Friday, April 25, 2008

Family History Center Research

Is there a Family History Center (LDS) in your town or area?  You can find locations of thousands of centers at their FamilySearch web page.  Once you locate a Family History Center, be sure to check their hours.  

At the Family History Center you can borrow (for a nominal fee) microfilm and microfiche from the Family History Library in Salt Lake City.  The centers are branch facilities of the library.  Many of them contain a core collection of books and CDs for their area ... definitely worth checking.  

Yesterday I was at my local Family History Center ordering microfilm.  The volunteer told me that most people don't even look at the center's file drawers of indefinite microfilm.  These were reels of film ordered in the past by patrons who extended them to indefinite status.  Not only that, but those reels may have many different filmed items on them.  To determine what is on a reel of microfilm, go to the Family History Library Catalog on the FamilySearch web page.  Click on Film/Fiche and enter the number.  This will display every item on that particular reel of film.   There may be something on these that interest you.  The same thing can be done with microfiche which is always on indefinite loan at Family History Centers.  

In addition to this, you can spend a few hours at the Family History Center using a computer.  Many databases are available to patrons; almost all of them are available otherwise to subscription users.  Some I have used are Footnote.com, Kindred Konnections, World Vital Records, and of course, the New FamilySearch.  

Isn't it time to return to the Family History Center and see what's there?  Or, if you are a first time user, go prepared to spend some time exploring all of the offerings that are there.  

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