What ways have WikiTree-ers used to "attach" a scanned record (e.g., a census page) to a profile ?

+6 votes

When there's a scan of a record, I want it to be part of the profile.  

Someone looking at the profile should be able see the sources used to create it -- the draft cards, the census pages, the marriage licenses, etc.  (Seeing the actual records is kinda exciting, right?)

I don't want to hot-link to some database.  The scan should be with the profile, the same way that photos are.

Has anyone else done this?  If so, did you simply upload the record as "source"?  If not, how else?


in Policy and Style by Living Straehle G2G6 Mach 1 (14.9k points)

2 Answers

+9 votes
Best answer
If you made the copy yourself from the document, you are probably OK if the document is not copyrighted, (although in some countries, some certificates are protected if there are living people named on them.)

If you took the copy from Ancestry, FamilySearch, FindMyPast, etc., you probably are not allowed to upload the document to Wikitree because of the service agreement you agreed to when you signed up with the service from which you got the document.  That is why it is recommended that you link, not attach a copy, of the document.
by Vic Watt G2G6 Pilot (335k points)
selected by Dale Byers
I'll second this. I have occasionally captured copies off Family Search for my own personal files, but can honestly say that I've never had an original copy of the Census to use for this purpose. As such, I always link to the source.
Yes, I took the copy from FamilySearch... but No, I did not agree to anything because I do not have an account there -- the scans are open-access.  Of course I will cite the source!

Juli, You are incorrect when you say that you did not agree to anything because you do not have an account with FamilySearch. This is in the Terms of Use for FamilySearch. (I have added the emphasis.):

"By using this site, you agree to all of the terms and conditions set forth herein (“Agreement”). If you disagree with any of the terms or conditions, do not use this site."

"All content found on this site (including visuals, text, icons, displays, databases, media, and general information) is owned by us or licensed to us. You may view, download, and print content from this site only for your personal, noncommercial use, or for your use as a volunteer indexer in connection with the FamilySearch Indexing Program pursuant to the FamilySearch Indexing Program Terms and Conditions or the FamilySearch Indexing Software License Agreement. In addition to the foregoing, unless otherwise indicated, content may be viewed, downloaded, or reproduced by media personnel for use in traditional public news media. You may not post content from this site on another website or on a computer network without our permission. You may not transmit or distribute content from this site to other sites. You may not use this site or information found at this site (including the names and addresses of those who have submitted information) to sell or promote products or services, to solicit clients, or for any other commercial purpose."

I don't post the images of census, certificates and the like. I try to always get a link to an image that is free of charge. Other documents I will post a transcription (mine, not someone else's).
Thanks for the education.  Appreciated!
+3 votes
(Option 1) As Vic Watt said if you make the image yourself then you can do what you like with it.  But that means you need to visit NARA or another facility that has a physical copy of the census microfilm and make a copy of the page you want.

There are many reasons that Ancestry and FamilySearch (Plus others) claim copyright for their census images.

First, the image you see on their database is from their privately owned copy of the census microfilms.

Second, the image on their database is not the image you see on the microfilm. The have taken their microfilm roll and cleaned it.  Then as each image is made, they subject it to various tools to enhance and make clear.  Each image is unique.

Third, they have arranged those enhanced images from their personal copy in a particular way that creates their unique database,


(Option 2) Now for your, our, purposes there is an aspect of copyright that is called Fair Use but it is a fine balance.  You can take a portion of their census image and use that to highlight the information that you wish.  For instance, your ancestors are on line 21-28 of page 19 of District/Town X of New York 1880 census, you can grab a screen clipping of just those 8 lines and it would be (in all likelihood) considered Fair Use.  Mainly because you have only used a small portion to illustrate a particular family; and, you have not used their image in a way that interferes with the value of their image.

(Option 3) Locate the microfilm roll number for the census in question, and find it on the website Archives.org.  Grab a screen clipping of the page or section that you want from their viewer.  Or download the roll in one of the formats offered and make copies of the images from that download.  The microfilm rolls on that site were digitized from a collection of rolls purchased by Allen County Public Library and is available free of copyrights.  But the images are 'as is' from the roll.


As you obtain, 'free and clear' images of the census please keep in mind the US History sub-project for Census Images.  We are a small group but our goal is to do this very thing of providing census images for WikiTree to use.
by Kathleen Heath G2G6 Mach 2 (20.6k points)

Given what Kathleen Heath said about 'tidying up' the census images, I support FamilySearch's claim to "creation" of content (which is, of course, what copyright protects).


I've done some "creation" of my own: I used Preview's masking tool to shadow the portions of the record that are not my relatives.  It has the effect of highlighting portions of the record, drawing viewers' eyes there.

(My profile will shortly have now has a "demo" of this effect, on text that is quite purely my own.)

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