Some collections are hosted by FamilySearch but owned by another institution and FamilySearch is restricted in how it can provide these resources to users.

OnGenealogy shares many FamilySearch collections for different locations in the world. Here are some of the different ways those links may take you to the collections.

How to View the Collections

2. Other links take you to a catalog description page where you will have to find the link.

Look for a camera icon in the Film/Digital Notes section of the catalog description and select the camera icon

3. If there is a key above the camera icon, select the camera and this will take you to the login page where you will need to LOG IN to your free, FamilySearch account to view this item. After you login, you should be taken to the collection.

FamilySearch key icon over camera icon

4. In a few cases, the collection may be in queue to be digitized and you’ll need to check back at a later date or a collection may be removed due to contractual issues. Or, you may get a message that, although online, the collection needs to be viewed at your local family history center or affiliate library. Find the nearest viewing center near you.

4 responses to “How to Unlock FamilySearch Collections”

  1. Is there a place that I can get a digitalized copy of document? I use to be able to go the church, and the person running it would log in and i can research and print and pay for copy of document.

    1. If it’s a locked collection that is only viewable at a Family History Center, then you cannot get a digitized copy of the document. You can only view the digitized copy at a Family History Center. You can contact your local family history center to see if there are other options for a specific collection you’re researching because the contracts governing each resource vary by collection. I hope this answers your question.

  2. The truth is, the state archives of the state that has requested the records locked and does so for monetary reasons. Since I help Af Americans with slave genealogy (free). I decided to discuss this matter with a Secretary of State in a state I was frustrated after I read his comments about how wonderful it was they offer records for family history (but you have to travel there). After some discussions with him I gave up. I returned to the FS catalog about 18 months later and I noticed the death certificates unlocked. So, write your state archivist and ask them WHY they are locking the FS records. The Mississippi archivist told me point blank it was because the state wanted YOU to write them for the records for MONEY. FamilySearch pays tons of $$$ to film and digitize these records and they always leave a copy of the county or state where they filmed. So, write your archivist and ask why, and observe if your Sec of State has made comments about family history or records. If there is a law on the books, you better write some letters. The best archives in the country who will freely share and WANT you to gain all access: North Carolina State Archives. It is an amazing place.

  3. Bologna that I need to go to a library to access records. Should be able to do it from my computer.


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