Founded in 1894 to gather genealogical records and assist members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) with family history and genealogical research, the Family History Library is the largest library of its kind in the world. Its main purpose is to fulfill one of the LDS Church’s fundamental tenets: to baptize and perform other saving ordinances on deceased family members. However, many individuals use the library simply to research their ancestry and chart their genealogy.
The library’s collection includes more than 2.4 million rolls of microfilmed genealogical records; 727,000 microfiche; 356,000 books, serials and other formats; and over 4,500 periodicals and 3,725 electronic resources.
The library is open to the general public free of charge. It maintains 100 full- and part-time professional staff, as well as some 700 trained volunteers, to assist visitors with their research. The library’s frequent, specialized workshops teach patrons about methods of research and how to make the most of the library’s facilities.