Family History Centers

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Family History Centers (FHCs) are units of  FamilySearch in Salt Lake City operated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS). In 2009, there were over 4500 FHCs in 88 countries which are resources for research and study of Genealogy and Family history.


Types of Family History Centers:

(Family History Center Operations Guide 2006, 9)

Computer Only (CO) family history center:

[do not have microfilm circulation]

Requires a small classroom, which may be used for other purposes on Sundays.May be sufficient for Church units whose members are beginning to organize family information but may not need access to the Church's microfilm collection.
Serves as a place where members can access the Internet in places where access is generally limited.

Family history center with film circulation: 

Includes access to the Church's microfilm collection, a microfilm reader, other equipment and furnishings, as well as a computer with Internet capability.May require dedicated space or shared space, which may be used for other purposes on Sundays, or a combination of both.May meet the needs of Church members in a ward or one or more stakes.
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[Notes]
Large multistake family history centers [also known as Regional centers] are family history centers with film circulation. For more information regarding priesthood supervision of large multistake family history centers, see To Turn the Hearts: Leader's Guide to Temple and Family History Work pg 7.Current list of large multistake family history centers:

Mesa, Arizona

Los Angeles, California

Oakland, California

Orange, California

Sacramento, California

San Diego, California

Idaho Falls, Idaho
Pocatello, Idaho

Las Vegas, Nevada

Logan, Utah

Ogden, Utah

St George, Utah

Hyde Park,  London, England

Riverton, Utah FamilySearch Library

Affiliate Public Libraries (APL)

These centers have microfilm circulation. Please call (866) 406-1830 for more information about locations of these libraries.

The Salt Lake City Genealogical Library

The Library was 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. It is the largest library of its kind in the world. It is open to the general public at no charge. The Family History Library is visited by an estimated 1,900 or more individual patrons visit each day. By 1975 there were 17 "Branch Libraries" around the world.<ref name=Allen/>

The library collection has 2.4 million rolls of Family History Library Microfilmed genealogical records and over 742,000 microfiche in the main system. In 2003, the collection increased monthly by an average of 4,100 rolls of film, 700 books, and 16 electronic resources. A majority of the records contain information about persons who lived before 1930. Approximately 200 cameras are currently microfilming records in over 45 countries. Records have been filmed in over 110 countries, territories, and possessions.[1]

The first Family History Center (FHC), then called a branch genealogical library, was organized in the Harold B. Lee Library on Brigham Young University Campus in May, 1964. Plans had been announced at October General Conference of 1963 to organize family history centers in Mesa, Arizona, Logan, Utah, Cardston, Alberta and Oakland, California, all adjacent to the temples in those cities.

The Family History Centers were put under the overall direction of Archibald F. Bennett. By December, 1964 there were 29 FHCs and by 1968, 75. In 1987, these institutions were renamed "family history centers."

Familysearch.org Databases

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 80 million names that are linked into families. Records are available are from the United States, Canada, the British Isles, Europe, Latin America, Asia, and Africa.
  • The Social Security Death Index represents millions who were in the social security system before death.
  • Census Records from 1880 United States Federal Census, and the 1881 British & Canadian censuses.
  • Vital Records Index for Mexico and Scandinavia only representing thousands of names.[2]
  • In 2003, the collection increased monthly by an average of 4,100 rolls of film, 700 books, and 16 electronic resources. • A majority of the records contain information about persons who lived before 1930. • Approximately 200 cameras are currently microfilming records in over 45 countries. Records have been filmed in over 110 countries, territories, and possessions.[3]

Digitization and indexing projects

In the late 1990s, a "pilot program" to update familysearch.org and digitize its entire collection was started using volunteers to input or "index" census and other data. This new genealogical index is considered an upgrade to "Record Search" It is a work in progress representing 426 regions around the world. Millions of new names have been inputted by volunteers. Volunteers to the project are now being actively solicited at FamilySearchIndexing.org. The searchable database containing the digital images and index will be available through the church's FamilySearch website.

Sources

  1. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named Allen
  2. http://www.intl-research.com/overview.htm AAG International Research Published by: AAG International Research
  3. http://www.familysearch.org/eng/library/FHL/frameset_library.asp About the Family History Library Publisher: FamilySearch.org

Family History Center (LDS Church) on Wikipedia.

Links