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LDS Family History Centers

by V. Ben Bloxham

LDS Family History Centers are extensions of the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah. The first center opened in 1964. Originally, they were known as branch genealogical libraries. When the Genealogical Library became the Family History Library in 1987, the branches became Family History Centers. In 1990 there were over 1,500 such centers in 49 countries.

Located most often in LDS stake centers, Family History Centers are open to the public, generally twenty hours per week, staffed entirely by volunteers. There is no charge, but space is often limited. At a Family History Center, researchers have access to the Family History Library's microfilm copies of family history records, which can be lent to the center for a specified time. Many local centers also have significant collections of genealogical source material on microfiche, and some have their own collections of research materials specific to their area.

At a Family History Center, patrons find many of the same research tools that are available at the central Family History Library, including microfiche editions of the Family History Library Catalog, the INTERNATIONAL GENELOGICAL INDEX™ (IGI), the FAMILY REGISTRY™, and a series of instructional handouts that describe how to do research in the United States and many other countries. Many centers also provide access to FAMILYSEARCH™, a computer system that organizes data and simplifies the task of family history research.

Addresses of worldwide Family History Centers are available from the Family History Library.

(See Daily Living home page; Family History home page)

 Encyclopedia of Mormonism, Vol. 2, Family History Centers

Copyright 1992 by Macmillan Publishing Company

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