FamilySearch Historical Record Collections

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FamilySearch Historical Record Collections provide online access to indexes and digital images of records held by the Family History Library. The site can be accessed from the Search Records menu on the FamilySearch homepage or directly at Historical Record Collections. New collections are being uploaded as quickly as the records are digitized and indexed. The term 'Pilot' indicates that the site is still under development.

Searching The Indexed Records

From the main screen you can search all collections available. There are three types of searches 'Exact close match' is the default. Use the drop down arrow next to the green Search button if you wish to chose 'Exact match' or 'Exact, close and partial'. You will want to experiment with these different search types to see the different results from each type of search. There is no Soundex search available.

The Advanced Search link adds search fields for parents names and acts as a toggle between Advanced Search and Basic Search. The three types of searches ('Exact close match' or 'Exact match' or 'Exact, close and partial') are still available.

The magnifying glass and link Browse our record collections provides a map so that you can limit the collections to a general locality or find specific collections within a locality.

Collection Descriptions

For each collection, there is a brief Collection Description, as well as a link titled "About this Collection." In the FamilySearch beta version, the link is titled "Learn More". Addition information about the collections may also be found in articles in this, the FamilySearch Research Wiki, about the locality and in the Family History Library online catalog.

Locating the Latest Updates

The updates are posted here for easy reference:

Check back often to see if the newly added records can help you find the ancestral information you may be needing at the time!

Return to Main Page

To return to the main website, click on the Home link at the top of the page and from the Home page of Record Search Pilot, click on the link at the bottom of the page. The back arrow will not return you to the main website.

Volunteer to Index

Another link on FamilySearch invites everyone to volunteer in indexing the digitized records so that the sources can be made available free online more quickly. Click here to learn more about the indexing project and to see a quick reference to the collections being added to FamilySearch Record Search Pilot.


For more information on read the blog posted by the developers. A new version of the site was released in September 2009.