Book and Film Numbers Used by the Family History Library

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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.  The tools to find the current numbers are at the Family History Library.

Old Film Numbers

1.  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 sometimes a part number, for example:

F F.H. 441

F Ga. 7

F Me. 11 pts. 284-292

F Pa. C 9f pts. 1-2

F Mass. H3

F N.Y. C 16b

F Vt. W 25a pts. 1-2 = 7079 pts. 1-2

2.  The second numbering system used a number with sometimes a part number.  These numbers were also called "red numbers" because the numbers were printed in red ink on the film boxes.  Examples:


1379 pt. 4

2756 pts. 351-359

7079 pts. 1-2


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 7104, so any past that should be current numbers.

3.  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:






To determine what the current number for an old or a red number:

Step 1

Find the old number in the following films or in green books called Microfilm Numbers (List of All Film Call Numbers in the Genealogical Society from 1938-1958).  These are arranged by the first film numbers and give the second (red) numbers. 

Step 2

With the red number:

1.  Go to the DOS version of the Family History Library Catalog,

2.  Select Film/Fiche Search.

3.  Type C.

4.  Type the old (red) film number.

5.  Type the part number if applicable.

6.  The current film number will be shown under Converted to Film Number.

Films with old film numbers (Old Locality Film Shelf List):

470962     F F.H. 1-2207

                F Gen. Hist. 1-11

                F Am. Pub. A to F Fla. S2

470963     F Ga. pt. 1 to F La. W2a

470964     F Me. 1 to F N.C. Y2

470965     F N.D. 1 to F Vt. W37a

470966     F Va. Pub. A to F Wyo W2

If you found an old number F Vt. W 25a pt. 2, in the green books, you would find that the red number was 7079.  The part number would stay the same

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