Tuesday, October 19, 2010

If there is a center for genealogy, Salt Lake City is it

We arrived late Monday, October 18, 2010 for the FamilySearch conference on Thursday. Blogger Randy Seaver posted the agenda for the conference on his post, "I'm off to Salt Lake City for Blogger Day at FamilySearch, and more."

I found this video from FamilySearch that might express, better than I ever could, part of what FamilySearch is all about:



Since a significant portion of my family and almost all of my wife's family live in or around Salt Lake and Utah Valley to the south, we planned to spend a couple of days visiting. I was reminded that I used to spend part of my summer vacation every year researching in the Family History Library. My wife and children would visit with family, while I spent my days sitting in the library. Lately, most of my visits to the Salt Lake area have been for funerals, new babies or reunions, all family related activities.

It is interesting, that Salt Lake is easily the premier go-to location for genealogy research. There are many fine libraries around the U.S., some much larger, but the resources of the Family History Library are enormous. But in contrast, I am fascinated with the FamilySearch online digitization project. The ultimate goal of the project is to make all of the resources of this extensive collection of books and microfilms available to the general public, free, online. In other words, the Family History Library may drastically change the availability of its collection and thereby change the way the library is used.

It looks like the topics to be covered by the presenters will give us a lot of information. Which I hope we can pass along. Like Randy, I am honored to be included in this select group.

I should probably disclose, just like others, that FamilySearch is paying for my airline travel, hotel accommodations for two nights, incidental expenses and several meals on Thursday.

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