Often, when I’m looking at records on FamilySearch.org, I find source records in two categories: 1) “Browsable” (images only, no searching capability), or 2) “Searchable” (abstracted with various fields from the record). Sometimes, within the Searchable category, records will be linked to the images of the source records. In other instances, no image is available, but a link to the Family History Library film number is given. One can always then rent the microfilm to view the original record. However, before you rent the film, check the catalog, as you may be able to view the original record online, albeit in a slightly roundabout way.
These two slightly different examples below involve records from the Dominican Republic and Rhode Island. The first example is the marriage of my wife’s great-great-grandparents – Jesus Badia and Zoila Fabian. Searching them online, I get the above reference to their marriage in Moca in 1887.
This says “No image available,” but tells me that the record comes from GS film number 637002. If I were in Salt Lake City, I could of course look at the roll. In this case, I can still go the catalog and do a microfilm search for that reel:
Here, I’m provided a clear link in red to find the records online. From this I can browse the records in Moca for marriages in 1887, which are in largely chronological order, and find the record below, with more information than the abstracted record:
The second example was slightly different. I was searching for the death of Isabella (Lippitt) Budlong for a current Newbury Street Press project on the Lippitt family. She died in Providence in 1860. Again, this says “No image available,” but also tells me that the record comes from GS Film number 2022704. Looking up this microfilm, I find no clear red link to browse this collection of Providence, Rhode Island returns of death:
From there, I can browse – as, like the earlier example, the records are largely in chronological order – and find the full death record of Isabella (Lippitt) Budlong:
The overall process to get to the original image after finding the abstracted record was only a couple of minutes. Not every collection that’s abstracted is digitized, but obviously it’s worth taking a look!