The generations on either side of me link me to my past and my future. My view of family history involves revealing the roots and the branches.

Throughout this blog you will find perspectives related to the doctrines of temple and family history work from revealed revelation given to living prophets of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS - Mormon).

Friday, February 26, 2016

RootsTech 2016: VIP Tour of Church History Library

LDS Church History Library
I had an awesome opportunity as a RootsTech Ambassador to go on a VIP behind-the-scenes tour of the Church History Library.

This is a great video about the purpose of the Church History Library and discusses some of the work that takes place in the library.

Below is a photo of the entrance lobby.

After entering the lobby we went to the reference room. Above the entrance to the room is this scripture:
"Behold, there shall be a record kept among you"
Doctrines and Covenants 21:1

There are lockers in this room for the storing of personal items; including our phones and cameras. We were asked not to take any photos "behind-the-scenes". The Church History Library provided all the photos that you see here in this blog.

The Foundations of Faith exhibit is also housed in this room - this area is available to the public.

There is an online component to this exhibit. It can be accessed here: Foundations of Faith

There are also some videos about this exhibit:

Because this was a VIP tour we were given special badges and the Director, Keith A. Erekson, took us "behind-the-scenes" to areas the general public will never see.

We went underground and through a tunnel that went under the road. We were able to see where items from the Church first enter the building and the security that is taken to protect these items. Items are stored in temperature and moisture controlled vaults that have moving shelves as seen in the photo below. The shelves move and collapse closed for the best efficient use of the space. Items are cataloged electronically. Two boxes entering the system together may be stored in different areas in the vault; based on available shelf space at the time.

We visited with an audio/visual team who showed us a presentation about how audio and video are preserved and digitally enhanced. The library preserves the material according to preservation standards for that specific product. Using equipment from the time frame of the original material, a digital copy is made. Any enhancement is made to a copy of the digital copy. All copies are also preserved. For example:
  • A magnetic tape audio reel would be preserved in archival housing material.
  • The equipment to access the audio reel would be preserved and maintained.
  • A digital copy would be made and preserved. 
  • A copy of the digital copy would be enhanced and cleaned up and it would be preserved. 

In the future as new technologies emerge they can be applied to any part of this process.

A similar methodology applies to papers and books. 
  • An archival housing is created if one doesn't already exist.
  • Items are cleaned with water.
  • Materials used to preserve are archival.
  • Materials used to repair are archival and methodologies are completely reversible. 
  • Digital copies are made of the item.

As new technologies and techniques emerge, an employee would be able to undo the previous fix and use the new method to repair.

I need to do a better job in preserving the documents, movies, and photographs that are important to my family. The Church History Library provides brief instructional videos on the processes to preserve such items.

In future blog posts I will show how to use the online databases available at the Church History Library.


1 comment:

  1. What a wonderful blogpost! And, I am so glad that you embedded all of the videos, too. Thank you so much!