Genealogy from the perspective of a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon, LDS)

Monday, July 2, 2018

The End of an Era: Mesa FamilySearch Library is Closing Completely


No other recent event points out the tremendous rapid changes in the world of genealogy and family history than the closing of the Mesa FamilySearch Library (aka Mesa Family History Center, Mesa Multiregional Family History Center). This Family History Center had been in operation since the 1930s and began with a library inside the Mesa Temple itself.

Now, it has been announced that the Mesa FamilySearch Library will be totally closed on Friday, September 14, 2018 at 5:00 pm. I am sad I will not be there for the final day.

Why is the closing of this facility so important? The closing is really a symbolic event. The closing of this very active and vibrant Family History Center represents the changes from all of the traditional ways of doing family history. In the most recent announcement, it was even made clear that the "missionaries" serving there would not be able to continue holding conferences as they faithfully have during even the years when they had no facility to work in. This is the final nail in the coffin.

I have written many times about the significant changes in family history and genealogy as it has been done for a very long time. Even though there are still a lot of people who practice genealogy in a very traditional way, I can see that technological changes, changes in values and the inexorable changes in attitude have finally done their work and forced us to move on.

I will miss the friends and acquaintances I worked with for so many years. My words cannot express the feelings I have for the dedication and huge knowledge bank of experience that is represented by this Family History Center. No new center can replace this storehouse of experience.

It is time to say goodbye and best wishes to all who have made such a significant effort over the years to help people find their family and their heritage.

7 comments:

  1. What will happen to all the books that were there as well as the ones acquired when the AZ state genealogical library closed?

    ReplyDelete
  2. This is a tie to my mother, a dedicated genealogist in the pre-computer age. She always spoke fondly of "my Mormon ladies" in Mesa, where she did a lot of her research. They were so welcoming & helpful to her. I have often wondered what she would think of today's computer search resources. She died in 1974.

    ReplyDelete
  3. That is a major blow, unless there is an alternative place to look at unindexed and digitized records.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Phoenix Family History Center will still be open.

      Delete
  4. What reason was given for closing the center? Is this going to happen to my local center as well? We have a steady number of clientele each week so I hope it stays open.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I am so frustrated as I live in Gilbert and there is ONE official FHC in Gilbert that is open ONE night per week! There are two in Eastern part of Chandler that are open in the evenings. No daytime hours. Everyone has been so used to the Mesa FamilySearch Library being "the place". I sure hope they rise to the occasion and fill the need.

    ReplyDelete