Yesterday I wrote about the World War I Draft Registration Card I found for Allister Rawding. The images I presented were downloaded from the internet and were fairly difficult to read.
While filing that record, I found I had electronic images from FHL US/CAN Film 1684748 that I had saved several years ago. To my surprise, the record I had saved from the Family History Library microfilm was of much better quality than the image I obtained from an online database. Compare the images below with those I published yesterday and see for yourself:
WWI Draft Registration for Allister Rawding – Front
WWI Draft Registration for Allister Rawding – Back
SOURCE: U.S. National Archives and Records Administration, “World War I Selective Service System Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918,” Allister Daniel Rawding, serial no. 1044, order no. 612, Norwood, Norfolk County, Massachusetts; FHL US/CAN microfilm 1,684,748.
Click on the link for a PDF Copy of the World War I Draft Registration Card for Allister Daniel Rawding. I was surprised at how much clearer these images are than the same images I had downloaded from the internet. This is especially surprising because the Family history Library microfilms and the images on Ancestry.com are reported to originate from the same microfilms held by the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration.
Many historical documents have been microfilmed multiple times, by different agencies. Sometimes I’ve found that the Genealogical Society of Utah (the Family History Library) has, itself, filmed the same documents multiple times, with one filming of much better quality than another.
But even the Family History Library does not necessarily have the best microfilm copies of a set of records. Several years ago, I looked up some newspaper obituaries on microfilm at the Family History Library, but found them almost unreadable. I found a different filming of the same newspaper at a Local Public Library that was incredibly better.
The lesson here is, if one copy of a set of documents is of poor quality, there might be a better copy available through some other facility.
Copyright © 2006 Stephen J. Danko