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Your Key to the Vault
4/1/2000
Discover the mountain of family history resources in your own backyard: Follow our step-by-step guide to making the most of your local Family History Center.

Your family's history may be in a vault buried in the mountains near Salt Lake City, Utah. Since 1938, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints — popularly known as the Mormons — has been gathering and archiving millions of records about people of all faiths. Church archivists travel the globe, microfilming original documents in churches, courthouses and libraries to bring back to Utah. For anyone hoping to trace a family tree, the storehouse of data in the Granite Mountain Record Vault — information on some 2 billion people — is, well, a godsend.

But you don't have to trek to the mountains to start using the world's largest genealogical library. You don't even need to visit the five-story, 142,000-square-foot Family History Library in Salt Lake City, where the church makes copies of the archives in its vault available to the public. This vast library has an equally vast system of branch libraries called Family History Centers. With more than 3,400 Family History Centers (“FHCs” for short) across the country and around the world, you're almost certain to find a genealogical treasure trove right in your own backyard.

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