What is the Church History Library?
The Church History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah, is the institutional archive of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It collects and preserves materials created by and related to the church. Although there are many libraries that contain information pertinent to Mormon Studies, the Church History Library (or CHL) “plays an important role in sharing official information and records with church leaders, members, and the general public.”
Visiting the Library
For more information regarding holiday availability and other calendar closures, click here.
Appointment requests and Church history related questions can be submitted can be submitted here.
What Researchers Should Know
- CHL’s holdings can be browsed in advance through the Church History Catalog
- Pre-registering before your arrival is recommended.
- Materials are provided to utilize in a reading room.
- Requested materials are retrieved by library staff which can take 15 minutes. Research appointments for the reading room booked in advance allow visitors to arrive with their requested materials waiting for them, saving researchers the wait time for materials to be pulled.
- Some materials are restricted and labeled “closed to research,” this categorization is evident in the catalog. Access to restricted items can be requested, but approval is not guaranteed.
Utilizing the Library Digitally
Many sources in the library’s collections are digitized and available electronically in high resolution. Additionally, through the Church Historian’s Press, the publishing arm of the Church History Department, key collections have been digitized and transcribed for ease of reading.
Other Helpful Resources
CHL has created helpful research guides on topics such as Black Members of the Church, Women’s Organizations, and Local Unit Records; new research guides are frequently produced, and older ones are regularly updated. The Library also runs a historical blog that touches on pertinent topics for research purposes.
The Library is the largest repository of items related to the church in any way, including items that portray the church in a negative light. Below is a list of that represents the breadth of collections at the library.
- MS 1352: Wilford Woodruff journals and papers, 1828-1898
- CR 1234 1: Brigham Young office files, 1832-1878 (bulk 1844-1877)
- MS 7692: Susa Young Gates papers, circa 1870-1933
- CR 100 137: Historical Department journal history of the Church, 1830-2008
- CR 375 8: Record of members collection, 1836-1970
- M204.1 A1 1880, 1897-: Conference reports of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
- CR 376 1: Perpetual Emigrating Fund Company general files, 1850-1887
- M205.1 C562 1931-: Church news (Salt Lake City : 1931- )
- MS 4425: Jane Manning James autobiography, circa 1902
- MS 22577: Jay Burrup postcard collection, circa 1898-2000
 Keith A. Erekson, “A New Era of Research Access in the Church History Library,” Journal of Mormon History, Vol. 46, No. 4 (October 2020): 117.