Citing Family Search Books

It appears that has a new format for books and I'm curious how to cite them.  I have a particular item that is listed both in the catalog which includes a microfilm number but when I go to the digital format it takes me to the "Books" format and the "ID" number there is different from the microfilm number in the "Catalog" section.  Here are the links to both the digital format in the Book section and the catalog section.  How do I cite the one in the book section?


Submitted byEEon Fri, 08/09/2019 - 10:15

Isn't technology wonderful?

Normally, when citing a book imaged by a website, we have two options for the second layer. (The first layer, of course, cites the book.)

  1. Cite the website using the exact URL we ended up with. EE hesitates to recommend this because it's highly likely to change.
  2. Cite the website using the root URL, then follow the parenthetical publication data (place : date) with the path that took us to the image.


Submitted byOhiogirl48@gmail.comon Fri, 08/09/2019 - 12:35

I need to clarify.  I don't have to use the path from the catalog entry to get to the digital entry.  The digital entry can be accessed alone so I want to use the QuickCheckModel "Image Copies Online Publication." 

Also, the title page includes information that the record was copied twice (1921 and 1941) and below that it says the record was donated by a private person.  Does this information need to be included in the citation?  


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Submitted byEEon Fri, 08/09/2019 - 20:13

Ohiogirl48, citing the path to get from the catalog entry to the digital entry would be this:

[Layer 1: citation to the book itself] … ; imaged, FamilySearch ( : accessed 9 August 2019) > Stumbaugh, tree of life : our roots" catalog entry > "click here" > "View all pages 451 pages."

You say that you would prefer to use the QuickCheck Model on p. 661 (3d ed. rev.) with demonstrates citing a book offered by Google Books. However, a citation for something produced at Google Books (or or Hathitrust—all of which have a simple presentation model) does not work as well with a FamilySearch book that redirects users into a viewer that lies on a different path.  If you decide to cite the exact path for the book (knowing that it could change tomorrow), then do notice that the URL you copy at the top of the viewer page will be altered at reuse. That URL at the top of the page is ,

However, when we test the URL in a different browser to see if it is dynamic or static, we see that FamilySearch truncates that to

You also write (with regard to a totally different book):

"the title page includes information that the record was copied twice (1921 and 1941) and below that it says the record was donated by a private person."

Using your jpg of the title page, I've tracked down that book at FamilySearch. It is indeed a typed book compiled and distributed by William J. Hinke. He uses the word "record" in its title, but we would not refer to a book as a record; and we would not cite it as a record. It’s no longer the Rev. Lischy’s record. It is Hinke’s tabular extracts—some of which are translated. You would cite it as a book.

Chapter 7 “Church Records,” in the “Derivatives: Copies & Compilations” section, provides relevant examples. The Chamberlayne example at 7.29 (“Published Abstracts or Transcriptions”) provides the closest example for you to use in layer 1, where you cite the book itself. You would then pattern your second layer after whatever approach you decide to take with the Stumbaugh book.

Yes, the fact that the compiler first created his abstracts in 1921, then recopied them again in 1941, should be noted after the citation—the place where we put significant details about the source that affect our evaluation of its information. When he “recopied” in 1941, he obviously didn’t just make a photocopy. He would have retyped it. That retyping would introduce another layer of possible errors. Your comment might be something such as

“The abstractor notes that this 1941 copy was “recopied” from an earlier draft made in August 1921.”

As for citing someone who donates a book to a library, that’s not part of a standard citation. It's not necessary to relocate the book. It has no bearing on the quality of the information we take from the book.