Preparing for Salt Lake City

Whether you’ve been to the LDS Family History Library in Utah before -- or whether it would be your first trip – it’s beneficial to take the time to focus on how to make the most of the research excursion. At the February 27, 2010 AAGS general meeting, Deborah Abbott gave a thorough overview of planning techniques, resources to consult prior to taking the trip, and do’s & don’ts of worthwhile researching.

For those who may not have visited Salt Lake City’s premier repository of records in a while, a few things may have changed. Building layout: Level 1 - family history books & computer lab; Level 2 - US/Canada censuses & microfilms; Level 3 - US/Canada books & maps; Level B1 - International Collection; Level B2 - British Collection.

Deborah highlighted library practices (for example, users re-filing material and the card system to pay for copies); available equipment (such as a central printer); available records (e.g. there are two different 1880 censuses--one which can only be obtained at SLC); and local attractions (places to go, things to do). She also provided a detailed demonstration for using FamilySearch databases.

Presentation points included:

  • Do as much legwork as you can locally before you leave (such as census research);
        use your time in Salt Lake City for ‘hard to find’ or ‘inaccessible’ items.
  • Become very familiar with the web site; understand the difference
        between items under ‘Records’ (databases) and under ‘Library (books, microfilm, etc.).
  • Order books beforehand so they are available when you arrive.
  • Create research logs for specific info gaps you need to fill; mark what you find & don’t find.
  • Take minimal paperwork (carry summarized reports).
  • Take advantage of the Joseph Smith collections.
  • Stay refreshed and enjoy the whole experience (walk, tour, shop, enjoy the Tabernacle choir).