New Experience

    Church History


    Section 2: How to Locate the Complete Source Information for an Item That Is Not Digitally Available


    1. If there is no View Finding Aid or View button, the collection images or files have not been made available online.
    2. Check the following three fields in the catalog record to determine if there is more than one item in the collection.
      • Physical description
        Physical Desc: Typescript and manuscript: 1 box, 3 folders, 36 cm. and smaller (1.8 linear feet)
      • Summary
        Summary: Ward histories, rosters, programs, images, and scrapbook of the Eighteenth Ward in Salt Lake City, Utah.
      • Contents
        Contents: Folder contents: (1) Ward histories, circa 2012. (2) Photograph, circa 1938. (3) Scrapbook, circa 1964.
    3. If there is only one item in the collection, such as a book manuscript or single photograph, record the collection call number and, if applicable, the box, folder, and other container number. This is the complete source information.  

      Example: Jesus the Christ
      Collection call number: M231.29 T151j 1931 no. 2
      Box number: N/A
      Folder number: N/A
      Item number: N/A
      Other container number: N/A
      Image number: N/A


    4. If it appears that there may be more than one container (folder, item, reel, cassette, and so on) in the collection, you will need to identify the specific container. You may do so by noting the item number, the reel or cassette number, or in the case of unlabeled items, a page number or a brief description of the item. You may need to place a request at the Church History Library to view the collection to identify the complete source information of the desired item.

      • Click the plus sign to see the list of containers in the collection.
      • Select Sign in to request to the right of the desired container number, and sign in using your LDS Account. If you have never requested to view items in the reading room, you must first register as a library patron here
      • Click Request. Complete the request.
      • As you view the item, record container numbers, such as box number, folder number, and reel number. Identify the desired item within the container, and record the item number. In the case of unlabeled items, list a page number or give a brief description of the item.   
      • Example: Joseph Fielding Smith Personal and Family Photographs, circa 1870s–1960s
        Collection call number: PH 7459
        Box number: N/A
        Folder number: 4
        Item number: 1
        Other container number: N/A
        Image number: N/A

      • If you are unable to request the collection to determine the complete source information or if you have any other questions regarding this process, click the Ask Us button. Provide as much detail as possible about the desired item.
      • If the collection displays the Suggest Digitization button, you may select this option to request that the collection can be digitized and published online.


    Go to the Church History Catalog, and use the following examples to practice finding the complete source information.

    1. Search for the collection of Charles R. Savage photographs, circa 1866–1906. What is the complete source information for the photograph of the Ogden Courthouse in box 2?
    2. Search for “Handbook guide to the Salt Lake Museum.” What is the complete source information for page 4 of this document?
    3. Search for a photograph of Spencer W. Kimball at the World’s Fair. What is the complete source information for this photograph?


      1. PH 500, box 2, folder 35, item 4, images 1 and 2
      2. 069.5 D451h 1881, folder 1, image 4
      3. PH 9548