June 18, 2021
Last week the Family History Library in Salt Lake City sent out an announcement stating that they will be re-opening on July 6, 2021. FHL is one of the most renowned genealogical libraries in the world and a premier destination for genealogists who want access to the millions of records that they hold. Although some of their records have been available online during the closure, many additional resources are only available at the library itself. This includes many digital records only accessible via in-house computers as well as tens of thousands of books.
According to the announcement, the library will be open Monday through Friday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm at first. The library has been closed due to the pandemic since March of 2020, so even these shortened hours are great news. The library website does suggest that you call or email prior to your visit to confirm hours.
During the nearly eighteen months the library has been shuttered, they have made improvements that include updated, state-of-the-art workstations. The new stations will accommodate those who like to work standing up as well as those who prefer to be seated. Nearly 40,000 new books have also been added, including new acquisitions as well as books that have been held in long-term storage. Sign-ups for one-on-one free sessions with specialists can be booked in advance of your visit via email, as well. Finally, the library reports that a library look-up service will now be available for those who are unable to visit in person. They also report that an expanded lineup of free online classes and webinars are accessible from home.
Those of us who live in Northern Colorado should be thrilled to learn that FHL is re-opening. After all, we’re less than eight hours away by car, and DIA offers multiple daily flights to Salt Lake City. After only a one-hour flight, Salt Lake City is an easy place to navigate for researchers with inexpensive, frequent light rail service from the airport to downtown Salt Lake City. Hotels abound in the area at various price levels. A variety of dining is also available nearby. The FHL is within easy walking distance of all of this, making it a great destination for researchers as well as any other tag-along spouses or friends who will find it easy to amuse themselves in the area, even if genealogy is not their passion.
For anyone who has Utah roots of any sort, the Utah State Archives as well as the Salt Lake City Public Library and the Special Collections section of the Marriott Library at the University of Utah are also worth checking out while you’re in Salt Lake City. All have websites to help plan your visit, and all are short light rail trips from the FHL area. Just Google the name of the repository for links to these resources.
I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m ready to check over my to-do lists and make my reservations for Salt Lake City for later this summer. FHL is definitely calling my name. I can’t wait to check out everything that’s new there and become reacquainted with all my favorite parts of the library. As a former Utahn, I also can’t wait to dip my fries in zesty fry sauce and finish a meal with a thick Utah-style sugar cookie. Great research and a taste of home – what could be better?
Researcher/Director at Large