Thank you for your compliment about the LDS Family History Library in Salt Lake and their Family History Centers. I would like to share something with you.
When I was a student at Brigham Young University in Provo in 1970-1972 and working towards my BS degree in Applied Genealogy, I visited the library every Tuesday and Thursday. At that time they were on Main Street in the old Montgomery Ward building. The book and film collection was modest, but they did have the films for Westfalen and my grandfather's family's parishes. There were only two rows of microfilm cabinets for all the International films. I remember seeing only one reference consultant. This man was a German and he graciously helped me, as I struggled to read the old German script.
About 1973 they moved to the North Temple Location, where they were for several years until they outgrew that space. All the time they were adding more books and microfilms to their collection. I had the priviledge of being a temporary reference consultant in the International section. Then, I later served, as a Family History Missionary in that section. I got to answer the correspondence for that area and answer the questions of the library visitors. What a wonderful experience.
Now, they are in a larger building, but it is overflowing with more films and more books being added all the time. A while back they divided the Family History books from the general collection. The Family History books are in another building nearby. Some of the less used films are kept in the vault and can be ordered for use sooner than three-six weeks. (This was their policy for local residents a while back.)
The GERMAN GENEALOGICAL DIGEST is always printing information about new acquistions, books, microfilms and microfiche in their quarterly publication. The articles in this are great for those doing German research. In their Volume 9, #2 they printed a list of German periodicals. They gave the microfilm and book #'s for any that the library owned. I extended one of my Holstein lines by using these. Also, I completed a family group sheet on my Holstein pastor family.
The library is purchasing many Ortsippenbuecher and other village genealogies. These help you construct your families to the beginning of the church books, but one needs to make sure that they were extracted correctly by checking the microfilm records of the parish.
I wanted to share this with you to let you see what can happen in just over thirty years of gathering the records. This collection of the world's records has been going on for over 100 years. It will be interesting to see what they can gather in the next 30 years or the inventions that will improve the research, such as better copy machines, computers, etc.
Thanks again for your comments and I hope that you take time to read mine.