FamilySearch and the LDS church have many resources available to family historians and genealogists. There are three types of facilities available to aid research: the “Family History Library” flagship facility in Salt Lake City, FamilySearch libraries, and satellite family history centers.
Family history centers are the smallest of facilities (usually located in a church). FamilySearch libraries are generally physically larger, have a dedicated server (so the computers/internet should perform quicker) and have a larger local holding of materials.
Many people (in and out of the church) don’t really know all of the genealogical resources they have available to them for free at FamilySearch libraries and Family History Centers.
Here are a few things available to the public:
- Use premium, subscription based, or other paid genealogy software or sites for free (Ancestry, Fold3, etc.). See a list of available software here.
- Order and view microfilm from FamilySearch’s massive record inventory (some of which hasn’t yet been indexed or digitized). You can actually save the microfilm digitally to a thumb drive or other storage medium.
- Get research help (often on a one on one basis) from library staff that have experience and training in family history and genealogy.
- Scan your old photographs, documents, etc. using library equipment.
There are hundreds of FamilySearch libraries and family history centers located throughout the world. Find a location near you at https://familysearch.org/locations.
So check out a FamilySearch library near you and see what they have to offer your research!