Many of you who are avid genealogists and especially those of you who live in or near Salt Lake City have been to the Family History Library. The Family History Library has the largest collection of genealogical records, anywhere! The Family History Library is owned and operated by FamilySearch.
According to FamilySearch:
“FamilySearch is the largest genealogy organization in the world. Millions of people use FamilySearch records, resources, and services to learn more about their family history. For over 100 years, FamilySearch has been actively gathering, preserving, and sharing genealogical records worldwide. Patrons may freely access our resources and service online at FamilySearch.org, or through over 4,500 family history centers in 70 countries, including the renowned Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.
FamilySearch is a service provided by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Our commitment to helping people connect with their ancestors is rooted in our beliefs. We believe that families are meant to be central to our lives and that family relationships are intended to continue beyond this life. We therefore believe that all family members—those living, those past, and those future—share an enduring bond that reaches across the generations.
All Are Welcome
We encourage all people to seek out their ancestors and preserve their family histories. Because interest in family history is not limited by culture, ethnicity, or religious faith, we welcome all who wish to discover more about their family and their heritage.”
The Family History Library is located in the heart of down town Salt Lake City. The Library covers 5 stories full of microfilm, microfiche, books, maps, computers and more. Here is some more information about the Family History Library:
Family History Library Building:
- Address: 35 North West Temple Street, Room 344, Salt Lake City, Utah, 84150-3440
- Dedicated October 23, 1985
- 142,000 square feet on five floors
- Humidity, temperature, and lighting designed to protect the collection from deterioration
- Public phone number: 801-240-2584 or 866-406-1830
- FAX: 801-240-1794
- E-mail: Click here to send us an e-mail at email@example.com
- Website: www.familysearch.org
- Founded in 1894 to gather genealogical records and assist members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints with their family history and genealogical research
- Largest library of its kind in the world
- Open to the general public at no charge
- An estimated 1,500 daily visits
- The collection includes over 2.4 million rolls of microfilmed genealogical records; 727,000 microfiche; 356,000 books, serials, and other formats; over 4,500 periodicals; 3,725 electronic resources.
- The Ancestral File database contains more than 36 million names that are linked into families.
- The International Genealogical Index database contains approximately 600 million names of deceased individuals. An addendum to the International Genealogical Index contains an additional 125 million names. These names have been patron submitted or extracted from thousands of original birth, christening and marriage records.
- The Pedigree Resource File database contains over 100 million names that are linked into families.
- Records available are from the United States, Canada, the British Isles, Europe, Latin America, Asia, and Africa.
- A majority of the records contain information about persons who lived before 1930.
- Approximately 200 cameras are currently digitizing records in over 45 countries. Records have been filmed in over 110 countries, territories, and possessions.
Seating capacity at tables
- Orientation and research classes
- Currently 100 full-time and part-time professional staff
- Approximately 700 trained volunteers
I frequently make my way down to the Family History Library and spend hours researching my genealogy and finding original documents to help me fit my puzzle pieces together.
For those of you who are not able to visit the Family History Library, FamilySearch has been working on making their records digitized and available online, free of charge! To access the millions of names and records that have already been put online, visit http://beta.familysearch.org. The digitization process will still take many years to complete, but in the meantime, be sure to regularly check back to see what new records are available. If you try to find records online, but are unsuccessful, you can still order copies of microfilm to be sent to your local Family History Center. Here is come information on contacting your local Family History Center:
Family History Centers:
- Family history centers are branches of the Family History Library.
- Over 4,500 family history centers operate in more than 100 countries.
- Local family history centers are staffed by helpful volunteers.
- About 100,000 rolls of microfilm are circulated to family history centers each month.
- Click here to locate the nearest family history center, or call 866-406-1830 in the United States and Canada.
In closing, I would like to express my thanks towards the Genealogical Society of Utah and FamilySearch for their amazing work and dedication to helping us find our ancestors by digitizing and preserving these millions of records.