Frequently Asked Questions: FamilySearch Affiliate Libraries June 2019

I saw this on FamilySearch recently – Frequently Asked Questions: FamilySearch Affiliate Libraries:

What is a FamilySearch affiliate library? 

An affiliate library cooperates with FamilySearch International to help patrons have fun personal family history discoveries. This outcome is accomplished by affiliate libraries sharing FamilySearch’s digital record collections with patrons locally.

This partnership requires a signed contract and a shared static IP address with FamilySearch, which enables access to additional digital record collections.

What are the benefits of being an affiliate library?

A major benefit of being an affiliate library is access to additional digital records not available outside a family history center or an affiliate library. These digital records include images and names indexes. Currently, there are about 400 million original records available in a digital format that affiliate libraries have access to.

Affiliate libraries also receive a monthly e-newsletter subscription for reference staff to stay abreast of what’s new and the latest tips and tricks for supporting family history patrons.


What does it cost to be an affiliate library?

There is no cost to be an affiliate library.

What is a partner library?

A partner library is a library (whether public, special, or university) that participates in FamilySearch’s Family History Book Scanning initiative to preserve local genealogical collections digitally.

FamilySearch provides all the equipment and resources to digitize the books, and the partner libraries help provide content to be preserved digitally, such as books that are in the public domain and have a genealogical or local historical value.

Some partner libraries host a FamilySearch scan center. Others may send books to a center to be scanned.

The contributing library for all books on the website is clearly identified. We also provide monthly statistics on usage for books from a partner library.

Is an affiliate library also a book scanning partner library?

It is possible to be both an affiliate library and a partner library. If you are interested in becoming an affiliate library, contact Cherie Bush at If you are interested in becoming a partner library, contact Dennis Meldrum at

What is controlled digital lending?

Controlled digital lending is an option for some libraries and companies to circulate books digitally that are still under copyright. Currently, FamilySearch does not participate in controlled digital lending.

Does the Family History Library participate in interlibrary loan?

FamilySearch does not participate in interlibrary loans. Visit here to find libraries and organizations that participate in interlibrary loans.

What do the different icons in the FamilySearch catalog mean?

A screenshot of the FamilySearch catalog, including icons on the right describing the different kinds of access to records.

The FamilySearch catalog uses icons to quickly tell the patron the accessibility of the records they are seeking.

A document icon.

A document icon means that the resource is only an indexed record or transcription of the document.

A camera icon.

A camera icon means you can view the image of the original document from any web-enabled portable device.

A camera with a key on top icon.

A camera with a key icon indicates that access to an image is restricted, such as an image that can be seen only at an affiliate library or a family history center.

Why are some images restricted to family history centers and not included for affiliate libraries?

FamilySearch publishes copies of records only after gaining permission from the original record custodian (generally a government agency) and faithfully abiding by all the stipulated conditions and applicable laws. To remain in compliance with these agreements and standards, FamilySearch occasionally needs to adjust access to specific records. If you cannot find a record that was previously accessible, it is likely due to stipulations from the record custodians.


About ICT Genealogist

Originally from Gulfport, Mississippi. Live in Wichita, Kansas now. I suffer Bipolar I, ultra-ultra rapid cycling, mixed episodes. Blog on a variety of topics - genealogy, DNA, mental health, among others. Let's
This entry was posted in Genealogy and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Frequently Asked Questions: FamilySearch Affiliate Libraries June 2019

  1. Pingback: Resources for FamilySearch Affiliate Libraries June 7, 2019 | Ups and Downs of Family History V2.0

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.