Archived, digital images of a parish record

I hope there's no monthly limit on posts, because I've come across one more conundrum.

My newest citation is to a marriage record.  The record is a digital image accessed on FamilySearch.  This image comes from the marriage register of the Roman Catholic parish in Zbaraż.  There is no specific church identified.  While I suspect it came from a book, the images don't include a book cover or cover page, instead there is a heading on the first page of the marriage records which roughly translates to 'Marriage Records from Town of Zbaraz, 1847'.  (

The information panel indicates that the records are "Microreproduction of original manuscripts at the State Archives, Warsaw, Poland; at the Archive and Library of Archbishop in Lubaczów, Poland; at the State Archives of the Ternopil′ Oblast (record group 426, 487); and at the Central State Historical Archives of Ukraine in L′viv (record group 618)"

From QuickLesson 25:

"In Layer 1, you cite the original that you are eyeballing as a digital image. You cite it the same way you would if you were using the original or microfilm of the original."

So, does this mean I should be citing this using the examples in '7.18 Church Record Books: Online Images', or is it more appropriate to cite using the '3.16 Digital Archive Records'?

And why do I find this so vexing?  Grrrr  ;-)


Submitted byEEon Sat, 12/07/2019 - 10:05

Zolkie, the link you provide sends us to a catalog page rather than the image that lets us view the record in context and determine how FamilySearch delivers the images. That means I'm flying half-blind in this response.

As you know,

  • With some FS images, the organization of the database calls for citing the waypoints of the menu-path that led to the image.
  • With others, we can simply cite "Database," Title of Website (URL=place of publication : date), image number and item; citing ... [whatever]. 

EE 7.18 demonstrates both formats.

Without being able to see and analyze what you are using, EE would use 7.18.  The key descriptor for 3.16 is the opening sentence: "Many traditional repositories are developing virtual archives that bring together documents selected from many of their collections." That says documents, individual documents, brought together in that one site that focuses on a specific subject.  In your case you are using bound (original) church registers that were microfilmed, after which the microfilm was digitized for placement online. You would cite the church registers just as if you were using them in the church itself. Remember this basic:

  1. If you eyeball the original physically, cite the original.
  2. If you eyeball the original on film, you cite the original in Layer 1 and then identify the film in Layer 2.
  3. If you eyeball the original digitized on line, you cite the original in Layer 1 and then identify the online provider (database and website) in Layer 2.

With  situation 1 or 2, if those images don't display the needed ID info (name of the register and the church and/or the archive that houses it), then you add a Layer 3 to report whatever relevant source-of-the-source data the film or the database supplies.