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A brief description of the collections at the LDS Church History Library.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints maintains a Church History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah separate from the Family History Library.The collections of the Church History Library contain materials chronicling the history of the Church from its beginning in 1830 to the present day. The collections contain manuscripts, books, Church records, photographs, oral histories, architectural drawings, pamphlets, newspapers, periodicals, maps, microforms, and audiovisual materials.

See the Library and Archives website (http://www.lds.org/churchhistory/library) for hours and admission, services and rules, location and parking, and contact information.

Collections Only Available On-Site

The following collections can help family history researchers tracing LDS families. Some portions of these records are only available at the Church History Library.

LDS Ward and Branch Records

These records from local church units include membership records, minutes, and histories. The Church has only a few scattered membership records before 1847. The Church History Library is the only place to access membership records from 1949 to 1983. Priesthood quorums and auxiliaries created the minutes and records as well as the local church leaders. The Family History Library has copies of membership records on microfilm for most local units up to 1948.

Journal History of the Church (1830 to present)

This source is a day-by-day scrapbook of events in Church history. It contains clippings from newspapers, excerpts from private journals, letters, and other documentary material. The Family History Library has a microfilm copy up to June 1973.

Patriarchal Blessing Index (1833 to present)

The computer index contains basic information used in requesting a copy of a patriarchal blessing. The indexes provide some genealogical information. The Family History Library has a microfiche copy up to 1999.

Journals, Manuscripts, and Photographs

The Church History Library has personal journals, biographies, histories of Church leaders, photographs, and other documentary materials.

For other sources available in each library, see the research outline, Tracing LDS Families(item 34080). Major collections include the Early Church Information File, the Missionary Record Index (1830-1979), and the Obituary Index (1848-1970).

Databases Online

The Church History Library provides two online databases.

  • LDSChurch'Periodical Index.Automated index containing authors, titles, subjects, and abstracts of articles from periodicals published by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as well as from other journals and magazines from 1976 to the present.
  • Mormon Pioneer Overland Travel (1847-1868). The most complete index of individuals and companies that crossed the plains to Utah between 1847 and 1868. The entries include transcribed excerpts from trail diaries, letters, and newspaper reports.