Beginner’s Guide to the Family History Library – Part 2 – The Building


The Family History Library is conveniently located in downtown Salt Lake City, near the Trax line within the Free Fare Zone, across the street from Temple Square, and down the street from the Salt Palace Convention Center.

The library has five floors, two of which are basement floors. When you walk in the entrance — using the door on the right — there will be someone immediately to your left who will likely greet you. Don’t be surprised and just say “hello” back. Also, if someone greets you walking down the sidewalk, don’t be suspicious; people are just really friendly in SLC sometimes.

Straight ahead from the door is an information desk. I believe this is where you get the “First Timer” sticker (they didn’t have them my first time) and they can direct you to an orientation session if you want to go. The orientation room is to your left when facing the desk. There are also stairs up to the second floor on the left. To the right of the entrance is another stairway and the elevators.

The main floor has the orientation room, lots of computers, family history books, a break room (with food and drink machines), and some classrooms.

The second floor is the US/Canada floor, with computers, microfilm, microfiche, microfilm readers, and a printing/scanning area.

The third floor houses US and Canada books, with several photocopiers and one digital scanner. There are also extra tables, many with electrical outlets built in, where you can spread out to work or organize. They recently expanded the number of computers on this floor.

Downstairs, B-1 is the International floor. This floor houses both microfilm and books and has computers, readers, printers, and scanners.

B-2, the lowest level, is the British Isles, which includes Britain, Australia, New Zealand, and a few other areas.

When you look for items in the FHL catalog, they will state whether they are US/CAN, INTL, or BRITISH, which tells you on what floor of the building you will find them. Remember that US and Canada books have their own floor separate from microfilm and microfiche.

This is the second part in a series. The first part can be found at Beginner’s Guide to the Family History Library – Part 1 – Plan Ahead.