Research Outlines

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

However, you should be happy to know that all of the information in these Outlines has been transferred to the corresponding locality pages in the Research Wiki, and are being develped further by dedicated volunteers all over the world.

To find the "new" Research Outline for your locality of interest, enter the locality in the search box on the right.

What if I want to print it, or need it when I don't have internet access?

Even with the enhanced research information in Wiki articles, some researchers still like to reference the original Outlines for printing or offline reference. Fortunately, they are available online.

They 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 on the BYU Research Outlines page.

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 retired 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."