World Conferences on Records
From The Encyclopedia of Mormonism
Author: Brower, Doris Bayly
Two World Conferences on Records have been sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Salt Lake City, Utah. In celebration of the Diamond Jubilee of the Family History Library and to exhibit the newly constructed granite mountain record vault, the genealogical society of Utah hosted the first world conference, August 5-8, 1969. The theme, "Records Protection in an Uncertain World," emphasized that, since no one organization can preserve all the valuable records of the world, each nation or society must preserve its own records from wear, deterioration, neglect, and natural or man-created disasters.
Sessions combined two types of meetings: records preservation, usage, and accessibility; and genealogical research. For the first time on a world scale, a conference brought together genealogists, archivists, demographers, and technical experts on microfilming and other methods of preserving records. Two hundred and eighty specialists in these fields presented 180 seminars during the four days to an audience of both amateurs and professionals from national and governmental bodies, private institutions and societies, and individuals from every state in the United States and forty-five nations.
The second World Conference on Records was held August 12-15, 1980. The theme, "Preserving Our Heritage," was stimulated by Alex Haley's, 1976 book Roots. Much of the conference focused on gathering, preparing, and preserving personal and individual family histories-writing "the history of the heart"-in addition to factual genealogical data. The featured speaker, Alex Haley, said: "In all of us there is a hunger to know who we are and where we come from." Attendance of 11,500 more than doubled that of the previous conference, including representatives from each of the United States and from fifty nations. Printed copies of the sessions of the conferences were made available at the Genealogical Society headquarters in Salt Lake City.
Jolley, Joann. "The World Conference on Records-Writing the History of the Heart." Ensign 10 (Oct. 1980):72-75.
"The World Conference on Records." IE 72 (Jan. 1969):22-24.
DORIS BAYLY BROWER