Research Outlines

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The popular printed FamilySearch Library Research Outlines were taken out of print in 2009. Many in the genealogy community were saddened when the announcement was released.
Research Outline.jpg

The Outlines are called by various names; Guidelines, Guide, Outline but all refer to the same wonderfully informative documents.

None of the information in the Guidelines was lost when hard copy publication stopped. It was all incorporated in U.S. State and Country articles on the FamilySearch Wiki.

Even with the enhanced research information in wiki articles, some researchers still like to use the the original Guidelines. Fortunately, they are available online.

Research Guidelines Online

All of the Research Guidelines were converted into .pdf files by the BYU Family History Library. If you don't have regular access to a the internet, download a copy to your computer when you do have access.  The files are found at:

Retirement of hardcopy guidelines

The retirement of hardcopy Guidelines is discussed in the Retirement of Research Outlines article.

The article also includes links to the U.S. State Guides at the BYU - Harold B. Lee Library.

History of the Outlines

For decades, the Family History Library has published research outlines which instruct patrons in genealogical techniques and list the best records to use in family history research. In 2009 we are retiring research outlines for several reasons outlined in the Introduction to the FamilySearch Wiki. This article explains how to use FamilySearch Wiki to find more current versions of the types of information traditionally found in research outlines.

In 2008 we copied all the research outlines to the wiki and began updating them. We then split the long outlines into separate articles. A research outline on paper might have 40 pages covering many topics such as census, vital, and land records. In the wiki, each topic is covered in a separate article. So if you're used to referencing the Church Records section of the Pennsylvania Research Outline, on the wiki you would find the same information by doing a search on the terms pennsylvania church and selecting on the Search Results page, the article named "Pennsylvania Church Records."

Staff at the BYU Family History Library have annotated the old Family History Library Research Outlines to identify what resources are also housed at the BYU facility:

Alabama  · Alaska  · Arizona  · Arkansas  · California  · Colorado  · Connecticut  · Delaware  · Florida  · Georgia  · Hawaii  · Idaho  · Illinois  · Indiana  · Iowa  · Kansas  · Kentucky  · [ Louisiana]  · Maine  · Maryland  · Massachusetts  · Michigan  · Minnesota  · Mississippi  · Missouri  · Montana  · Nebraska  · Nevada  · New Hampshire  · New Jersey  · New Mexico  · New York  · North Carolina  · North Dakota  · Ohio  · Oklahoma  · Oregon  · Pennsylvania  · Rhode Island  · South Carolina  · South Dakota  · Tennessee  · Texas  · Utah  · Vermont  · Virginia  · Washington  · West Virginia  · Wisconsin  · Wyoming  ·