A visit to the state archive Research Center was at the top of my Salt Lake City ToDo List during RootsTech week, but it was tough to take time out to meet that goal.
First, there was the ever-present pull of the Family History Center and RootsTech itself. Then, there were the informal meet-ups where new research strategies were brought out for consideration. Finally, it was COLD for a Californian to be out there walking away from the hub of activity.
I was running out of time by the time I headed toward the glowing railroad depot sign at the end of the street. I only glanced at the Archive address, noting “Located within the historic Denver & Rio Grande Depot.”
Anyone who attended RootsTech or has walked up and down West South Temple Street (in front of the Radisson) has surely noticed the glowing Union Pacific sign that anchors the end of the street. I incorrectly assumed train = train and headed toward the giant logo. It was a nice walk, although I did end up at the Gateway Mall and the only Depot I found was a nightclub.
Nice Sign, Wrong Place
The historic Union Pacific Depot has been renovated and is now a center for shopping, dining, and entertainment. I needed to be at the Denver & Rio Grande Depot, about a half mile south of the UP Depot.
If you’d like to visit the Utah State Archives and are staying near the Family History Center, I suggest you take the Trax light rail which stops not far from the Archives on West 200 South.
The historic Denver & Rio Grande Depot is home to the Utah State Archives and a local favorite, the Rio Grande Café. I savored both.
Home of the Utah State Archives and Research Center
Depot interior hosts photo and art exhibits.
My goal at the Research Center was to examine directories for the years my grandmother lived in Salt Lake City and to see if I could find any other records for her during that time. I may have been hasty with the Archives address, but I did spend some time with the website searching the online databases.
The Research Center holds records in two distinct divisions:
Utah State History – manuscripts, photographs, books, and maps about Utah and the West
Utah State Archives – historic state and local government records in Utah, from 1850 to today (including vital records, divorces, naturalizations, and more)
The online collection also includes an extensive photograph collection that I plan to look at more carefully from home.
I was able to search online and find several records I wanted to personally examine: the divorce case between Arline and Albert Edwards, and an unexpected file for Albert Edwards for housebreaking in 1898.
The Archives staff was extremely helpful in locating the records, especially when it became obvious that the divorce papers didn’t seem to be on the indexed microfilm roll. Instead, my record was one of several that were poorly filmed. The archivist recalled that someone had been in last week also looking for files on that roll; they were located in the original hardcopy form in one of six boxes retained by the Archives and still available from the previous researcher. What luck! He brought me the box in a few minutes and I was soon photocopying the original court filing.
The Archives will allow photocopying, but not photography. They also offer research services if you are unable to come to the center in person.
The Research Center is open Monday through Friday, 9am to 4pm, and located in the historic Denver and Rio Grande Depot at 300 S. Rio Grande Street. It ‘s a lovely walk from the Family History Center.
View walking out of the Research Center toward
the snowy mountains, probably hasn’t changed much
since my grandmother’s time in 1917.