Unique Genealogical Highlights of the Brigham Young University Family History Library — Part a few

Part of a huge microfilm collection of local county histories from the BYU Family History Library

There can be a significant physical difference between doing research from the Salt Lake City, Utah Family History Library as well as the Brigham Young University, Family History Library. from the Salt Lake City Family History Library (FHL), the collections of books as well as microfilm are concentrated in a relatively smaller area. The FHL’s collections are on mainly on four floors; two basement levels as well as two upper story levels. The first floor can be today dedicated to classrooms as well as an extensive Family Discovery Area with all sorts of high-tech activities. At BYU, the Family History Library can be extensive, however only a smaller part of the huge Harold B. Lee Library (Lee Library). In both cases, the idea can be extremely important to plan your visits by using their online catalogs.

Visitors to the BYU Family History Library usually concentrate on the computers with support coming from the volunteers as well as missionaries. Very few of these casual visitors realize the extent of the research resources from the rest of the Lee Library. Unlike the concentrated collections from the Salt Lake FHL, the collections at the Lee Library are scattered throughout the general collections. Let me illustrate This kind of contrast by choosing a random subject for research. Let’s suppose I was researching my ancestors in a county in Massachusetts. I choose “Barnstable County” due to This kind of illustration.

In either library, I could need to determine whether or not I needed to physically visit the library to do some research. Because of their close proximity, I am not forced into an either/or situation. I can visit both libraries. I plan my visit by searching from the catalogs for both libraries. Here can be a screenshot of the categories of records available for which county at the Salt Lake FHL.

Barnstable County, Massachusetts records coming from the FamilySearch.org Catalog

Many of the records listed are on microfilm with some already digitized as well as available online. For example here are the Church records available coming from the FHL.

Barnstable County, Massachusetts Church Records coming from the FamilySearch.org Catalog

Realistically, there are only two items. The list seems to have four copies of the same set of records. The church records turn out to be an article in a journal.

I need to check further to find This kind of particular journal article. the idea turns out to be part of a Serial Issue.


The question can be do I need to visit the library to view This kind of publication? A quick check from the Lee Library catalog shows which they develop the same serial publication.

however the Lee Library catalog also shows which This kind of particular serial, The Mayflower descendant, can be online however I have to be from the library to see the online edition. today, we come to a completely new issue. Can I find This kind of same item somewhere else? I always check to see if I can avoid a trip to either library by finding the item online.

As a matter of fact, I do find This kind of exact item on the Internet Archive.


Here can be a screenshot of the exact article I looked for.


The article can be completely searchable, word for word, as well as I can download a copy to my own computer if I wish to do so.

This kind of example shows the interaction between both of these huge genealogy libraries as well as the reality of the ongoing digitization projects around the planet. In This kind of case, I do not have to make a physical visit to either library. In addition, neither library makes their copies available online so I will have to go to the library if the item was not easily available online.

however let’s go back to the Lee Library as well as the BYU Family History Library as well as take a closer look at the catalog. If I am looking for Barnstable County, Massachusetts records, a search from the Lee Library Catalog shows which there are 622 results.


today I have a substantial basis for doing research from the Library. If there are items I could like to examine, in each case, I could take the time to check to see if the items were digitized as well as available online. When I do a further search for church records coming from Barnstable County, I find which the Lee Library has 201 results.

A considerably larger selection of items than the two found from the Salt Lake FHL Catalog. Some of these 201 items may also be online or from the Salt Lake FHL, however the idea can be almost certain which some are not.

from the case of both libraries, I could choose some items I was interested in reviewing as well as go to the shelves as well as begin the process of checking all of the surrounding items. from the case of the Lee Library, I can do a virtual search of the adjacent shelves online.

Here can be an example.

I can browse by title, subject, call number, genres, journals, as well as creators.

the idea can be easy to get overwhelmed with the number of items to review as well as yes, the idea does take a considerable amount of time as well as repeated searches to find all the relevant information. however the idea should also be clear which as a genealogical researcher, we cannot ignore the resources which are available as well as conclude which we have done a thorough search.

The previous posts in This kind of series.


Unique Genealogical Highlights of the Brigham Young University Family History Library — Part a few

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