FamilySearch family history library reopening after 15-month closure

The FamilySearch Family History Library. Photo Courtesy:

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, July 1, 2021 (Gephardt Daily) — The FamilySearch Family History Library in Salt Lake City, sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, will begin a phased reopening starting Tuesday.

The service at 35 N. West Temple has been closed since March 13, 2020, said a news release. Initially, hours will be from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, with plans to extend to additional days and hours soon.

“While billions of our records are available online, we realize that many researchers –including professional genealogists whose livelihoods depend on reliable records — are anxious to access records in-person within the library,” said David Rencher, director of the Family History Library and FamilySearch’s chief genealogical officer.

“We know the extended closing has created difficulties, and we are excited to welcome our guests back into a safe environment for continued research and discoveries.”

Sanitizing stations will be placed throughout the library, and continuous cleaning procedures will also be in place.

The library has taken advantage of the prolonged closure to make needed renovations to the facility.

“Guests will return to an environment that will significantly improve discovery and research experiences,” said Rencher.

Crews have been busy preparing to welcome guests back by remodeling, adding new features like patron workstations with multiple monitors and adjustable height desks to accommodate sitting or standing preferences, enhanced workflow throughout, and nearly 40,000 books from new acquisition and long-term storage.

The library has added or upgraded the following new, free patron services, accessible through the new Family History Library web page.

  • Guests can sign up for free, online, one-on-one virtual consultations with a research specialist.
  • Library look-up services. If you can’t come to the library, a staff member can retrieve a book from its shelves and help you find what you’re seeking.
  • In FamilySearch Communities online, guests can get assistance from volunteers worldwide, including locating or interpreting ancestor records, asking questions, or sharing their expertise with others.
  • In the library, take advantage of improved services to digitize your family photos and artifacts or convert family audio and video tapes to digital media.


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