FamilySearch DGS has different image numbers depending on how it's accessed...

I recently noticed that certain digitized films on FS have different image numbers depending on how they are accessed. Here's an example from the "North Carolina Deaths, 1906–1930" collection...

1. Go to

2. Search for "John Smith"

3. The first search result should be "John Smith" born 1842 and died 1928. Click on the camera icon to view the image.

4. When the image loads, you will notice that it is image 465 of 2524, and that the digitized film is DGS 4163144.

5. In the top left hand corner, next to "North Carolina Deaths, 1906–1930," click the small down arrow (▼).

6. In drop down that comes up, click "Film # 004163144."

7.When the images reload, you will notice that the image in question is now image 1069 of 3220.


What this means is that if you access the image through the collection link ("North Carolina Deaths, 1906–1930"), the image number and total number of images are different than if you access the DGS number through the catalog or directly. This could obviously cause an issue with some citations that use the image number.

It appears that at least some of the difference in image count comes from the fact that when accessed through the collection, several of the initial images you normally find on a roll, such as calibration images, film identification images, etc., are missing from the collection version, but they are present when you access the film directly. As you switch between the two versions as per the steps above, check image number 1 on both and you will see what I mean.

Anyone run in to this before, or know what might be going on here?


I'm really hoping that Robert Raymond might be able to weigh in, as he probably has the answer.


Submitted byEEon Fri, 04/19/2019 - 10:32

ABCDEF, yes, more than one road leads to Rome! This situation has existed for some time. Undoubtedly Robert can explain it, if he's not busy elsewhere this week.  In the meanwhile, citing the exact URL and the path is our best insurance of relocating what we originally found.