Can/should I upload supporting documentation?

+4 votes
If I have a copy of a public document, such as a birth or death certificate, may I upload it as a photo attachment  for that person? Is this acceptable etiquette and/or a good use of server resources? What standards or considerations should be observed in uploading such a document?

I am in the habit of stating which documents I have in my possession and would be open to sharing if someone personal messaged me, but thought it might be worthwhile posting in some instance for whatever additional information different eyes would fine.

Sorry if I missed an answer to this in the FAQ's I misssed or if I didn't hit the right search terms in looking through the forum.

~ Ellen
in Genealogy Help by Ellen Curnes G2G6 Mach 8 (80.8k points)

1 Answer

+3 votes
Best answer
Are the documents freely available online, such as on a government archive site? If so, I would just link to it in the sources, making sure to include enough information to find the document in case the link itself changes. I do that often with census records and public records from provincial archives.

For documents that are not available online, I think it's a good idea to attach them to profiles, making sure that good size and compression settings are used to make them small data-size-wise. Of course, I'm assuming here that no copyright issues prevent doing so.

In some cases, I do have access to digital images of church records by subscription. The records themselves shouldn't be copyrighted, but it is not clear if the digital images are copyrighted. In those cases, I just transcribe the information into the profile and mention that it's from a certain church's records.
by Roland Arsenault G2G6 Mach 5 (55.4k points)
selected by Abby Glann
Great question and great answer. Thank you, Ellen and Roland.

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