Utah Repositories for Family History Research


By Holly T. Hanson


Holly T. Hansen, founder of Family History Expos discusses Family History Resources in Utah on Big Blend Radio.

There are major collections of genealogically important source materials held in libraries and archives all across the United States. We are going to take a look at some of the collections held in Utah repositories. As a genealogical researcher, you cannot afford to ignore these libraries. Today, many of these repositories have catalogues and descriptions of their holdings online available for searching. They have blogs and Facebook pages that allow you to keep up with current happenings.

Research libraries have unique collections that often include timelines, maps, family files, and so much more you will want to locate and use in your quest for family history. Look for these and other unique resources, you will be amazed how they will help have fun, enjoy the journey, and improve your research success.

Types of Libraries with Genealogical Sources:

  • National Repositories – include national historic sites, museums, archives, and more. It is always surprising and thrilling to discover a new resource for family history research. An interesting and unique example is the Golden Spike National Historic Site (pictured). This amazing historic site holds a research archives and book collection of nearly 1,000 volumes which includes: diaries, telegrams, local articles and writings, oral interviews, maps, photograph collection. A printed list of their holdings is available at the site.

  • Tribal Repositories – operated by individual tribes.

  • State Library and Archives – Every state in the United States has a state library and/or Archive. The state of Utah has several library and Archives services that reach into the rural areas of the state and across the nation. The Utah Division of Archives and Records Service, located within the historic Denver & Rio Grande Depot, is part of the Department of Administrative Services.

  • College and University Libraries – It is not uncommon for individuals and families to donate their personal papers, letters, and other documents to a university or college library. It is worth your time to become familiar with the holdings of your local college or university library. One library may hold a collection dealing with a specific subject while another library holds additional and different materials dealing with the same subject. Use online catalogs and familiarize yourself with the materials that are available. Many collections are digital while others must be viewed in person. Some collections will be available from multiple repositories. Become familiar with the holdings of your local university or college.

  • County and Local Public Libraries and Archives http://www.publiclibraries.com/

  • Private Libraries – Religious, fraternal organizations, personal collectors, and more

For a more detailed look at repositories for Utah and to get an idea of what is available take a look at my blog post relating to repositories on FamilyHistoryExpos.com.  


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