This incredible facility contains what is probably the world's largest collection of genealogical records under one roof. You can easily spend hours here immersed in discovering the whos, whats, wheres, and whys of your family history. The growing collection is composed of a substantial number of records from around the United States, fairly comprehensive data from the British Isles, and vital record information from 110 other countries. Most of the records, which date from about 1550 to 1930, are from governments, various churches and other organizations, and individuals.
The Mormons believe that families are united for eternity through marriage and other sacred ordinances given in the temples. These ordinances, such as baptism ceremonies, can be done on behalf of ancestors -- hence the interest in tracing all deceased family members.
When you enter the library, help is available to assist with your research. There are forms you can fill out with any and all data you already know (so come prepared with copies of whatever you have), and you will be directed from there. An orientation is given to newcomers and includes a handout and a map of the library. Volunteers are stationed around the library to help with anything you need.
Some of the records are in books, and many have been converted to microfilm, microfiche, and computer files. The volunteers will show you how to use any unfamiliar machines. One of the easiest ways to begin a search is to start with the place where your ancestors lived, because records are organized first by the geographical origin.