FamilySearch, or what we used to know as the Family History Library, has an enormous number of resources for family historians in their library in Salt Lake City. They have travelled the world collecting original material by microfilming it, and these microfilms can be ‘borrowed’. If you have a FamilSearch Center nearby, or a society library designated for lending films, you can borrow the films and research them without having to travel to Salt Lake City. In most cases the microfilms were also donated back to the archive or repository, protecting the original records from wear and tear.
Go to FamilySearch and click on the word Catalog under the main heading.
The new catalog search looks like this:
When I’ve typed in ‘Fiji’ I get a long list of possible places. I think it’s best to just use ‘Fiji’ to start with, without getting too specific.
Birth, marriage and death records are held under Civil registration. If you click on any of these entries you will see what records they hold. For example, if I click on Land and property – indexes I can see:
If I click on the last of these I can see the individual film entries. The film numbers are what I need to order the film:
To order a film, you can click on the film number, which takes you to another page: https://familysearch.org/films/. You need to be signed in to do this; signing up is easy and free. You can order a film on short-term loan for 90 days or long-term loan for extended periods.
My most convenient library is the Society of Australian Genealogists and the website remembers that setting for me. You can change it at any time.
You can then go on to find more films, or checkout and pay by credit card or PayPal.
Once you’ve placed your order and paid for it you can track the status of your order at any time. You’ll get an email when the film has been received by your library, and you can go there and look at the film. Some libraries charge an extra fee for handling the film on top of what FamilySearch charges.
Bear in mind that the 90 days starts on the day the film is sent, not the day it arrives in your library. So get in and look at it as soon as you can.