One of my local libraries is listed on the FamilySearch FHC finder page as an Affiliate Library (not an LDS facility). Since stopping microfilm ordering last month, many digitised microfilms have a message that states they may only be accessed at at a FHC or FamilySearch Affiliate Libary: enter image description here

My local affiliate library has no idea how to access this content. How does one access this content at an Affiliate Library (are there specific computers that must be set up, specific FamilySearch accounts, network settings, etc)?

This seems like a question to ask the library, or to ask FamilySearch – and I have done both. The library did not know the answer, and I received no response from my query to FamilySearch. So I am turning to the broader internet in the hope of finding an answer.

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    The blog post legalgenealogist.com/2017/09/25/moving-forward-at-familysearch discusses the recent changes at FamilySearch and may partially address the question.
    – bgwiehle
    Commented Oct 8, 2017 at 3:36
  • The FamilySearch announcement that was cited by legalgen says "Affiliate libraries now have access to nearly all of the restricted image collections as family history centers." That "nearly all" concerns me. Presumably if the affiliates can't have access, the message will only reference accessing the site at an FHC and won't mention using the site at an affiliate.
    – Jan Murphy
    Commented Oct 8, 2017 at 8:45
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    Not an answer and possibly not of any help, but are you aware that the Society of Genealogists in London have taken custody of the UK-relevant LDS microfilm that the LDs made available originally in South Kensington and later at Ket?
    – user6485
    Commented Oct 9, 2017 at 11:41
  • The staff at SoG may be able to supply the appropriate FamilySearch support number for the librarians at Harry's library to call. I asked on Facebook and found out the support number for Germany if anyone needs it.
    – Jan Murphy
    Commented Oct 10, 2017 at 17:31

2 Answers 2


The article Restrictions on viewing an image in historical records says, for the status message

These images are viewable:

To signed-in members of supporting organizations when they use the site > at a family history center.

Who Can View:

If the patrons use a family history center computer or a computer at an affiliate public library, they can view the images. Do not sign in to FamilySearch.org.

Do not use a personal laptop or handheld device in the center to try to view these images.

(emphasis mine)

This suggests to me that the affiliate public library is supposed to have a dedicated computer which the FHL recognizes as being okay to view the images. If you log in to your FamilySearch account, it will look as if you are accessing FamilySearch from home and it will block you from viewing the images.

What happens when you use FamilySearch.org from the library's computer without logging in? Do you still get the message that you have to be at an FHC?

(If my local library was an affiliate, I would go check this myself, but there is no affiliate close to me. My nearest center is one of the big regional FHCs that is a FHL.)

Edited to add: thanks to @bgwhiele for posting the link to Judy G. Russell's Moving forward at FamilySearch at The Legal Genealogist. She cites two other articles about the transition to digital images:

The latter article says:

After film ordering ends, if customers need access to a particular film yet to be digitized, they can express interest to have it added to the priority digitization list by contacting FamilySearch Support (Toll Free: 1-866-406-1830).

I suspect this number is only good for the USA, but I include it here for US readers.

  • Gut feeling - dedicated computer misses the point. One can dedicate a computer by putting a Post It note on. I doubt this suffices! It must require dedicated software or dedicated sign on or a dedicated URL or some combination of these things. I believe that the Society of Genealogists in London now has this status but I have not yet used their facilities for that purpose, so have no idea how it works.
    – AdrianB38
    Commented Oct 8, 2017 at 15:07
  • Yes, by "dedicated computer" I meant one that has been taught the secret handshake.
    – Jan Murphy
    Commented Oct 8, 2017 at 18:46
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    Handshake, as I understood it, is indeed a technical term for this sort of thing. Never occurred to me before how appropriate the term "secret handshake" was for this - it works both technically and by analogy.
    – AdrianB38
    Commented Oct 8, 2017 at 18:53
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    Yes, I chose the term quite deliberately. ;-)
    – Jan Murphy
    Commented Oct 8, 2017 at 19:00

You'll need to contact FamilySearch Support and provide the IP address(es) for the library. Please see this article: https://www.familysearch.org/ask/salesforce/viewArticle?urlname=Affiliate-Library-needs-access-to&lang=en

When it is working properly, a user can be using a library computer, and sign on to Familysearch.org with their own personal ID. (I can do this at the downtown Dallas Public Library.)

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