Family History Library to Unveil Interactive Discovery Experiences

  • 7 February 2017

Two children explore their family’s history in the Time Machine, part of several new discovery experiences at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City designed to introduce guests to the many fun facets of family history.

Article Highlights

  • The Family History Library’s newest attraction opens February 8.
  • The attraction is centered around interactive discovery experiences.

“The new discovery experiences at the Family History Library is a gathering place for families. There's an incredible spirit here. Guests and families come for fun, to expand their family tree, and to learn new tools, sources, and skills and then return home to apply what they learn.” —Elder Bradley D. Foster of the Seventy

 

 

The Family History Library opens its doors this week to a 10,139-square-foot area full of interactive discovery experiences.

The new attraction, located on the main floor of the library in downtown Salt Lake City, Utah, offers something for guests of all ages. The innovative technology and inviting activities are designed to introduce guests to the many fun facets of personal and family discovery. The doors officially open to the public on Wednesday, February 8, at 8:00 a.m. Admission is free to the public.

The Family History Library is one of the state’s top visitor attractions, and the new discovery experiences will only add to its allure as a unique and exciting destination for locals, families, youth groups, and tourists of all ages visiting Utah or Temple Square from around the world. These experiences create an inviting environment for families to discuss their family history together in entertaining, unexpected ways.

The discovery experiences at the Family History Library include more than 100 custom iPads, 44 touch-screen monitors, and 42 computers with research and discovery-experience capability. Six recording studios create free, high-definition audio and video recordings that will preserve treasured family memories for future generations.

Youth will enjoy the life-sized, touch-screen computer monitors for some of the interactive stations. In addition, an enclosed space for parents with smaller children allows these parents to explore their family history while also being able to watch their children play. A fun green screen allows guests to choose from a variety of themed backgrounds to create a lasting photo memory of their visit to the discovery experiences.

The Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah, now offers interactive discovery experiences for guests to learn more about their family history.

Hundreds of thousands of people visit the Family History Library yearly from all over the world. Elder Bradley D. Foster, General Authority Seventy and chairman of the board of FamilySearch International, a nonprofit subsidiary of the Church that operates the library and the discovery experiences, said that people worldwide naturally want to know who they are and where and how to connect.

“The new discovery experiences at the Family History Library is a gathering place for families,” said Elder Foster. “There's an incredible spirit here. Guests and families come for fun, to expand their family tree, and to learn new tools, sources, and skills and then return home to apply what they learn.”

Elder Foster said the engaging activities designed for these discovery experiences are part of an organizational effort to create opportunities for families to make and deepen family connections and get to know their ancestors.

When entering the discovery experiences, guests are each given a custom iPad. They log into their free FamilySearch account and proceed to the various stations throughout the facility, where they enjoy interactive family history experiences personalized to each guest’s family history in the FamilySearch.org Family Tree. For the best experiences, guests are invited to create a free online account and build their family tree before coming to the library. A guest account option is available for those who didn't create a FamilySearch account before arriving.

Tamra Stansfield, manager of the Family History Library, said the new transformations are designed to create unique, interactive, and immersive discovery experiences for visitors of all ages. The other four floors of the library will continue to offer the signature services for which the library is known among family history enthusiasts and researchers—billions of historical records and resources and personal assistance from genealogical specialists.

It is suggested that groups over 20 register online at FamilySearch.org/Discovery.

The FamilySearch Center and Discovery Center located in the Joseph Smith Memorial Building in Salt Lake City will remain open.

The discovery experiences at the Family History Library is a free attraction in downtown Salt Lake City. Innovative interactive stations create fun, memorable family discovery experiences for guests.

Parents can make family history discoveries while observing their children play at the Family History Library discovery experiences.

Two girls record family memories in one of the six recording studios at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.

A family discovers famous relatives together in the Family History Library discovery experiences area.