Vintage Scan #29: Mormon Genealogy Magazine (1969)

So, I live in Utah now... so, that happened.   It's actually a beautiful place with lots of hiking, skiing.... and thrift stores full of old Mormon magazines like this one.

I thought this one was cool because it dives into the high tech world of 1969 genealogy.  Not every issue of The Era is about this subject - the next one I'll scan is about Mormon youth in 1969, which is fascinating.

"A Picture Tour of the Church's Genealogical Facilities"

I recently talked to a Mormon neighbor who said he remembers as a kid going down to the Genealogy building and using the microfiche -  a lost "art", as it's all digital now.

By the way - the name "microfiche" has always bothered me.  I'm just sayin.

An old codger shakily assembles a family tree.  Oh, Photoshop, where art thou?

Honestly, I'm not sure why this picture is included, except to show that the Mormon secret handshake is required.

The Management Committee room - possibly the stuffiest room in all of North America.  It's 1969; there should be a bottle of scotch on that table.

Mormons are nothing if not organized and industrious.

I'm sure the binding at the Ogden branch was slow as molasses, but it was done right.

Don't you just feel the sexual tension in the room?

I'd make fun of this if it wasn't so close to my actual job.  Just insert cubicles.

I don't care how you feel about the LDS church, you've got to admit their impenetrable Granite Mountain Hall of Records is badass.

After nuclear armageddon, there will be nothing left but cockroaches, Mormons and Keith Richards.

This is going to be a problem.  Keith Richards doesn't drink water.

(Sound of wolf whistle)

This guy looks like he should be cutting my salami, not making copies for the dreaded microfiche.

When your job is literally taking the negative and making it positive, you can't help but be happy and optimistic.

Where's the funny hats?  What's the point of being a high priest if you can't wear funny hats?

Medical personnel are always standing by.

Before I go, a couple more pages.  I don't know if you have the patience to read "How to Use Our Genealogical Libraries... a Short Story in Pictures", but here it is:


  1. Why no Scotch at the executives' table? Because Mormons don't drink anything stronger than 7-Up. No alcohol, no caffeine. Sanka is even verboten (97% caffeine free still means it has 3% caffeine). I found that out in a Sports Illustrated article years ago about BYU football.

  2. The funny thing is that NOW all of this is on two flash drives on a key chain in the director's office.

    Great post.

  3. To me they are two different things...microfilm is the type on the rolls, microfiche are sheets