For years, many of the library’s materials were kept in the Church Office Building’s east wing. Plans to build the current Church History Library were announced in April 2005; four years later, on June 20, 2009, the library was dedicated by then Church President Thomas S. Monson. The entire collection from the Church Office Building was then carefully moved to the newer facility, where it continues to grow.
The Church History Library serves as a preservation site and research center, housing ten main storage rooms with precise atmospheric controls to preserve archival materials. These rooms hold many original items, such as manuscripts, journals, photos, audio/video recordings, and administrative records and histories of the Church from its beginnings up to the present day. It provides public access to many of these collections for individual and academic research, including digitized items that are available for viewing online.
The large Reference Room of the Church History Library has open stacks, computers for patron use, and a reference desk. It also hosts Foundations of Faith, an ongoing library exhibit showcasing priceless foundational records from the Church’s history. Also, like many research libraries, the Church History Library has areas set aside for reading and reviewing library materials in a protected environment, such as our main Reading Room. The library also has presentation rooms and offices for Church History Department employees.
Key library collections:
- Thousands of records about Latter-day Saint pioneer emigrants and wagon train companies that came to Utah from the 1840s to 1860s; many of these materials have been used to create the Pioneer Database, which contains information on more than 61,000 pioneers.
- The Missionary Database, containing records on nearly 40,000 men and women who served as missionaries during the Church’s first century.
- The Church History Library archives patriarchal blessings given around the world, enabling Latter-day Saints to request a copy of their own blessing, as well as a copy of the blessing given to a deceased direct-line ancestor, child, or spouse.