Book and Film Numbers Used by the Family History Library

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=== Introduction  ===
 
=== Introduction  ===
  
The Family History Library has used a few different methods to number its growing collection of books and films since the library started in 1894. Formerly used numbers are still found in old family records in the list of sources for the data.&nbsp;These old numbers for books and films are no longer used, so the current numbers for the books and films must be determined.<br>  
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The Family History Library has used a few different methods to number its books and films since the library started in 1894. These old numbers for books and films are no longer used so the current numbers for the books and films must be determined.<br>  
  
 
There were three old numbering systems for books and three old numbering systems for films.&nbsp; After determining if you have an old film number or an old book number, click on one of following for instructions on how to find the current number:  
 
There were three old numbering systems for books and three old numbering systems for films.&nbsp; After determining if you have an old film number or an old book number, click on one of following for instructions on how to find the current number:  

Revision as of 19:05, 20 June 2013

Family History Library

Contents

Introduction

The Family History Library has used a few different methods to number its books and films since the library started in 1894. These old numbers for books and films are no longer used so the current numbers for the books and films must be determined.

There were three old numbering systems for books and three old numbering systems for films.  After determining if you have an old film number or an old book number, click on one of following for instructions on how to find the current number:

Old Film Numbers

1. First numbering System

The first numbering system for films used an F (for film), then F.H. (for family history) or a geographic code, then a number or a letter and number and often a part number. A part number designated a separate film in a film collection. Examples:

  • F F.H. 441
  • F Ga. 7
  • F Me. 11 pt. 289
  • F Pa. C 9f pt. 1
  • F Mass. H3
  • F N.Y. C 16b
  • F Vt. W 25a pt. 2

2. Second numbering system

The second numbering system used a number often with a part number. These numbers were also called "red numbers" because, for a number of years, the numbers were printed in red ink on the film boxes. Again a part number designated a separate film in a film collection. Examples:

  • 1448
  • 1379 pt. 4
  • 2756 pt. 356
  • 7079 pt. 2
  • 2745

The tricky part of this system is it is hard to know if a number -- such as 2745 -- is an old, red number without a part number or if it is a current number. Old, red numbers stopped at about 8000, so any past that should be current numbers.

3. Third numbering system

The current numbering system started over with number 1 and new films are assigned the next sequential number. No letters or part numbers are used. As the library now has over 2 million films in its collection, zeros are sometimes added on the front of a film number to make it a 7-digit number, but they are not needed. Numbers are good with or without the leading zeros. For example:

  • 0000001
  • 4821
  • 20589
  • 490682
  • 2087254

Converting Old Film Numbers to New

Here are several ways to convert the old GS film numbers into the current Family History Library film numbers.

If you need to convert an old GS book number, consult one of these resources, most of which are available on film or fiche.

See Also

Old Book and Film Numbers Used by the Family History Library
Converting Old FHL Film Numbers to Current Numbers
Category:Old microfilm number conversion

Important Dates


See Also

Introduction to the Family History Library Catalog

Family History Library Catalog Place Search

Family History Library Catalog Surname Search

Family History Library Catalog Keyword Search

Family History Library Catalog Title Search

Family History Library Catalog Film and Fiche Search

Family History Library Catalog Author Search

Family History Library Catalog Subject Search

Family History Library Catalog Call Number Search