LDS Archives and Libraries
An archive is a repository where public or historical documents are preserved. A library is where books, manuscripts, and microfilms are kept for research but not for sale. Most archives and libraries collect records about area residents (biographies, family histories, local histories, and histories of Church units), and about nearby places (maps, gazetteers, and place-finding aids). They often compile guides and special indexes to important local sources. In many communities they are a meeting place for a genealogical society. They may be able to provide referrals to people who are willing to search local records for you. Before you visit an archive or a library, contact them to ask about their collection, hours, services, and fees.
When one of these institutions is referred to elsewhere in this outline, return to this section to obtain the address.
The Family History Library has copies of many of the records from the archives and libraries listed below, but most of these repositories will have additional sources.
Family History Library and Family History Centers
The Family History Library has the world’s largest collection of genealogical information, including an extensive collection of books and microfilms about Church members.
In this research outline the term Historical Department refers to the Historical Department of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The Historical Department preserves records, artifacts, and other materials regarding the Church. The Historical Department does not loan materials to Family History Centers. Their staff provides a limited correspondence service. Visitors are asked to sign in and show picture identification.
Historical Department of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
50 E. North Temple Street
Salt Lake City, UT 84150-3800
Church Library and Archives — The Archives has manuscript material. This includes the following types of manuscripts: membership records, meeting minutes, and histories of ward, branches, stakes, and missions. They also have diaries, journals, and other histories of Church leaders.
The Church Library has published works by and about the Church and its members. This includes biographies, directories, emigration books, Church history, local ward, branch and stake histories, Mormon Battalion histories, newspapers and obituaries, periodicals and indexes, and the Journal History of the Church.
Other Major Repositories
The following list shows other organizations that have genealogical and historical records about the Church and its members. Their catalogs are often available on the Internet.
| David O. McKay Library
Brigham Young University Idaho
Rexburg, ID 83440 USA
| Daughters of the Utah Pioneers|
300 North Main
Salt Lake City, UT 84103 USA
| Delyte W. Morris Library
Southern Illinois University
Carbondale, IL 62901 USA
| Harold B. Lee Library|
Brigham Young University
Provo, UT 84602 USA
| Joseph F. Smith Library|
Brigham Young University Hawaii
55-220 Kulanui Street
Laie, HA 96762 USA
J. Willard Marriott Library
| Merrill Library|
Special Collections and Archives
Utah State University
Logan, UT 84322-3000 USA
Nauvoo Restoration Incorporated
| Community of Christ Library|
(Formerly known as the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.)
201 S. River
Independence, Missouri 64051 USA
Telephone: 816-833-1000, extension 2400
See the Membership Records wiki article for this library’s Index to Archival Holdings, 1830–1994.
| Stewart Library
Weber State University
2901 University Circle
Ogden, UT 84408 USA
Guide to Archives and Manuscript Collections in Selected Utah Repositories. Salt Lake City: Utah State Historical Society, 1990. (FHL floppy disk no. 4 parts1–4). This is widely available in the LDS Family History Suite 2''. This inventory lists the author, title, number of volumes, location, and subject headings for each record cited. This emphasizes the Utah State Historical Society more than other repositories. It describes records at the following Utah repositories:
- American Fork Public Library(American Fork, Utah)
- Brigham Young University (Provo, Utah)
- Daughters of the Utah Pioneers (Salt Lake City, Utah)
- Southern Utah University (Cedar City, Utah)
- Springville Public Library (Springville, Utah)
- University of Utah (Salt Lake City)
- Utah State Archives (Salt Lake City, Utah)
- Utah State Historical Society (Salt Lake City, Utah)
- Utah State University (Logan, Utah)
- Weber State University (Ogden, Utah)
Whittaker, David J. Mormon Americana: A Guide to Sources and Collections in the United States. BYU Studies Monograph. Provo, Utah: BYU Studies, 1995. (FHL 289.30160973 M828m). This covers more repositories but in less detail than the previous inventory. It includes references to the Family History Library and Historical Department.
Howells, Cyndi. LDS & Family History Centers. In Cyndi’s List of Genealogy Sites on the Internet [Internet site]. Puyallup, Washington: Cyndi Howells, 8 February 1998 [cited 10 September 1999]. Available at www.cyndislist.com/lds.htm. This site has numerous links for Internet resources for LDS research and websites pertaining to some of the family history centers throughout the world.
Roots-L. In RootsWeb [Internet site]. N.p., 25 May 1999 [cited 10 September 1999]. Available at www.rootsweb.com/roots-l/. This list of sites and resources includes a large, regularly-updated research coordination list.
Ancestry.com [Internet site]. Orem, Utah: Ancestry, 1998, 1999 [cited 20 October 1999]. Available at www.ancestry.com/. For a subscription fee you can search several databases on this Internet site for early Church members. These databases are also available in the LDS Family History Suite 2 described in the LDS Biography wiki article.
Many public libraries, college libraries, and private locations have computer on-line services, networks and bulletin boards, and news groups for family history research. For further details about using these services see the United States Research Outline (30972), Second Edition, "Archives and Libraries" section.