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Family History Library

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United States Gotoarrow.png Utah Gotoarrow.png Archives and Libraries Gotoarrow.png Family History Library

Family History Library.jpg
Welcome to the
Family History


Announcements[edit | edit source]

The Granite Mountain Vault will be shifting a large amount of films into their newly renovated space. This entails moving half a million rolls of film, and numerous cabinets of fiche and digital media. Since it will be risky to pull items during this time, the Family History Library will not be able to order any microfilms above 1,796,169. Films with numbers lower than 1,796,169 and microfiche can still be ordered.

This move is scheduled for early April of 2014 and will last about two weeks. Another update will be posted as soon as we have more information.

Contact Information[edit | edit source]


Find us on Facebook:


Family History Library
35 North West Temple Street
Salt Lake City, Utah 84150-3400

Phone: 1 801-240-2584

  • Research Help: 866-206-1830
  • Classes, Hours, Parking: 801-240-6536
  • Lost and Found: 801-240-3527

Hours and holidays:  Click here or call the phone number above.

Parking and Transportation:

Parking can be an issue in downtown Salt Lake City.The following parking is available in the area:

Free:  Parking lot behind the Church History Museum

  • Monday to Friday, 4:30-9 pm; all day Saturday
  • Limitations:  Closed during Conference Center events, and from the day after Thanksgiving to January 2nd. Parking subject to availability.

Pay:  For a Family History Library area pay-parking lots map click here. Pricing is subject to change and is not controlled by the Family History Library.  As of July 16, 2013 the following fees apply:

  • Salt Palace Parking a maximum of $12.00 per day.
  • Lot on the northwest corner of North Temple is $2 under 1 hr, $5 under 2 hrs, $8 under 12 hrs
  • The JSMB underground parking is a flat rate of $10.

Public Transportation:  For FrontRunner, TRAX (light rail), and bus public transportation information click here

Copy Fees:

Size 8 1/2 x 11

  • Black and white--U.S. $.05
  • Color--U.S. $.30

Size 11 x 17

  • Black and white--U.S. $.10
  • Color--U.S. $.60

More copy information

Library Rules[edit | edit source]

  1. Set cellular phones to silence or vibrate. Phones should not “ring” in the Library. Quiet cell phone conversations are permitted in the Library. Please be respectful of those around you. Library staff is authorized to request that patrons discontinue phone conversations.
  2. Do not leave personal belongings unattended. The library is not responsible for items that are lost, stolen or damaged. We encourage patrons with laptop computers to lock them to the furniture where they are seated.
  3. If you plan to vacate a microfilm reader for more than 60 minutes or a computer for more than 15 minutes, please take your material with you. If demand is high materials may be removed by staff and stored at the Access Services window.
  4. Please handle the equipment, books, and other materials carefully.
  5. Please re-file microfilms and return books to the red shelves, or red carts, near the row from which they came.
  6. When using photocopy equipment, please limit yourself to five copies when others are waiting. While using Scan Pros please limit usage to 15 minutes while others are waiting.
  7. If readers or copiers malfunction, please inform an Access Assistant at the Access Services window. An “out of order” sign will be placed on non-operational equipment until it can be repaired.
  8. Announcements are made 45 minutes, 30 minutes and 15 minutes prior to closing of the Library. Please leave the Library prior to closing time.
  9. Food and drinks are permitted only in the main floor snack room. (Water bottles with closed lids are permitted.)
  10. Animals: No animals are allowed in the Family History Library unless they are trained service animals assisting persons with disabilities.
  11. Clothing and Dress Standards: Appropriate dress is required in the Family History Library which includes shirt, pants and shoes at all times.
  12. Children under twelve must be accompanied by an adult.
  13. Smoking is not permitted anywhere in the building or on the grounds.
  14. We invite patrons to use the Patron Feedback link on patron computers to share rewarding experiences, compliments, suggestions, and concerns.
  15. Please observe all posted instructions.

Library Background[edit | edit source]

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

Visited by an estimated 1,900 or more individual patrons and groups each day.

Library Resources[edit | edit source]

Patron Class Schedule[edit | edit source]

View the following schedules using Google Chrome, or Internet Explorer. They will NOT appear using a Mozilla Firefox browser. January, 2014
February, 2014
March, 2014
April, 2014

Online Resources[edit | edit source]

FamilySearch is the online web site which hosts: • Historical Records (images and indexes). • Digitized Books. • FamilySearch Research Wiki. • Online training classes. • Ancestral File. • International Genealogical Index. • Pedigree Resource File. • U.S. Social Security Death Index.

Family History Library Catalog online describes the library's holdings. The catalog is also part of WorldCat.

Collection Description[edit | edit source]

The collection includes over 2.4 million rolls of microfilmed genealogical records; 727,000 microfiche; 356,000 books, serials, and other formats; 4,500 periodicals; 3,725 electronic databases.[1]
Historical Records contains over a billion names of deceased individuals from census, vital records, and other records from over 100 countries on each of the seven continents. It includes indexes and images of many original records.
Digitized Books contain searchable copies of over 40,000 family history and genealogy printed works.
FamilySearch Research Wiki contains research advice and direction in over 70,000 articles. Individuals are able to add or modify content to share their knowledge.
Learning Center contains hundreds of online classes on a variety of subjects for many different countries and most genealogical principles and processes.
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, South America, Asia, Australia and Africa.
Millions of records are added to the collection each month.
A majority of the records contain information about persons who lived before 1941.
Approximately 200 cameras are currently microfilming records in over 45 countries. Records have been filmed in over 110 countries, territories, and possessions.

Donations[edit | edit source]

Gifts of family histories, organized collections, and other records that contain genealogical information are welcome. For example, you can write a history of your family and donate a copy to the Family History Library. When you donate an item, you can indicate that you would like the item microfilmed, as well. More details about donations.

View Guidelines for Gifts, Donations, and Loans to FamilySearch.

If you have questions about donations please contact:

Book Donations

Patron Resources[edit | edit source]

Over 500 patron computers
Over 300 microfilm readers
36 microfiche readers
27 digital microfilm and microfiche copiers
3 HD book scanners
14 book copiers
Seating capacity for 375 at tables
Orientation and research classes

Book and Film Numbers Used by the Family History Library[edit | edit source]

The Family History Library has used different methods to number its growing collection of books and films since its start in 1894. Formerly used numbers are still found in old family records in the lists of sources for the data. These old numbers are no longer used so the current numbers for the books and films must be determined.

For an explanation of the different systems used over the years (including the current system), and to see tables for converting old book and film numbers to new, click here.

Request a Vault Film before visiting the Family History Library[edit | edit source]

Order Process

What's New at the FamilySearch Library[edit | edit source]

Check out the new books that have been added to the collection! Please note that some browsers have problems with PDF files and to open these you may need to 'Right Click' and open in a new window.

US/Canada Collections (current) June, 2013

British Collections (current) June 2013

International Collections (current) June 2013

Family History Collections (current) June, 2013 

Staff/Reference Collections (current) June 2013

Personnel[edit | edit source]

Currently about 30 full-time and part-time professional staff
Approximately 600 trained volunteers
British Research Consultants Directory
International Research Consultants Directory
United States and Canada Research Consultants Directory

Guides[edit | edit source]

Johni Cerny, and Wendy L. Elliott, The Library: a Guide to the LDS Family History Library (Salt Lake City: Ancestry Pub., 1988) At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 979.2258 A3Li.
J. Carlyle Parker, Going to Salt Lake City to Do Family History Research, 3rd ed. (Turlock, Calif.: Marietta Pub., 1996) At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 979.2258 J5p 1996.

Group Visits[edit | edit source]

Guidelines for scheduling groups at the Family History Library.
Important information for a successful visit.
Group visit options.
Make a reservation.

FHL visitors describe their experiences:[edit | edit source]

Video Tour: Family History Library -- recorded by staff (February 2010)
Another Item Crossed Off My Bucket List, or Is It? - by Jill Ball (visited in February 2010)
Visiting the SLC: Days 1 & 2 of posts by Randy Seaver (visited in Jan 2009)
How to Prepare to Visit the Family History Library
Request A Vault Film before Visiting the Family History Library
What Gives With FamilySearch? The Rest of the Story (Sep 2011) - Valerie provides an in-depth blog post about the volunteers in the FHL
Salt Lake City Library: Ready, Set Go! - by Lorine McGinnis Schulze
A Fresh Look at the Family History Library - A Library without Walls - by Alan E. Mann, Manager at FamilySearch, presented at NGS 2010 Conference

FamilySearch Centers[edit | edit source]

FamilySearch Centers are branches of the Family History Library
Over 4,500 family history centers operate in more than 100 countries
Local FamilySearch Centers are staffed by helpful volunteers
About 100,000 rolls of microfilm are circulated to family history centers each month.
Click here to locate a nearby family history center, or call 866-406-1830 in the United States or Canada. Click here for the map-based locator.

Alternate Repositories[edit | edit source]

If you cannot find a source you need at the Family History Library, try one or more of these other repositories.

Repositories with very large genealogical collections
Library of Congress, Washington, DC, Local History and Genealogy Reading Room is part of the world's largest library including 50,000 genealogies, 100,000 local histories, and collections of manuscripts, microfilms, maps, newspapers, photographs, and published material, strong in North American, British Isles, and German sources.
National Archives I, Washington DC, census, pre-WWI military service & pensions, passenger lists, naturalizations, passports, federal bounty land, homesteads, bankruptcy, ethnic sources, prisons, and federal employees.

Allen County Public Library, Fort Wayne, Indiana, home of the Periodical Source Index (PERSI), more than 350,000 printed books and 513,000 items of microfilm/fiche including family histories, censuses, city directories, passenger lists, military records, local histories, American Indians, African Americans, Canadian, British, & German collections.[2]

Repositories with significant Latter-day Saint collections Church History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah, LDS history 1830-now: diaries, manuscripts, Church records, photos, oral history, architectural drawings, pamphlets, newspapers, periodicals, maps, microforms, audiovisual material[3]

Daughters of Utah Pioneers, Salt Lake City, Utah, the Museum displays artifacts, and the History Department collects and preserves about 100,000 histories of pioneers who set out for, settled, or were born in Utah by 10 May 1869.[4]

Utah State Historical Society, Salt Lake City, Utah, family histories, photographs, books, manuscript collections, telephone directories, maps, newspapers, yearbooks, and periodicals are available in the Research Center and online.[5]

Neighboring repositories
Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah, genealogy, history, census, Family History Centerdigital family history.
Salt Lake City Public Library, Salt Lake City, Utah, Utah newspapers on microfilm, and genealogical databases.
Utah State Archives, Salt Lake City, Utah, newspaper, death, land, court, history, naturalization, military, directories, criminals.
Utah State University, Logan, Utah, Special Collections and Archives local historical and biographical sources.
University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah, history, biography, newspapers, government documents, and Western Americana.
United States District Court of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah, federal court records.
Salt Lake County Court, Salt Lake City, Utah, local court records.

Sources[edit | edit source]

  2. "Genealogy Center" in Allen County Public Library [Internet site] at (accessed 18 October 2008).
  3. "Church History Library and Archives" in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints [Internet site] at (accessed 18 October 2008).
  4. "Pioneer Museum" and "History Department" pages in International Society ~ Daughter of Utah Pioneers [Internet site] at (accessed 18 October 2008).
  5. "Research Center and Collections" and "Collections Available at the Research Center" in Utah State History [Internet site] at (accessed 18 October 2008).

January 9, 2014 By Viviane Davis

Due to the growing film collection in the Family History Library, measures had to be taken to remove selected film collections to create space for high volume of films being ordered from the Granite Mountain Records Vault.

As of December 17th, 2013, the Library has removed the US Soundex films and the 1st filming of the US Census for 1860 and 1870. These films are available on multiple websites, including The Mexico films that are available online are also being removed from the Library.

Part of the change will include removing the overflow section completely from the International B1 floor. Films that have been ordered within the last 2 months will be moved to the High Density storage area where their use can be tracked. All other films will be sent back to the Vault. Starting on January 6th, all new films ordered from the International collection will be stored in High Density. To access those films, patrons will have to go to the Access Services Window on the B1 floor.

All films stored in High Density that are not used for the space of one year will be sent back to the vault. Films that are used multiple times during the space of a year will be incorporated into the core section for easier patron access.

There may be a delay in the patron catalog regarding the current location of the films being moved/removed. Please, contact the Access Services Window at least 24 hours in advance to check the location of films.If films are not found in the Library, they can be ordered from the vault by going to or by calling the Access Services Window (US & Canada 801-240-7378; International 801-240-2334; British 801-240-7379).

Thank you for your patience while we make the transition. If you have any questions, contact the Access Services Windows.