Death Records | Obituary Searches | The LDS Family History Library
The Family History Library, located at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (often referred to as the LDS) houses the largest collection of genealogical information in the world. Originally founded in 1894 by the Genealogical Society of Utah, the library is committed to recording on microfilm all public record data such as births, deaths, marriages, deeds and wills.
The web site
You can visit the web site of the Family History Library to get information about the library’s location and its history. You will find that this website has one of the richest sets of online sources available, and can be very helpful in preparing for your search.
Preparing for your visit
By clicking the “library” tab at the top of their web page, you can locate directions to the library, information about hotel accommodations, and a layout of the library records.
The library is located at 35 North West Temple Street, Salt Lake City, Utah, United States. It will probably require a bit of planning to travel there, so set a date for yourself (even if it’s a year or more away) and start saving your pennies.
Note the library’s hours. With the exception of Sundays and seven other days each year, the library is open from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Mondays and from 7:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.
The library is 142,000 square feet and covers 5 floors. You’ll want to plan ahead.
Upon entering the library, stop by the orientation center. You will want to attend the orientation session to become familiar with this sizable library. Four of the five floors are open to the public. Make sure you get a guidebook, which can help you use almost every system in the library.
You might want to check out the schedule of the various classes that are available throughout the day. Look for any classes focused on death records and how to manage obituary searches. These classes are free and given by volunteers and staff members to aid in your use of the databases and resource information. Plan your day around the classes. Like the orientation, these classes are extremely valuable.
Doing death record research and obituary searches
Take advantage of the more than 70 computer research terminals available at the library. Use a stand-up computer for quick searches. (Use is limited to about 15 minutes; utilize a sit-down computer for up to one hour.) If they’re all full, you’ll find more computers one block away in the Joseph Smith Memorial Building. The computers there also have access to the library indexes and are recommended for beginners.
You can check out up to five films or five books at a time. Don’t forget that these are available for use in the library only. Don’t let yourself get stuck for too long. Your visit is too costly and valuable to waste being lost. Don’t forget there are assistants there to help patrons learn how to search, but not to find the information for you.
Print out information from a computer costs about a nickel per page, and photocopies are about the same price. You can also get microfiche printouts for about 20 cents a page. If you want, you can also download data onto your own disks or purchase disks from the library. (Be prepared to wait in line to make copies.)
You’ll want to plan to spend at least half a day getting oriented and another two days on research. Keep in mind that research can be quite exhausting. Plan ahead by creating a schedule for yourself. The LDS Family History Library is the single best source of death records under one roof. Their resources for obituary searches are bar none.
Know What Your Doing?