 images" link. Selecting this brings you to a list of counties, each of which is clickable, a list of waypoints, if you will. Choosing a county takes you to a list of surname first letters, which in turn takes you to a list of clickable names. This example allows a near perfect application of the path citation mentioned in QuickLesson 25. However...

The images that I mentioned in my initial post (the NC death certs) have no such browsable feature or waypoints. There is no collection or database title to use, only a film and/or DGS number which must be searched for through the catalog. After clicking the initial heading, the list you are presented with is non-clickable. I suppose this list could be used in the same way as a path/waypoint would be, but I feel that it isn't completely clear and could lead to ambiguity unless each step is clearly explained.

Submitted byEEon Tue, 04/16/2019 - 07:12
ABCDEF, I'm in a travel situation where I cannot work fully through your example right now and discuss all the issues. I did access your record via the standard catalog search at FS, which also gives us a database name: "North Carolina, deaths, 1906-1930" under which the record description shows that the collection has been extended to include all the items covered under your no. 3. So there are multiple ways to access. Either way, you are right that the menu items you select can be used as waypoints along your path, even if FS embeds them into a different format. Try constructing your citation as a standard database at a website, with the path following the parentheses in which you place the URL and date ;when your path gets down to the image number, then you add the identification of what you see at that image.

Submitted byABCDEFon Tue, 04/16/2019 - 10:10

You stated "I did access your record via the standard catalog search at FS, which also gives us a database name: 'North Carolina, deaths, 1906-1930' under which the record description shows that the collection has been extended to include all the items covered under your no. 3. So there are multiple ways to access."

Unfortunately, that's not correct. The database / collection titled "North Carolina Deaths, 1906–1930" only includes records and links to images up through 1930. There is a separate database / collection titled "North Carolina Deaths, 1931–1994," but unfortunately it is a base only with no links to the actual corresponding images. I think some of the confusion may be coming from the fact that both databases / collections (1906–1930 and 1931–1994) are from the same microfilm collection found here...

https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog/639047

The only way I have found to access the images from 1931–1994 is to copy the film number from the database entry and search for it in the catalog to get to the corresponding camera icon and then manually scroll through the images in the correct DGS folder until I've found what I'm looking for...tedious but doable.

 

At any rate, my initial idea for the citation (which I'm not crazy about) was...

 

 

Death certificate for Max Dennis, died 4 September 1993, Randolph County, North Carolina; image, <i>FamilySearch</i>, Catalog, DGS 4164956, "Death certificates,1906-1994 and indexes 1906-1967; still births,1914-1953; fetal death indexes,1950-" > "Death certificates no. 42500-45499 v. 42B-45A 1993" > image 3024 of 3203; imaged from FHL microfilm 1992204.

 

Couple of things to note, I almost always start my citations with the actual document or specific person or item of interest. That's just what makes the most sense to me.

So in regards to the image layer of the citation, my question would be does it make sense to include the word "Catalog" at some point to specifiy that you have to use the Catalog to do the search or is this unnecessary? Also, are you saying that you believe it's clear enough to use ""Death certificates no. 42500-45499 v. 42B-45A 1993" as a waypoint even though it is not "clickable"? I feel like maybe it is since the corresponding camera icon / image link is on the same line. If this is acceptable, then it may be the solution to the entire issue.

Your thoughts?

Submitted byEEon Tue, 04/16/2019 - 17:45

ABCDEF,  I was indeed accurate in saying that I accessed the record using the path I stated last night.. I've just retraced that path. This is it:

1. In the FS catalog search box, query for "North Carolina"
2. Click "Vital records (48)"
3. Click "NC Deaths, 1906-1930." You are now at https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog/1609799
4. Under "References" in the top left corner, click on "Death certificates,1906-1994 and indexes 1906-1967; still births,1914-1953; fetal death indexes,1950- / North Carolina. Department of Public Health. Vital Records Section"
5. That puts you at https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog/639047. There, scroll down below "References" and you have two hot links:
North Carolina, Deaths, 1906-1930 are available online, click here.
An index for North Carolina Deaths, 1931-1994 is available online, click here.
6. Clicking the second option takes us to a search screen, where we enter "Max Dennis, 1993."
7. The "Results" page offer a link to view the record, which takes us to FS's transcription of the record and another link to view the original. 

You'll note that step 5 is where you have the option of choosing which of the two databases you want.

As for beginning a citation with the record vis a vis the provider, that flexibility is at the core of the "layered" citation issue. Some prefer to use one approach. Some prefer to use another. When using numerous records from a database, if our citation features the original record, then most software would create a master source for each of them. Conversely, if our citation features the database that provides the image,, then one master source suffices for them all. It's a matter of choice.

If you feel the word "Catalog" needs to be included at any point (or any other word for clarity), you should feel free to add it--just not within quote marks.

You also ask: "Are you saying that you believe it's clear enough to use ""Death certificates no. 42500-45499 v. 42B-45A 1993" as a waypoint even though it is not "clickable"?" and then go on to say that the camera icon beside it is clickable. Whether the hotlink is to the words or the icon beside it is all the same. It's your waypoint.

Submitted byABCDEFon Tue, 04/16/2019 - 21:22

There are a few issues with the 7-step path that you presented, but the most important is the fact that in step 7 you state that there is a link to the original image when there is no such link. Following steps 1–6 brings us to the following page...

https://www.familysearch.org/search/record/results?count=20&query=%2Bgivenname%3Amax~%20%2Bsurname%3Adennis~%20%2Bdeath_year%3A1993-1993~&collection_id=1584959

 

You will notice that there is no link to original image here. Clicking on the first result, "Max Dennis," actually reveals a camera icon on the right with the words "No image available" directly beside it.

The point that you missed here is that the second option you mentioned in step 5 ("An index for North Carolina Deaths, 1931-1994 is available online, click here.") leads to a database with NO links to the original images. The "North Carolina Deaths, 1906–1930" collection does in fact have the original images linked, but "North Carolina Deaths, 1931–1994" database does not.

 

All that aside, I certainly understand your point that it doesn't matter whether the link is to the words or the icon. The words still work as a waypoint even if they themselves are not linked and clickable. Much appreciated.

Submitted byABCDEFon Tue, 04/16/2019 - 21:37

My apologies on missing this point before my last post. I made my last post in haste without closely examining the results page. I see that you meant if you click on the icon for "view the record details" on the far right hand side, then you do in fact get a link to the image...very different result than clicking on the name in the results list as I was doing. It makes you wonder why they would not include this when clicking on the name directly. Perhaps they are in the process of linking the images to that particular database and it is in an incomplete state.

Again, my sincere apologies for not seeing this before.

So I guess the only other question would be, which is better path to use in a citation? Is there a preference?

 

 

Submitted byEEon Wed, 04/17/2019 - 06:44
ABCDEF, we've all been there and done that! When we have choices, EE would opt for the simplest/shortest choice that covers all bases--and, in your case, meet your preference for citing each record individually.

Submitted byHistory-Hunteron Wed, 04/17/2019 - 10:42

Dear Editor;

I think I see the "path" paradigm you're using and would like to ask about the construction of the citation clause containing a search term. I believe I've seen an example in EE, but never a real discussion of the construction of clauses with search terms.

I have a "path" that takes me to a page, which divides a set of imaged microfilm records into hot linked groups (e.g. A-G, H-P, Q-Z). When I click on one of the noted hot-links, it takes me to a search page for the group that allows browsing of the images in the group (and displays the first record). The search page does not really have a title. One can move back and forth through the images or enter an image to view. Having found the correct image number, I could view it directly on a subsequent visit by entering the image number directly.

Does one use the "path" paradigm down to having executed the last hyperlink, then switch from the path notation (">") to the comma notation (",") to cite the balance as follows? Is it that simple?

e.g.

... > A-G (group), card search term: 1235, image of card for John Doe; ...

 

Submitted byHistory-Hunteron Wed, 04/17/2019 - 13:41

Dear Editor;

I located some guidance in QuickLesson 25. I'm always trying to hone my citation skills. Not quite sure if I've understood the article fully. Here is a specific example, based on some recent research. Your comments would be appreciated.

First Full Reference

Veterans Affairs (Canada), First World War Veterans Death Cards, un-indexed, alphabetical by last name, “Murison-Thomas-B”, died 5 March 1958; accessed as “Veterans Death Cards: First World War,” browsable images, Library and Archives Canada (http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca: downloaded 14 April 2019) > English > Military Heritage > Veterans Death Cards: First World War > Morrison, B (group) > image 1235.; Library and Archives Canada (LAC); Originals contained in 99 cabinet drawers of approximately 1,300 cards each. Each drawer digitized by LAC. First card in drawer is title of digitised card group. 

One other question ... Is it necessary to mention the death date in layer 1, since the cards obviously record deaths and the name is the key locator?

Submitted byEEon Wed, 04/17/2019 - 16:53

History-Hunter, you've done well. The card was easy to locate from your citation--though it would have been one step easier if the URL had been that of the cited database (http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/discover/mass-digitized-archives/veterans-death-cards-ww1) as opposed to the home page.

Regarding when to switch from the greater-than symbol to the comma, you've also deduced that. We use the > for each menu item that drills us down to the image. Once we hit the image, we add an appositive comma and add the description of the record.

Regarding whether we should use the death date: definitely. For example, if we scroll down to the "Smith, William A" group and click on that name, we have cards for 8 or 9 different William A. Smiths. The number of just plain William Smiths would unlikely be greater and there are many, many names for which there will be multiple cards.

Submitted byHistory-Hunteron Thu, 04/18/2019 - 14:09

Dear Editor;

Thank you. Citing is getting easier, but I still have a ways to go. Please see below, as I wanted to make sure that my last post implements al the suggestions made in the foregoing discussion. (It's easier to reference in future.)

I've replaced a portion of the path as you noted.

I think there is something else that you've addressed previously, but it is worthwhile highlighting using this example.

If one sees that a webpage URL is for an ActiveServerPage (i.e. it has an .ASPX file extension), you may be able to shorten the URL. Try truncating URL slightly, as in the following example, and see if it still works.

Below, there are two the options, both of which work. The first is from copied directly from the browser address bar and the second is the same URL after a "test truncation". Notice that the second is shorter.

1) http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/discover/mass-digitized-archives/veterans-death-cards-ww1/Pages/veterans-death-cards.aspx

2) http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/discover/mass-digitized-archives/veterans-death-cards-ww1

Below is the resulting revised reference using the shortened link (above), as you suggested. Note that I added a missing "space" prior to the ":", which follows the URL, and removed an extraneous "." after "1235." I still wonder whether "downloaded" is correct, rather than "accessed". I did save a copy of the card image 1235 (for transcription purposes) and so said "downloaded".

(I could have used his regimental ID number, instead of the death date, to ensure that the correct Thomas Murison was identified in layer 1. However; I've found that, in this collection, the ID numbers can be difficult to read. The date was far less prone to misinterpretation and so was used instead. Its use also reminds me why I was citing the record in the first place.)

First Full Reference

Veterans Affairs (Canada), First World War Veterans Death Cards, un-indexed, alphabetical by last name, “Murison-Thomas-B”, died 5 March 1958; accessed as “Veterans Death Cards: First World War,” browsable images, Library and Archives Canada (http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/discover/mass-digitized-archives/veterans-death-cards-ww1 : downloaded 14 April 2019) > Morrison, B (group) > image 1235; Library and Archives Canada (LAC); Originals contained in 99 cabinet drawers of approximately 1,300 cards each. Each drawer digitized by LAC. First card in drawer is title of digitised card group. 

I trust that this now is fully stylistically correct? (I ask, since I'll likely use it as a reference for future citations.)