Book and Film Numbers Used by the Family History LibraryEdit This Page

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Contents

Introduction

The Family History Library has used a few different way to number films and books since the library started in 1894.  These numbers are now mostly found on old family group sheets for the sources for the data on the sheets. These old numbers for books and films are no longer used, so the current numbers for the books and films must be found. 

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:

Converting Old FHL Film Numbers to Current Numbers

• Converting Old FHL Book Numbers to Current Numbers

Old Film Numbers

1.  First numbering System

The first numbering system for films used F (for film), then FH (for family history) or a geographic code, then a number or a letter and number and often a part number.  A part number meant 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 with often a part number.  These numbers were also called "red numbers" because the numbers were printed in red ink on the film boxes.  Again a part number meant 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 the number is an old, red number or a current number if the red number does not have a part number.  Old, red numbers stopped about 8000, so any past that should be current numbers.

3.  Third numbering system

The current numbering system started over with 1 and new films are assigned the next sequential number. No letters or part numbers are used. Zeros are sometimes put in front, but they are not needed. For example:

0000001

4821

20589

490682

2087254


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




 

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