FamilySearch Online Book Collection FAQs

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FamilySearch's Digital Library is a collection of nearly half a million digitized genealogy and family history books, biographies, yearbooks, local histories, and more from some of the most important family history libraries in the world - including the Family History Library in Salt Lake City.


How can I donate books or manuscripts to the Family History Library or FamilySearch Digital Library?[edit | edit source]

We need information about the records you want to donate so we can determine if they meet our criteria. With permission from the author, we digitize donated material and post it online at our website, FamilySearch.org.

A summary of the items FamilySearch accepts is below:

  • Materials must be readable, organized, and accessible to help researchers identify individuals and relationships by name, date, and place.
  • Materials must add new information to the FamilySearch collection (we do not accept duplicate materials).
  • Materials should include a title, author, and publication date.
  • Materials must not violate current privacy or copyright laws.
  • Materials must be accompanied by a completed Permission to Duplicate form.
  • FamilySearch accepts the following materials:
    • Family histories.
    • Local and county histories.
    • Autobiographies and biographies containing genealogical material.
    • Indexes to records in book format.

You can send inquiries and physical donations to the addresses below: FamilySearch Family History Library Donations 35 North West Temple Street Salt Lake City, UT 84150-1103 USA Telephone: 1-801-240-1855 E-mail: books@familysearch.org

Digital donations or questions about the Digital Library should be directed to DigitalLibrary@familysearch.org

A copy of the permission form can be found at Permission to Duplicate Form.

Clicking on the above link will take you to the image page. Double Click on the image to see a version of the form.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)[edit | edit source]

Q  Where can I find the FamilySearch Digital Library?
A In the Search drop-down menu or via FamilySearch's Catalog.

Through the Books search.

Through the FamilySearch Catalog.

  • Go to FamilySearch and hover over the Search tab. Click on Catalog.
  • Click Titles from the menu. If you do not know the title of the book, you can also search by Keyword or other criteria.
  • Enter search criteria in the title of keyword box.
  • When the Search Results display, click on the title you want.
  • The Book details page opens.
  • Click on the link to go to the digital book.

Searching directly on the Digital Library page will return all results for your search. Copyright protected content is not linked in the FamilySearch Catalog.

Q  Why don't all book holdings appear in the Family History Catalog?
A  Only a small number of the book holdings have been digitized.

Q  How do I navigate or search within a book?
A  If you open a book from your search results in the Digital Library or via a link in the FamilySearch Catalog, you will see your book in the viewer.

  • The + and - icons allow you to zoom in and out.
  • The magnifying glass, or "Search" icon allows you to search for text within the book.
  • The arrow down icon allows you to download the book. This feature is not available for all books.
  • Other icons allow you to change the view or appearance of the book.

Q  Why can I only view some books online?
A  The Access Rights status of the book determines if it can be viewed online. Public domain books are available online, as are many books digitized with permission. Copyright protected books may be searched but are not viewable in their entirety online.  Some books cannot be digitized and may only be viewed at the Family History Library.

Q  I used to be able to view this book, but now it is not there - why?
A  Sometimes the author removes his/her permission to publicize the book.  Sometimes it contains information about living persons and they have asked that it be withdrawn.  There may be other reasons, but generally FamilySearch no longer has the rights to display the book online.