Some people eat, sleep and chew gum, I do genealogy and write...

Friday, January 22, 2016

A Visit to the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah

We had a meeting scheduled at the University of Utah and decided to spend some time in the Family History Library while we we in Salt Lake City. So I decided to write about my visit. I was thinking that RootsTech 2016 is right around the corner and there may be quite a few people who will be visiting the Library when they come to the Conference.

First and most dramatic is the fact that I found the first floor completely blocked off.

All the books left on the first floor apparently were moved down to B1 (lower level). I have been spending my time in B2 lately doing research in English parish records. Here are some photos of B2:

There are still banks of mostly unused microfilm readers. I do my part to use them from time to time.

It appears that the ongoing digitization project is cutting into the total number of books on the shelves, but for the shelves left, you certainly could not tell that some books have been taken off the shelves on B2.

There actually were people in the Library but I was careful not to include any of them in my photos. The lunchroom that used to be on the Main floor has been moved up to the 3rd Floor in the former missionary lunchroom. The vending machines are still a mystery to me and I frequently pay for things I do not get. We all have our challenges.

I would not characterize this as a busy day at the Library. But the first floor blocked off, I would guess that you will notice the crowds during RootsTech 2016. I strongly suggest that any visit to the Library should be proceeded by a careful study of the FamilySearch Catalog. I found some of the microfiche I needed were restricted and I had to provide a drivers license and I was limited to 6 items as time. I also found one of the microfiche I needed had been "lost" and that did not make me happy.

It is certain that the Family History Library, like every other library and research facility in the world is undergoing a transformation. It will interesting to see how they evolve.


  1. I had a fine time among the books last year...hopefully there won't be disappointed people next week at RT. I still love the microfilms but at least I can order them in and read them.

    1. Except for the books removed by digitizing them for, the books are all still there somewhere.