The Family History Library in Salt Lake City is the largest genealogical library in the world. I have wanted to visit this library for a very long time. It’s the mecca for anyone doing genealogy research.
I have often thought about a visit during my years living in Hawaii, but just never got there. It’s now a drive (albeit a long drive) from my house. I am not a very confident long distance driver & the animals that run out on the road sort of freak me out, but I finally got the courage up to do the drive this summer.
It turned out to be a pretty easy drive, taking me 7 hours to get there (6 hours of actual driving time plus one hour worth of quick stops). The scenery along the way was absolutely beautiful… so different than Colorado. I really did enjoy the drive (except for the length).
I stopped only once to take photos because I wanted to reach Salt Lake City as soon as possible. The library closed early that day but I wanted to have enough time to learn my way around the area and spend a couple of hours at the new mall. Where I live, the nearest store (besides Walmart) to shop at is a 2 hour drive and it is a 3 1/2 hour drive to shop at a mall. It was nice to have access to a variety of stores nearby. I also wanted time to do some food shopping that afternoon or evening.
Here are a some photos I took during my one photo stop just outside of the town of Duchesne, Utah at the Starvation Reservoir vista rest stop as I drove to Salt Lake City:
Salt Lake City was nothing like I imagined it to be. The city is set up sort of in a grid type layout and is very easy to navigate. The city blocks are huge! The buildings are huge! I’m sure living in a tiny town has skewed my perception though. I broke my little toe a couple of weeks before my trip (toe meeting coffee table late at night) and so what is usually not a big deal to walk seemed much more of a challenge. I was very grateful for the free rail zone that saved me some steps along the way.
I spent the majority of my time in the incredible Family History Library.
This library has five floors – an international floor, two floors that focus on the US (one holding all the US microfilms and one holding shelves and shelves of US books), a floor for the UK, Ireland, Australia & New Zealand, as well as the introductory floor where you enter the building. There are rows and rows of computers, about 1.4 million rolls of microfilm, over 600,000 books, serials, and maps, and free access to billions of additional record images online. There are countless volunteers ready to help with any type of research you might be working on. You can download any records you find. There are copy machines available and free lockers to hold your stuff while you leave for lunch. I heard lots of different languages being spoken while I was there. It was a very exciting place to be. I had a very successful visit and discovered some new information that I have been seeking for over 30 years!
Besides my time in the library, I did spend a tiny bit of time doing some sight seeing. Here are some photos I took during my visit to Salt Lake City.
I took a bunch of photos at various stops during my drive back home. I plan to do a second post with these photos.
If you are doing genealogy research, a visit to the Family History Library is a MUST!! I already want to go back!