Once you have a list of microfilm from the Family History Library Catalog that you feel would be relevant to your research, your next step will be to order the microfilm. The Family History Library in Salt Lake City loans copies of their microfilm to local Family History Centers throughout the country.
To locate your nearest Family History Center, go to the FamilySearch website. At the top of the home page is a link for “FamilySearch Centers.” This page contains an easy search engine, where you simply provide your city, state, or ZIP code.
For example, if I input my previous residence of Laurel, Maryland, 20707, the engine returns the nearest Center: “Washington DC Family History Center.” Clicking on the name of the Center pops up a window with the address, directions, hours of operation, contact phone number, and other notes.
There are two ways to order microfilm to your local Family History Center.
Traditionally, you would have to go to the Family History Center and fill out an order form. The cost for rental of most microfilms is minimal (around $5-$6). It would take a few weeks, but when the films arrive at the Center, the staff will call you.
There is also a new online order form for microfilm. The online form can be accessed via the “FamilySearch Centers” page on FamilySearch. At the bottom of the page, click the link labeled “Order microfilms.”
You will have to be signed into the website to order microfilm. Registration is completely free. The first time you order microfilm through the website, you will have to set a default Family History Center. To do this, click on “My Account” directly under the page header. You can search for the nearest Family History Center under the “My Family History Center” tab on the right. You will also have to add your telephone number and mailing address to your account. These can be entered under the “Address Book” tab. Once these two pieces of information have been added to your account, you are ready to order a film.
From the “Online Film Ordering” page, all you have to do is select the loan type (generally this would be “Short-term Microfilm Loan”), enter the Film number, and click “Search.” When the name of the film appears click on the “Add to Cart” link. To order more films, click “Continue Shopping” from your Shopping Cart page. When you are finished, click “Proceed to Checkout.”
By ordering microfilm from the Family History Library, you can access worldwide records from close to home.