Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Spring Research Trip--Salt Lake City: Day 3

Last Day of a Great Adventure!

Just checked with Amtrak for my homeward trip; the westbound California Zephyr is about one hour late, but is expected to make up most of that time by Salt Lake City.

Spent the last day at the Library in the microfilm room again, looking at marriage and death records. Not a lot of Eureka! experiences today [there was one interesting discovery], but it was all educational just the same.

Here's some advice on preparing for a trip to the Family History Library, based on my now vast experience: First, decide which surnames or areas you want to focus on. Then set goals for your research on those families or areas. Figure out the categories of resources you may need. Go to the Family History Library Catalog online to see what resources are available. Make a list of call numbers and titles of books and film numbers of microfilm and take that with you. [You can do this on the computers at the Library, but it saves time and helps focus your research if you do it before going]. Some microfilm is stored off-site, so if you manage to get organized sufficiently in advance, you can call or fax the Library with a list of those resources, and they may be able to get them before you arrive. Once at the Library, don't hesitate to ask the staff and volunteers for help. They won't do the work for you, but they'll gladly share tips and advice.

You can take your laptop into the Library; there are plenty of places to hook up. [I left my computer at the hotel; I found it a bit of a hassle to carry around one more thing]. But please, please, follow the rules about where you can use cell phones! There are plenty of easy places in the building to use your cell phone, so be a good neighbor on that issue.

I didn't go to the floors with the international resources so I don't know what they're like, but I can imagine that they must be as useful as the US/Canada collections.

Again, I think the key to a useful trip is preparation.

Coming soon, what I found in Salt Lake City! Meanwhile, I think I hear a train coming!

1 comment:

Dave said...


I just wanted to say I've been reading your blog for a while and have enjoyed it. Your posts about the FHL trip really got my attention because at some point I would like to do the same and have thought about using Amtrak. But as much fun as a train trip would be, the route I'd have to take isn't exactly user friendly or brief (starting in St. Louis), though.