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Problems Solved: Film Strict
9/1/2004
The Family History Library's book lending policy.
Q. I have been asking for a film from the Family History Library (FHL); the staff says it's restricted. Restricted to whom? Whom could I get to read it? The library catalog doesn't mention any restriction.

A. It's likely that the microfilm you're seeking via your local FHL branch Family History Center (FHC) has a circulation restriction. That doesn't mean it's restricted to specific people — rather, it's usually a contractual restriction required by the holder of the original records. This film, however, would be available for your use at the library itself in Salt Lake City.

Many restricted films are noted in the FHL catalog (which is available online at <www.familysearch.org>), but as you've discovered, not all of them are. Your FHC staff should be able to tell you which microfilms are restricted. One big collection that's restricted is the FHL's published genealogies and other books — if they haven't been preserved on microfilm or microfiche, the library won't circulate them to FHCs. But compared to how many materials the FHL does circulate to FHCs, the number of restricted holdings is quite small.

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