FamilySearch Wiki:Fixing Classic Links

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Fix Dead Links Fix Reference Dead Links Classic Links

Finding and reviewing pages with broken links to the old[edit | edit source]

This project was completed 20 Jan 2012. Thanks to all who contributed.[edit | edit source]

  • Go to the Report 
  1. Go to Pages with Broken Links.
  2. Click on a page to work on.
  3. Right click on the link of the page you will work on and open it up in a new window.
  4. Evaluate the external links on the page. See below for specific instructions.
  5. On this page, after you evaluate the links, sign your name to the "By whom" column and add the "Status" of what you did on the page.
  • Find and evaluate all of the links on the page
  1. First, review the external links, one section at a time (external links are those links with the box/arrow after them)
    1. Hold your mouse over the URL and look for links in one of these formats
      1. (note the "Eng" portion specifically)
      2. http://webview/supermainframeset.asp...
      5. Make note of the links you find in these formats. They MUST be changed.
      6. The "Eng" link will usually show the old blue header/footer of However, if it goes to the pastel colored page, the link still needs to be changed.
    2. Second, after you mouse over the link, right click and open it up in a new tab. (Open up all of the external links this way.)
    3. Third, evaluate the pages that you opened up.
      1. Look for websites that are no longer what it should be (404 error, webpage not found error, etc.), that is a broken link.
  2. Evaluate the page where that link goes. Which one does it go to? Read through the text around the link to see what the author is trying to do. (Ctrl+Click on the link to go to the spot in the document below.

Old and New Links[edit | edit source]

If the old link is to: You will link to: The site looks like this:
A general page on the old website Another page on
Old familysearch.jpg

The International Genealogical Index (IGI)

Historical Records

 Family History Library The Family History Library Catalog (broken "webview" links may also be links to the FHLC)

The Family History Library catalog using {{FHL}}

Or add {{dead link}} after the link


 Record Search Pilot The Record Search Pilot

Historical Records
Record Search Pilot.jpg
Another broken link on the internet outside Make no change to the link - add {{dead link}} after the link Could be anything here

For a "general page" on the old website[edit | edit source]

  • You've already identified where the old link goes. Now you will:
  • Find the new link
1. Go to
2. Search around the website to see if you can find the correct link to replace it with.  If you can't find where it should go, ask in the chat.
3. Once you've found the new link, copy the URL
  • Fix the old/bad link
1. Go back to the page with the old link.
2. Click to Edit this Page.
3. Scroll down and find the old/bad link.
4. Click on a word with the old link.
5. Click on the Insert/Edit Links icon on the toolbar (the world with the links in front of it)
6. In the popup, delete out the old link and add the new link.
7. Click Show preview.
8. Test the link to be sure it goes where you want it to go. Since you are in preview mode, be sure to right click to open in a new tab or you will lose your work.
9. Add the Summary text "Fixed link to old"
10. Click Save Page.

International Genealogical Index[edit | edit source]

When there are links to the old IGI, they will need to be changed to point to Historical Records. The old extraction program extracted information from original records, and those all went into the IGI. Those
indexes in the IGI were moved to collections in Historical Records and are now searchable there. They usually have generic titles such as "Ireland Births 15xx-19xx" or "Mexico Deaths and Burials 15xx-19xx".
  • Find the new link 

First, what country/continent is the article related to? If the article talks about searchable records from Ireland, you'll want to link to European records. If the article discusses all records from the IGI worldwide, you'll want to link to All Record Collections.

  • Fix the link
1. Go back to the page with the old link.
2. Click to Edit this Page (or section).
3. Scroll down and find the old/bad link.
4. You will probably need to reword the sentence, for example:  "Some of these records may be indexed and searchable on Click to go to Historical Records and then type in Scotland in the search box to find those records."
5. Add the Summary text "Fixed link to old IGI"
6. Click Save Page.

Family History Library Catalog (FHLC)[edit | edit source]

Links to the old FHLC must go to the new FHLC. Your goal in fixing these is to take the patron to the same catalog entry as before.  It's important to use the {{FHL}}template as you fix these links in case the direct links to items change in the future. The {{FHL}} template is created by using the:

  • Film/fiche/call number, title, subject, or keywords
  • Text of the link

If you're not comfortable creating the FHL template, just add the {{dead link}}  template after the page and we'll fix these later.

Your goal here is to make the new link look just like the old link, only changing the link text to a template.

To note:

  • On the old link, make note of what the link goes to, using one of the following:
  • . The film number, fiche number, or call number
  • . Title, subject, or keywords

Find the link in the new catalog

This allows you to test to be sure that the link will work.

1. Click on
2. Click on Catalog
3. Search for the item or title/subject/keywords to ensure that it works properly. The FHL template does a search just like this rather than linking you directly to the item.
4. Note the item number in the URL.  It might be in the middle of the URL or at the end.
URL for FHL template4.jpg

Fix the link

1. Go back to the page with the old link.
2. Click to Edit this Page.
3. Scroll down and find the old/bad link.
4. Click to put the cursor in front of the link.
5. Click on the {T} icon in the toolbar.
6. Build the {{FHL}}template based on the Film Number/Call Number/Subject and link text. See below for specific examples.
7. Use the "disp=" parameter to make the text of the link be the same as it was before. Otherwise it will display the call number or the word "FHL Subject" or "FHL Keyword".
  • You will need to insert the number that you found in the URL in the template to make sure the link goes to the right page.
  • The examples below shows the template with the number inserted and the display information for the "Click here" option on the page.
FHL template example2.jpg

Link to FHL.jpg

8. Click Show preview. You should see the link there the same, twice.
9. Test the link you just entered  it's very important to right click to open in a new tab.
10. If the page opened is correct, scroll down and delete the old link text
11. Add the Summary text "Fixed old FHLC link" then Save Page
12. Test the link again, if necessary.

FHLC Examples:[edit | edit source]

There are many examples of how the {{tl|FHL} template can be used, as seen here -

Here are the main ones you'll use:

1. A specific item in the catalog: {{FHL}}or
Example:  {{FHL}}

Gives you:Wisconsin : its history and its people 1634-1924

2. Search by Keyword:  {{FHL}}
Example: {{FHL}}
3. Search by Subject: {{FHL}}
Example: {{FHL}}
4. Search by Title: {{FHL}}
Example: {{FHL}}

Record Search Pilot[edit | edit source]

The "Record Search Pilot" is the original version of what is now "Historical Records" found on 
Record Search Pilot.jpg When the Family History Library microfilm images were digitized, they were put onto the Record Search website, and later moved to Historical Records.

Find the new link

Where we linked in record search determines where we will link on the new site:
Specific collections.jpg
1. Specific Collections: Links going to specific collections will be moved to their related collection pages on To find the new link:
a. Scroll down and click on the continent of the collection
b. In the search box, type in the name of the place of the collection, then click on the collection
c. Copy the URL there to use to fix the link
2. Record Search Home page:
a. If the link goes to the "home" page of Record Search, we will link to the home page of -

Fix the link

1. Click to Edit the Page with the bad link.
2. Scroll down and find the bad link.
3. Select the text with the old link.
4. Edit the link - click on the Insert/Edit Links icon on the toolbar
5. Delete out the old link and add the new link based on the info above
6 .Change the text if necessary from "Record Search" to "FamilySearch Historical Records"
7. Add the Summary text "Fixed link to old record search pilot"
8. Test the link to be sure it goes where you want it to go.
9. Click Save Page.

Another broken link outside[edit | edit source]

If you find links outside of that are dead:

1. Look at the URL of the page you opened up that says "404 error," "page not found," etc.
2. Go back to the page with the old link
3. Click Edit this page (or section)
4. Find the URL and add the {{dead link}}template after it
5. Someone else will come later and find where they should go

When finished:[edit | edit source]

1. Close all the "other tabs" and keep the original Broken Links page open.
2. Click Edit this Page.
3. Add to the column:
"fixed" if you fixed that link. 
"added dead link template" if you added the dead link template
"no broken links" if you didn't find a problem
4. Begin working on a new page.
Next page :