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This is the "Borrowing Microfilms from the Family History Library" page of the "Genealogy and Family History" guide.
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Genealogy and Family History   Tags: family history, genealogy, history  

Explore your roots at VPL and beyond: resources and services for genealogists
Last Updated: Aug 15, 2017 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

Borrowing Microfilms from the Family History Library Print Page


The Vancouver Public Library is affiliated with the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah. Through this arrangement, VPL users are able to arrange to have genealogy microfilms and microfiche from the FHL's vast collection sent to VPL for viewing.

This web page provides basic information on the service and how to use it. It should be noted that not all microfilms in the Family History Library collection are available for circulation to affiliated libraries.

Important: The Vancouver Public Library's holdings of genealogy resources are extensive. Please check the VPL catalogue before placing an order. It may also be possible to obtain microfilms, books or photocopies, often free of charge, from other Canadian libraries and archives through the VPL's Interlibrary Loan department. For more information, please see the Interlibrary Loan section.


Borrowing Microfilms from the FHL

  • Order and pay for microfilms and microfiche directly using the FamilySearch's Online Film Ordering web page.
    • Corresponding loan fees are calculated and shown during the online ordering process.
  • You must have a Vancouver Public Library card. If you do not have a card we cannot complete your order.
  • Microfilms must be used during library hours at the Central Library and are for in-library use only.
    • You will be asked to leave your library card when using the microfilm.
  • Family History Library Loan periods:
    • Short-term (microfilm only) - Films are available for a 90-day period.
    • Extended (microfilm and microfiche) - Films and fiche do not have a defined return date.
    • Renewals (microfilm only) - Short-term renewals give you an additional 60-day loan.


  • An extension may be possible. If you require more time, please contact the Family History Library.
  • If, as a result of an extension, the material is late in returning to the Family History Library, then you may be charged an additional fee by the Family History Library.

Note: The instructions below are based on results retrieved using the Places search. There are several other search options in the Family History Library Catalog. The process of identifying a specific film may be slightly different when using one of these alternative approaches to searching.

To identify microfilms that you would like to order from the FHL collection:

  1. Go to
  2. Click on Search in the middle of the top of the page.
  3. Select Catalog from the list of categories at the top of the box.
  4. Enter a search term into the Places search box.
    e.g. Victoria
  5. As you type, a drop-down list of related places will appear. Select your place from the list.
    e.g. Canada, British Columbia, Victoria
  6. Click on the Search button.
  7. Select a link in the list of results.
    e.g. Canada, British Columbia, Victoria - Naturalization and citizenship (2)
  8. A drop-down list of related sources will appear. Select a title from the list.
    e.g. Naturalization records, 1859-1917, Victoria County Court, British Columbia
  9. The records may be on several microfilm reels. Review the information in the Film Notes section of the page to determine  which microfilm you need to order.
  10. Make note of the Film number or click on the film number to go directly to the Film Ordering Page.

The first time you visit the FamilySearch Microfilm Ordering web page, you will need to set up an account and to select your pickup location. To register, visit Once your account is setup, you can proceed as follows:

Go to the FamilySearch's Online Film Ordering web page.

  1. Click on the Sign In link in the top right corner and sign in.
  2. Select a Loan Type from the drop-down menu and enter the Film Number into the search box. Click on the Search button.
  3. Click on Ordering Help for detailed instructions on how to sign in, place and pay for an order and cancel an order.
  • The Family History Library will alert you by email when they send the requested material to VPL's Central Library
  • The Family History Library will alert you by email when the requested material has arrived at VPL's Central Library and is ready for pick up.
  • Microfilms will be held for you at the Service Desk on Level 2 at the Central Library.
  • You will be asked to leave your library card when using the microfilm.
  • Microfilms may be used on the microform readers on Level 5, 6 or 7. Copies can be made for 40 cents each. Some machines take both copy cards and coins while others take only copy cards. Copy cards are available on Levels 2 and 7.
  • Return the microfilm to the Level 2 Service Desk and retrieve your library card.  Advise staff if you are planning to continue using the microfilm or have finished using it and would like the microfilm to be sent back to the Family History Library.
  • In some cases, contractual and copyright restrictions apply to the use of Family History Library microfilms. Patrons are expected to comply with any such restrictions.



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