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Family History Library 2019 Highlights and What’s Ahead for 2020

The Family History Library in Salt Lake City is the largest
library of its kind, attracting visitors from all over the world who want to
learn about their ancestors.  

The library
was a hub of activity during 2019, and 2020 will be no different. Below, we
look back on major events and achievements of 2019 and take a look at what is ahead
for the library in 2020.

Library Activities

125th Anniversary of the Family History Library

125 years FamilySearch anniversary logo

2019: FamilySearch kicked-off a year-long
celebration of its 125th anniversary on November 13, 2019, commemorating its founding
in 1894 as the Genealogical Society of Utah.

2020: The 125th anniversary celebration
will continue through 2020, with the library offering a wide range of
activities to remember the past and honor those who made today’s library possible.


2019: DNA Day at the Family History Library was on
April 25, World DNA Day. Participants learned about using DNA for family
history research, got answers to their DNA questions at the Open Lab, and
participated in activities at the library. Recorded webinars
and handouts
are available free online.

2020: Be on the lookout for DNA Day in
2020, when the library will again offer activities and classes.

Block Party

Family History Library block party

2019:  In June, families and visitors flocked to the
fifth annual Family History Library block party. The event included a
rock-climbing wall, a scavenger hunt in the library, and musical entertainment featuring
several cultural heritages. Relative Race cars, pioneer games, dress-ups, and
handcarts provided photo opportunities.

2020: Enjoy fun family activities at
the sixth annual block party on June 13, 2020.  


2019: Library visitors who came between
Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve last year enjoyed inspiring Christmas videos,
music and performances, a Christmas around the World scavenger hunt, Christmas
Bingo, coloring pages, and family photo shoots.

2020:  Gather at the library for free activities
during the 2020 holidays.

Cultural Activities

Chinese Workshop

Chinese Workshop Family History Library

2019:  On May 10, 1869, a ceremonial Golden Spike was driven at Promontory Point, Utah, signifying the
completion of the first Transcontinental Railroad. In conjunction with the
sesquicentennial celebration, the Family History Library held a Chinese Research Day honoring thousands of Chinese
immigrants who sacrificed and labored to make the railroad a reality.

Day of the Dead

2019: The library celebrated the
Day of the Dead. Visitors enjoyed watching Disney’s Coco and trying samplings
of pan dulce and pan de muerto.

2020 Cultural Celebrations: The
library will feature displays, photo opportunities, and commemorative activities
each month. These displays and activities will celebrate different themes based
on the month.

For example, in February, the library will celebrate both
the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower landing and African American history. From February 15 to 26, a replica of
the Mayflower will be on display on the main floor of the library; then it will
be moved to the Expo Hall on February 26 during RootsTech.

For information about other cultural celebrations, follow
the Family History
Library Facebook page

Expanding Collections

Man reads book at Family History Library

2019: In 2019, the Family History library
book collection expanded by more than 16,500 genealogically significant books.
The process of cataloguing and shelving them is underway.

 2020: As book processing continues,
collections will be shifted to make room to shelve the new books. The library
will likely purchase and process as many books this year as last.

Research Assistance

2019: The Family History Library providedweekly classes and webinars on researching records from the United
States, Europe, Latin America, Asia, and other major regions. Recordings
of past webinars
and accompanying handouts are available online and are
listed by topic
or instructor

2020: Upcoming
2020 include a variety of topics, everything from researching specific country records
to reading old handwriting to Family Tree instruction.


reference areas have been remodeled to increase computer and records access and
help options. Some computer stations have two or three monitors so patrons can examine
and compare records.

project will expand to more floors, and phase two will begin in 2020.

New Library Hours

2019: The library expanded
its hours
to better meet patrons’ schedules by staying
open Monday through Saturday from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. The main floor, which
includes the discovery experiences, is now open on Sunday from 1:00 to 5:00


Steve Rockwood at RootsTech 2019

2019: Family History Library volunteers
worked diligently in the background to make RootsTech 2019 a success, and
experts from the Family History Library were among the presenters.  Webinar sessions are available online from last year.

2020: During RootsTech 2020, employees and volunteers will again share their expertise in the Salt Palace and at the Family
History Library. The library’s chief genealogical officers will host special
VIP events for RootsTech 2020 in February.

Library Genealogical Team

2019: The FamilySearch Chief Genealogical
Office, in conjunction with the BYU Family History program, has instituted a
new credit-based family history
internship program
for family history students from BYU and affiliated universities

2020: Internships will continue
throughout the year. As part of the experience, interns will receive guided
support for accreditation with the International Commission for the
Accreditation of Professional Genealogists (ICAPGen)
or certification with the Board for Certification of Genealogists (BCG).

This year,
the library will also welcome more half-time genealogical officers. These new
team members will help provide more focus on specific areas of the world, such
as Latin America and Asia.

For continued
updates on Family History Library events and other announcements, be sure to follow the Family History Library Facebook page.

Source: Family Search

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