Hidden Resources on FamilySearch 3: FHLC & Historical Books


This is the last of my 3-part series on the hidden resources that can be found on FamilySearch.org. The Family History Library Catalog (FHLC) has come a long way since its days on microfiche, CD and the early web versions. Now that the vault in Utah is being digitized, we will start seeing some of the contents of the FHLC viewable online.

As stated on the FamilySearch.org site’ “The Family History Library Catalog is a collection of over 2.4 million rolls of microfilmed records, 727,000 microfiche; 356,000 books, with over 4,500 periodicals with many more resources available.” How does one access those records? You can visit the Family History Library in Salt Lake, Utah or you can visit a nearby Family History Center to receive the films on loan for viewing. But one project the LDS Church has been tackling is digitizing the vault that is located in Utah. As they digitize those records they are becoming available to us at no cost online for viewing. Go to FamilySearch.org and click on [Catalog] to start your search.

I won’t go into details here on how to search the vast collection, you can for more information. There is also a video that is about 11 minutes long to give you more info. Search the vast collection by place, surname, title, author, subject, call numbers, film numbers and keyword. Keep in mind to try different variations of the same name or place when conducting your search. Variation in spellings can make a huge difference. Again, the links above will give you more details on what and how to make those searches valuable.

At FamilySearch.org there is a tab called [Books] (right next to the Catalog tab). You will find addtional hidden treasures that are filled with scanned historical books. Brigham Young University Family History Archive is the actual name of the database and it is a completely searchable collection which includes; histories of families, how to books on genealogy, periodicals, medieval books and much more.

Once you find what you are looking for, you will be able to view the document as a pdf file. But don’t be looking to download the entire book. You will only be able to print or download the page the results of your search found. Keep in mind to search several pages before and after your results, this will prevent losing any additional information you might find. There is a sidebar where you can navigate between pages of the entire collection or book. It is always important to keep track of source information, so I recommend that you download and print the title page of the book for further source documentation, just good practice and you never know if you need to return back to that book. For additional tips and tricks on the FamilySearch Wiki Site.

I hope that you have enjoyed this 3-part series on the hidden treasures of FamilySearch.org.

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