Talk:Photoduplication Services Discontinued

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Request - go back to old way[edit source]

I strongly suggest that you go back to requiring patrons to submit the old form, and link the form on this page.  You likely have many new patrons looking to use the photoduplication service now that you have moved to digital distribution.  In the absense of a form, staff are going to be spending a lot of time trying to process email requests that are not being submitted in an actionable format.  I suspect that this is why the record count is now being reduced to five per month from five per week (I personally would prefer that you stuck with the limit of eight records every two weeks as stipulated on the old form).  This five-per-month restriction is very dismaying as one would like to think that changes implemented to bring about efficiency would not be making the process less efficient for both staff and users. --JML 8 Feb 2013

Answer:  Photoduplication will not go back to the old method of responding to patron requests.  With the old method, requests first went to the Finance Department and it took several days before we received those requests; then it passed through several hands before it was ready to be sent back to the patrons.  In an effort to help as many patrons as possible to search for ancestors, the email system was developed.  This method eliminated the Finance step and reduced the number of hands touching the requests.  With the regular mail system, Photoduplication received about 50 requests a week and we would send about 150 responses to the patrons per month.  Using the email system (which was launched on January 10, 2013), we began to receive 100 requests a day and that overwhelmed the staff.  To slow down the requests various parameters were initiated to help us get caught up.  We have added some additional missionaries to help in this process and we hope to be able to be caught up by the end of March and some of the parameters may be adjusted. MSS 4 Mar 2013

Form Missing[edit source]

From the 3rd paragraph: "You no longer need to use a form, however, if you would like to use the old form, you may email it to us."  Why tell a patron they can use the old form, when you don't provide a link to get a copy of the old form?  Do you think folks have copies of the old form hanging around?? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Maggiliz (talk | contribs) 04:24, 24 January 2013 (UTC)

Answer:  When the email system was developed, it was suggested that a form was not necessary.  That idea has been changed and we have put the old form back on wiki.  When the new form is developed, it will replace the old form.  MSS March 5, 2013

Needs a better name[edit source]

I had trouble finding this page under your new format. I put in various search terms and got over 3,000 possible answers. Your old format had forms listed under FORMS. If you haven't memorized the old format, it is extremely difficult to find something under the new format. How about a dropdown box listing the various features available? Clutter may look unsightly, but if it works far better than neater than neat, I prefer some version of the original where different areas were clearly listed. You have a huge number of resources, and they just don't fit under LEARN. I would never choose photoduplication. I would use copy. or copy from microfilms. Not photoduplication. That is not normal English, that is print-service jargon.

Hi Kilkeeny, thank you for your comments. I have added some redirects that if search for will lead people to this page Request for Photocopies, Copy from microfilms and Photocopies. I have also started a new page Help:Forms that the community can add to, so that it can become a place to list the forms available. The thing I love about the wiki is that it can always be improved, by the community. --Steve 12:21, 19 February 2011 (UTC)

Answer:  Photoduplication is the name of our unit and we have to use that name until management decides on using another name.  In the past such names as Temple Index Bureau, Patron Requests and Copy Requests have been used which resulted in questions as well.  We have been adding other links to help find Photoduplication. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Mikeseymour (talk | contribs) 5 Mar 2013 (UTC)

No charge, need specific information[edit source]

I just did a support chat, and was told that FamilySearch now sends electronic copies only, so be sure to provide your correct email address, and that there is no charge for this service, so disregard the pricing information on the Request for Photocopies form. She also told me to leave "item number" and "parish and volume number" blank if they're not provided in the search result and catalog entry. Oh, and entry number is not the same as item number. — Preceding unsigned comment added by JPmiaou (talk | contribs) 17 December 2012

Answer:  The old addage is "The more information we get, the better information you get".  As mentioned in a previous answer, going back to a  form will help and if you don't get enough info to fill in all the blanks, you send us what you have and we will try our best to find it.  MSS March 5, 2013

Instructions are not clear[edit source]

I've just finished trying to put together a request, and I second the comment that your instructions - may be clear for you Family Search people, but for us dodos who use your pages avidly...not all that clear.  I was very puzzled by the detail asked for - so I simply copied and pasted the "Record Details" from the Indexed item.  I hope that's enough - it does list "source film number" and "reference number".  (And I did first check to see that the item has been microfilmed.)

I frankly feel that a form would have made it easier - and since I've never done it before, I don't have "the old form.   -- MarthaF, 3 February 2013

Answer:  Don't dispair.  We have put the old form back on Wiki.  A new form will be coming soon that removes the section asking for payment.  In the near future, a filled out form will be required in order to receive a response.  MSS March 5,2013

Copies of records[edit source]

I have been trying for some weeks to find out if i can obtain hard copies of documents which are indexed and referred to on your site. I was first advised to email photoduplication, which I did, supplying all the detail shown on the record plus my own contact details. I had no reply. I tried again with another record and received an automated acknowledgement - but still no substantive reply. I emailed again in response to the automated reply to ask whether what I was requesting was possible i.e. a copy of an original document which has been filmed. I received an email response which  instructed me to check the catalog to see if the item was digitised (and if it was I could print my own copy). I did that and there is no indication whether or not the item is digitised - I presume that means it isn't. But the email was very unclear as to what i should do next. Will you send me a copy by email (an option which is mentioned) or will I have to go to a LDS History Search centre (not easy!)? And if I have to go in person will I be able to take a copy of the document i want?

Your article on the webpage about this is virtually the same words as the email I've been sent - it is very frustrating to be unable to tell whether you be able to help me or not. A quick "No" would almost be better than this raising and then dashing of hopes!

Answer:  Since we switched to the email system on January 10th,  we have been overwhelmed with requests.  We knew that offering this service for free would increase our workload, but we didn't expect it to quadruple.  We hope to catch up on requests by the end of March.  At that time we should be able to reduce the parameters and have the return time reduced.  Our email system should be sending an acknowledgement letting patrons know that we have received the request.  MSS March 5, 2013

Why I (and probably others) prefer this to microfilm:[edit source]

I understand you are busy, and would rather have patrons use the microfilm.  I have tried to work that way for a year.  However:

1) My nearest familysearch center is over 30 minutes away, which is an hour drive both ways.

2) It is only open twice a week, and only for an average of 1 hour each time.  This is often not enough time to find even 1 record on the film.

3) I have frequently made the drive and found no one at the center when it was normally open.  Often times there is a good reason it is closed (holiday, renovations, etc) but there is no way for me to find out.  Other times it is closed because volenteers just don't show up.

4) $7 is a lot to pay for 1 reel of microfilm, especially when it can get sent back before I had a chance to view it do to closings of the center above.  Especially when I only need 1 record on that film, and photoduplication is free.

5) It is next to impossible to make any copy of the microfilm.  The center provides a digital camera, however legible images are difficult to produce, especially on the films with smaller images.  Photoduplications gives digital copies that are easy to read, use and share.

Some suggestions:

1) The digital copies that have been made online are by far easier than either photoduplication or microfilm.  Getting more films digitalized would cut down on photoduplication requests.  I would glady pay $14 to have a film put online instead of having a permenant copy sent to my center, or to get a personalized digital copy of the reel similar to what was online.

2) As much as I appreciate photoduplication being free, I'd consider paying if it meant faster turn around times or more than 5 requests per month, especially if it was still cheaper than getting the same records on microfilm.

Don't take this as a complaint, I appreciate everything you've done, however I wanted to provide some feedback that might help you accomplish what you want to accomplish with less effort.  

Thanks -

Answer: Since we switched to the email system on January 10th, we have been overwhelmed with requests. We knew that offering this service for free would increase our workload, but we didn't expect it to quadruple. We hope to catch up on requests by the end of March. At that time we should be able to reduce the parameters and have the return time reduced. Our email system should be sending an acknowledgement letting patrons know that we have received the request.
We understand the problems encountered with some Famiily History Centers (FHC) and we understand that some FHC's do not have the equipment to do what we do.  We always like to suggest that there may be a faster way to get the images requested than using Photoduplication.  If the FHC isn't working out for you, then by all means send your request to us.   MSS March 5, 2013

Helpful hint[edit source]

I submitted my first request via this wiki form and realized I had put in a wrong FHL number after I had hit the NEXT button. It would be a NICE feature if you allowed for a final edit.

Italian Allegeti  [edit source]

Italian records include "Allegeti", literally "attachments" in English. This is a record of an engagement for marriage, with all the supporting documentation needed to get married. For example, if a widow marries, her needs his previous husband's death certificate to show she is no longer married. You needed a document showing your parents approve of the marriage, or their death certificates if they were no longer alive.

I have successfully gotten the first few pages of allegeti via photoduplication using a "M" or marriage request. This includes the first page which includes the bride and grooms names, parents names, ages and occupations. I also get the table of contents show which records are attached. I do not get the attachments, and many of these attachments are records not available on other microfilms. For example, if someone died in 1820, I can do a death request "D" to get their death certificate. But if they died in 1819, there is no microfilm of 1819 deaths and the only copies are the copy in the allegeti and the physical church records which weren't microfilmed.

I have considered trying to do a "D" request to get a death certificate in the allegeti. I can provide the information asked for (place and date of death, microfilm #, etc) and I have not tried that yet. However I don't think this includes enough information to find the record. If I tell you Salvatore Barravecchia died in 1830 in Gratteri and his death record is on film 2035719, which is Polizzi allegeti, the only way to find it without more information is by looking at every single page of the microfilm.

Question about services re: book copies[edit source]

This is a very nice service, but I'm confused about one thing. It says we should not request service if we have an FHC nearby. BUT, an FHC cannot get a loan of a book in the FHL library. We can only order microfiche to be delivered to the local FHC.

SO, if what we want is in a book, it sounds like only those people who don't have an FHC nearby can request copies from a book. This (if I'm understanding your guidelines correctly) eliminates the ability to request book copies for everyone within reasonable distance of an FHC, and shows favoritism toward those not near one in those cases where it's a book page copy needed.

Am I understanding this correctly? I forgot to get a few pages of a book when I was in Salt Lake City. But I have an FHC less than two miles from my house. So, can I not use the Photoduplication Service to get the copies, even though my local FHC cannot help me at all with this problem?

Thanks for clarifying this. I do appreciate everything FamilySearch does for the larger genealogy community.

Susan Rogers

Grass Valley, Calif.

Copies from books[edit source]

The form does not allow for entering books. It requires entering a film or fiche number which a book does not have. I tried asking about this, was assigned a case # and the case disappeared.

Questions and Comments on Photoduplication Services[edit source]

Allow me first and foremost to make an overall statement: this is a fantastic if not unbelievable service you're providing!
I see you switched from five requests at one time & once a month to one at a time & five times a month. That's good. since the former method was a little confusing.

You appear to have switched from no email acknowledgement to sending an email acknowledgement and now back to no email acknowledgement. Whatever you decide is fine, but the process should explicitly state if you send an email acknowledgement.

There's what appears to be an example? of a request on the instruction page labelled


...that results in seeing a Permission Error page. (FYI, I am logged in) It would be great to see an example! You would presumably also want to explicitly state "Here's an example of a completed form:"

The instructions indicate "Please provide: your complete name, address, telephone number and e-mail address with each request. Please let us know if you are a new or a repeat patron and if your address, phone or email is new." There doesn't appear a way to do this on the form.

The new form has a "Family History Library microfilm or microfiche number" field and a " Item Number or Call Number" field. I supply a microfilm number but can't find a call number, and that field is required. What is the call number for the following item: (I asked at a FHL center but no one could tell me)

Brooklyn death certificates, 1919-1949

Thank you again and keep up the good work!

Bruce Gomes

Photo quality[edit source]

I am really grateful for the big help I received int last months by receiving the copies. I have just received my firs order since one image per request can be ordered. Unfortunatelly the size of images is rather small, the quality is not good. So I do not get further in my research because I can not read the record. Is there a possibility to get bigger photos? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Adri25 (talk | contribs) 17:00, 20 May 2014 (UTC)

Created SalesForce CaseParrisl 07:40, 22 June 2014 (UTC)
The phone number to call to get the answer is 866-406-1830. More information on Photoduplication Services This is also being placed on talk. Sandralpond 14:44, 1 July 2014 (UTC)

cancellation of photoduplication service[edit source]

i think this service is very useful and should not be cancelled.

I agree. It's really a shame that this service has been discontinued. I am very disappointed.

The service has been discontinued because professional researchers were using the free service and then charging their clients for the work done by the Family History Library staff. That puts the church in a legal problem. Too bad those who were getting paid to do the research messed it up for everybody else.

discontinued service[edit source]

I am so disappointed by the discontinuation of this service. Prior to this, being able to obtain copies of New York records allowed me to find family members we never knew about. New York records are not digitized! Vital records cost over $20 per copy. To pay such an amount in the hopes that the record you get is for a true family member is outrageous. This situation will unfortunately prevent me for doing further research.

Discontinuation of photoduplication services[edit source]

Under certain new agreements many if not all images are being removed from categories, such as the Illinois collection. Now the only way to get the information from the actual document (whether I want the entire document or not) is to order it from the county who is charging an exorbitant fee for them, or order reels of microfilm at $7 each for one document. It is ridiculous for family researchers to pay these amounts. I understand paying "an" amount indicative to the service but not almost $20 for a record I can't even view first.

Incredible loss[edit source]

This is an incredible loss.  Not all of us have the time to go to a family history center twice.  Once to order the film and again to view it.  You should go back to charging if that is part of the issue.

This is a great loss and I am dissappointed in the FHL.

So Disappointed[edit source]

I am so disappointed that this service has been discontinued.  As a registrar for my DAR chapter I used it frequently to help our prospective members with their applications.  I'm sorry this has happened and hope someday you reinstate this service.  Thank you for your help in the past.