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Sonja Nishimoto AG - sonjarn@connect2.com
LDS Correspondent - Polish Genealogical Society of America
FHL Reference Consultants at the Library in Salt Lake City

News from the Family History Library

It is time to update news from the Family History Library in Salt Lake City. For those who will be visiting the Library, remodeling is now completed.

On the B-1 floor, where European, Scandinavian and Hispanic researchers will find themselves, we have added an additional 8 computers for patrons, bringing the total number of patron computers to 48. The library has various subscription sites such as www.ancestry.comwhich are available free to the public. Ancestry.com is also free at the various Family History Centers throughout the US.

The other floors on the library are B-2 which serves the patrons interested in British, Australian and New Zealand research.

The main floor now has the Family History books that were located in the Joseph Smith Memorial Building for some time.  This is very helpful for patrons to have these on-site. We also have an information commons area on this floor which is helping patrons to be comfortable in working with the different databases that are available at the Library. They have added a screen magnifier for the visually imparied. This floor teaches PAF classes on a regular basis. This floor has a computer lab where many computer classes are taught "hands-on."

The B-1 floor, as mentioned previously, serves patrons that are researching in Europe, including Poland and other Slavic areas. We now have consultation services both for the Scandinavian Unit as well as the International Unit. These are 1 hour consultations for patrons who want one on one appointments with specialists in their area of research. This hour can be for help with translation problems, or research problems. This has met with great success and the patrons that have used this are very happy with this service. In order to have a consultation, the patron can contact the Library by phone or email and set up their appointment time. They can also arrange an appointment while at the Library. The appointments can be made at the reference counters. Appointments can only be made about 1 week in advance. We teach research classes for Poland and many other countries which are all free of charge for those who are interested. The class schedules can usually be found at the Library website, www.familysearch.org.

The 2nd Floor of the Library serves patrons with US research problems, including immigration problems from other countries. This floor has the US film collection.

The 3rd Floor has the US book collection.

The floors have machines that can be used to copy from microfilms and either burn the information to cd or they can be put on your flash drive. Each floor has many missionaries to help patrons one-on-one at the computers so that they can quickly find things and understand the databases that are available. There is also an orientation film for the first-time user.

Some helpful information for patrons outside of the Family History Library is that the Meyer's Orts gazetteer is now on the Ancestry.com website. This is a most helpful gazetteer for the Polish researcher who is researching in former Prussian provinces such as Brandenburg, Pommern, Posen, Ostpreussen, Westpreussen, and Schlesien.

Another site of interest is http://www.rootsweb.com/~polwgw/polandarchives.html. At this site they are starting to extract vital records from various Polish parishes.

A site that gives information about important Polish gazetteers and instructions as to their use is http://www.halgal.com/gazetteers.html.

Polish Catholic Parish Address Locator
There is a company in Gliwice that has a site which gives you the current addresses of Polish Catholic Parishes. This site is: http://www.parafia.gliwice.pl/parafie.php. To use this site, in the box on the lower left side that says "Miasto:" type in the town or city where the parish was located. Click "Szukaj". If there was more than one parish in the town, all the parishes will appear after you click on "Szukaj". Then click on the link to the parish that you are interested in.

Polish Civil Registration and Town Hall Address Locator
This same company has a site to help you locate the town hall and the civil registration office address. This site is:   http://www.usc.pl/s_urzedy.php. When using this site, in the box next to the word "szukaj", type in the town or city where the civil registration office was located. You may also find that there is a website for your town whose url is given when you use this site. .

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