The Family History Library is maintained by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon) in Salt Lake City. As a result of their religious convictions, their genealogical collection is immense. It is not limited to use by members of the church; the materials are available for research by anyone. Their microfilming projects extend worldwide. Their computerized library catalog and other computer projects make access to many of their records relatively easy. They maintain over 2,500 Family History Centers across the country, in many localities. Anyone can order microfilm for use in these branches.
A variety of finding aids have been compiled to assist patrons. The Family History Library's immense collection called FamilySearch® is a collection of several genealogical databases. It includes the Family History Department's Ancestral File™, their International Genealogical Index™, their Family History Catalog™, and others. These are on CD-ROM and are updated regularly. Ancestral File™ is a database of data contributed by church members and others, with the data they have collected on individuals. International Genealogical Index™ consists of an international personal name database of birth, christening, and marriage information about persons now deceased. To understand the use of these and the other finding aids, visit a Family History Center. The volunteers there are very helpful.
When visiting a university library, inquire immediately about their manuscript catalog. That's the most likely place where the "hidden" treasures will be found. Search it by surnames and by localities and subject.
Look in the White Pages of the telephone directory of larger cities under Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for listings of local Family History Centers.
One of the most useful segments of FamilySearch is the Family History Library Catalog. Through this you will learn of the extensive microfilm holdings of the Family History Library. You can borrow most of these microfilm rolls for a nominal fee through a Family History Center. You will find microfilmed deeds, probate records, many vital records, and much more.
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