Church History Library
From its beginning in 1830, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has followed the divine mandate to collect "all things which shall be for the good of the church, and for the rising generations that shall grow up on the land" (D&C 69:8). Records were kept from the early days of the Church, and the Historian's Office was established in 1856. The Historian's Office was moved to the Church Administration Building in 1917. The Church History Library was moved to the Church Office Building in 1972, and to its current location in 2009. This building is designed to provide long-term preservation, more space for collections, and better research facilities for patrons.
15 East North Temple Salt Lake City, UT 84150
Schedule & hours
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Thursday 9:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Saturday 10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
English. Spanish speaking employees often available. Please contact library directly to inquire about availability of library assistance and materials in other languages.
Upon entering the front door, you will pass a security desk and greeters and proceed into the library. To your left you will find computer terminals and desks. To your right is the reference desk where patrons can request library assistance or order closed stack materials which are only available to examine in the reading room. The reading room is also to the right, beyond the reference desk and is where patrons can view closed stack materials which include rare books and original manuscripts as well as audio and video resources. Also to the right are copy machines and the public book collection.
The collections consist of manuscripts, books, Church records, photographs, oral histories, patriarchal blessings, architectural drawings, pamphlets, newspapers, periodicals, maps, microforms, and audiovisual materials. The collection continues to grow annually and is a prime resource for the study of Church history. Our collection contains approximately: 270,000 books, pamphlets, magazines, and newspapers 240,000 collections of original, unpublished records (journals, diaries, correspondence, minutes, etc.) 3.5 million Patriarchal blessings for Church members 13,000 photograph collections 23,000 audiovisual items
Catalogues & finding aids
Languages of materials
The Church History Library houses published and manuscript material from across the world and its holdings contain material in a wide range of languages.
Restrictions & difficulties
The public can access many historical materials in a large, open library area, while other materials are located in archival storage rooms and can be brought to a secure reading room upon request by a patron. The Church History Department is committed to making its records available to the public to the extent it can reasonably do so without compromising those that are sacred, confidential, private, or otherwise restricted for legal or ethical reasons.
The library is open to the public. No documentation is required to peruse the library’s open stacks, however, photo i.d. and completion of a registration form is required to view closed stack material.
Permitted and prohibited items
Laptops and research materials are permitted. Other electronic devices such as cell phones and cameras are subject to restrictions as follows. Cell phone use Please do not use cell phones inside the Church History Library or its reading room. You are welcome to walk into the foyer to make and accept calls. Cameras and hand-held copying devices Use of cameras and hand-held copying devices is not permitted for closed-stacks materials. Please consult staff at the reference desk for permission to take photos of other materials.
Materials from the secure collection are requested from the computers and used in the Reading Room. Individuals desiring access to this room must: Register and submit a request to view items Place all personal belongings in a locker before entering the room Present photo identification at the Reading Room Desk upon entering Understand and follow Reading Room policies and procedures (Includes handling and use of materials)
Documents take approximately 15-20 minutes to be retrieved.
Photocopying, photography, microfilming
The Library complies with U.S. copyright laws. Patrons are responsible for making their own copies from materials in the Library Collection and, with approval, from selected microfilm collections in the Secure Stacks Collection. There is a charge for making copies or printouts. A payment card must be used for the copy machines and printers. Payment cards and flash drives are available for purchase in a vending machine. Upon approval, copies from microfilm collections viewed in the Reading Room are available to be downloaded on a flash drive. There is no charge for downloading to a flash drive. All duplication requests made from hardcopy materials viewed in the Reading Room must be reviewed and processed by staff. Upon approval, patrons who come to the library may have up to 50 pages copied in hardcopy or electronic format and available the day the request is made. All other requests are completed in the order received and mailed on a flash drive. This generally takes about 3-4 weeks to complete. Church History Library Duplication/Digitization Charges.
Please see details about pricing and duplication time here: http://churchhistorycatalog.lds.org/primo_library/libweb/custom/CHD/pages/services-duplication.jsp
Several eateries are located within a few blocks of the library, including the newly opened City Creek Mall.
Lockers are available for day use. Materials left overnight will be removed and if unclaimed are subject to donation.
Public bathrooms and water fountains are available near the library entrance.
The Church History Library is on several Utah Transit Authority bus routes and one block from the UTA light rail line. See UTA routes and schedules here: http://www.rideuta.com/
The Church History Library provides public access to computers and connections to aid in research endeavors. These services are to be used in harmony with the standards of the Church and in accordance to Library policies and procedures. Personal use is limited. All individuals who use the computers must agree to abide by the policy. The Church History Library reserves the right to revoke privileges, including denying access to the facility, from anyone who violates the policy.
The Church History Library, located in downtown Salt Lake, is within walking distance of independent and chain bookstores including Deseret Book, Eborn Books, and the bookstore at the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers Museum.
The Church History Library Catalog website contains links to a wide variety of online archives and databases including: The Overland Trails Database  The LDS Periodical Index http://chperiodicals.lds.org/ The Journal History of the LDS Church http://churchhistorycatalog.lds.org/primo_library/libweb/custom/CHD/pages/resources-journal.jsp Digital Archives Collection http://churchhistorycatalog.lds.org/primo_library/libweb/custom/CHD/pages/collections.jsp Church History Website http://lds.org/churchhistory/ The Joseph Smith Papers Project Website http://josephsmithpapers.org/ Ask A Librarian (for research assistance) http://churchhistorycatalog.lds.org/primo_library/libweb/custom/CHD/pages/services-ask.jsp Keep up to date about the Library’s events and acquisitions via their Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/churchhistorylibrary