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Monday, March 16, 2020

What is the Difference Between Digital Images and Indexed Records?

Every week I get an email from FamilySearch showing a list of "New Free Historical Records on FamilySearch." It occurred to me that the column under "Digital Images" almost always listed a string of "0s" (zeros). So what is this weekly list all about?

Some time ago, this list used to included a lot of "Digital Images" but today, few of the entries include digital images. Does this mean that FamilySearch is no longer adding digital images? No, this is not the case. The new digital image collections are still be added to the website but they are not listed in this list of new images. All of the new images and any indexed images included in the email are being listed in the Catalog.

So, what is on this list?

This list shows how many new indexed images have been added to the Historical Record Collections. Yes, these same collections are listed in the Catalog but they are now searchable because they have been indexed.

You need to note some of the entries on the list:

You will notice that there is a difference between the number of digital images and the number of indexed records. This simply means that the record has not been entirely indexed so even if you search for a name, you have not searched the entire collection of records.

What about the entries with zeros? These entries indicate that the number indexed is for existing records and that no new records have been added, i.e. "Added indexed records to an existing collection."

As I have written about previously, you need to click on the name of the record to see the total number of images and compare that number with the total number of indexed records to see what percentage of the records have been indexed. It is not unusual for this number to be less than the total number of records.

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