Introduction to the Family History Library CatalogEdit This Page

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What Is the Family History Library Catalog?

The Family History Library Catalog describes the records available at the Family History Library. It is a guide to family histories; birth, marriage, and death records; census records; church registers; and many other records that may contain genealogical information. These records may be in a book, on microfiche or microfilm, or in a computer file. Most microfilm and microfiche records can be sent to your nearest family history center.

The catalog is available at http://www.familysearch.org/Eng/Library/FHLC/frameset_fhlc.asp

Before you use the Family History Library Catalog, choose a person you want to find more information about, and decide what you want to learn about him or her. For example, you may want to find your great-grandmother's death date and place. To do this, you need to decide what types of records are likely to contain that information.



What Catalog Search Should I Do?

The type of search you should do is determined by the kind of catalog entries you want to find. Click on the name of each search to learn more.

Use the following table to determine what type of search to do:

Do This Type of Search:

To Find the Following Types of Catalog Entries:

Place Search

Catalog entries about a place or that contain records from a place.

Surname Search

Catalog entries about a family name.

Keyword Search

Catalog entries that contain certain words.

Title Search

Catalog entries that have certain words in their titles.

Film/Fiche Search

Catalog entries that have a certain microfilm or microfiche number.

Author Search

Catalog entries by or about the same author.

Subject Search

Catalog entries about a certain subject.

Call Number Search

Catalog entries that have a certain call number.




What If I Do Not Find the Catalog Entries I Want?

You may not find the catalog entries you want for various reasons. Before concluding that the catalog does not have any entries you want, try the following strategies:

  • Be sure your search terms are correct.
  • Broaden your search term(s).
  • Use a Keyword Search, an Author Search, or another type of search.

Note: The Family History Library does not have all records. The Library is constantly acquiring new materials. If you cannot find the items you need, check the catalog at a later date to see if the library has acquired those items.


 

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