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How to do research in the Family History Library
in Salt Lake City, Utah
by Gary L. Foster

3.  What to take with you & what to leave at home

Start with a checklist of your research and personal items you plan to take considering whether you are flying or driving your car.  When you fly you have a suitcase limitation and on-board carry-on items to consider.  When you drive you take everything except the kids! 

Here is a suggested personal list to consider:

  • Clothes, Jacket, Hat, Shoes, Socks, Pants, Belt, Shirts, Tie, Money Belt, Pajamas
  • Shaver, Toiletries, Medicines, Pillows, Umbrella
  • Maps, Tickets, Boarding Pass, Agenda, License, Passport, Temple Recommend, Handicap Sticker
  • Reading Materials, Scriptures, Reference Books
  • Food or Travel Snacks

Here is a suggested technology list to consider:

  • Notebook Computer w/extra battery & power cord, Cell Phone & Charger, Memory Sticks, Manuals for reference to your computer software, Back-up disks to software you might have to restore, Camera, Batteries, Walkie Talkies
  • Watch, Portable Scanner, GPS Unit, Extra Batteries & Charging Units
  • iPod loaded with everything you will need and its Charger
  • Your latest and greatest "TOY" that you need to be happy or want to learn to use better

Your latest back-up copy of your genealogy database (try it out before you leave home) on a memory stick and printouts of the families you are researching.

  • A Research Log detailing what you know and what you want to find out when you get in the Salt Lake Family History Library.  Print outs of your Pedigree Chart & Family Group Sheets you will be working on.
  • A list of questions that specifically ask how, when, where and why to detail your research problem so someone you meet will suggest you try looking in the .....?, and presto, you will see your brick wall beginning to crumble.
  • A thankful attitude towards all who assist you in binding your family.
  • Sticky notes, Scratch paper, Paper clips, Stapler, Pencils & pens, Manila file folders, Ring binder, Rubber bands,
  • Sweater for cold spots in the library if you get cold easily.
  • Magnifying glass, Hand held paper punch, Several dollar bills for feeding the copy machine card.
  • Ear plugs for when someone near you makes too much noise.

Leave home all distractions and activities:

  • The desire to turn on the Sports Channel and keep up with your favorite team.  Believe me, no one cares about your team in Salt Lake City because they only get excited about BYU football and the Utah Jazz.
  • Music in your ear distracts from inspiration so leave it at home.
  • Daily phone calls to see how the kids are doing.... they are doing fine and if not let them find their own answers.  You are busy researching the dead and they are a lot quieter to work with!
  • Don't bring your one and only original documents, work with copies for safety.

Come to Salt Lake City to get away from your normal busy life and concentrate on extending your family knowledge of where you came from, how you got to where you now live, what lessons your ancestors can pass down to you, and why you are so interested in knowing more about them, and lastly too better prepare you for the days to come when you will meet them, embrace and finally get the answers you've been working so hard to learn.  Perhaps your Great Grandpa will simply say, Gee wiz, I don't know why we did that, it just seemed the thing to do at the time....

Call Janet Foster to reserve our Kimball 2 bedroom condo #225
with kitchen & laundry for your next visit