Roundup of Family History Library Trip Planning Resources

The day has finally arrived. My flight to Salt Lake City leaves later this morning. Before I go, I wanted to do a quick post featuring some of the resources I have found most useful while planning for my research at the Family History Library (FHL).


In the last couple of weeks, both The Genealogy Guys and Lisa Louise Cook have dedicated long sections of their podcasts to this very subject. The Genealogy Guys were recently in Salt Lake doing research. Their discussion covered ordering materials from the FHL vault, ways to capture digital images of the files you find at the library without breaking the bank, busy and slow times at the library, and more. Their discussion about the FHL starts around minute 30 in Podcast #194. Lisa Louise Cooke interviewed Irene Johnson for her most recent Genealogy Gems podcast. Irene listed things researchers should and should not do when visiting the library, narrowing down your research goals, the library layout, and advanced planning using the library’s online catalog. When you click on the link above for this podcast, scroll down to the bottom of the page to see additional “tips” from Irene and Lisa.

Online resources

As mentioned above, the FHL catalog, located on the Family Search website, is a resource that can be used from home to look up call numbers for the materials you need to use on site. There is an interactive tutorial for using the catalog online as well. Other resources available through the Family Search website include a document called, “Preparing to Visit the Library,” an updated list of library opening and closing times, and floor plans for each of the five levels of the library.


With so many trip planning resources available online through the FHL website, it is not surprising that few books about visiting the library have been written recently. I reviewed a couple of books in the course of planning for this trip. The most recent and useful of these was Your Guide to the Family History Library, by James Warren. Published in 2006, this book covers both the Family History Library in Salt Lake and regional Family History Centers.


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