SALT LAKE CITY — The Family History Library of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, in conjunction with the Utah Museum of Natural History, is pleased to announce the opening of a FamilySearchTM Center in the museum annex in the ZCMI Mall in support of Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition. The center will be open from 29 May 2004 through 8 January 2005. It will be located on the second floor of the mall, adjacent to the Titanic exhibit.
“We are very excited to have an opportunity to partner with the Utah Museum of Natural History to enhance the Titanic experience for the thousands of people who will experience this walk through history,” said D. Merrill White, supervisor of the FamilySearch Reference Unit. “Many people have been exposed to the Titanic through dramatic Hollywood depictions, but we want to emphasize the extraordinary stories that all of us inherit from our immigrant ancestors and the value of preserving our family legacies.”
The center will partner with the Museum of Church History and Art and the Utah State Historical Society to show aspects of Utah life in 1912. There will be large displays regarding the Utah connections to the Titanic, including some family history pedigrees and historical information regarding these people and their ancestry. The center will provide guests with an opportunity to do brief computer searches to see if they have any connections to the Titanic passengers and crew and to learn how to explore their own family trees and preserve the legacies of their immigrant ancestors.
“I was touched by the story of Irene Colvin Corbett, from Pleasant View, Utah (near Provo),” said Shirley Rogers of the Family History Library, who has helped with the project’s research. “Concerned with health issues and interests, she left her family, including three little children, to study medicine in England. Her parents even mortgaged their home to subsidize the trip. She wrote home of her wonderful experiences working with the poor women and children in London. Then she booked her return passage to America on the ill-fated Titanic and was lost at sea.”
Mrs. Corbett’s story is only one of many that will be depicted in the center. Mark Lach, RMS Titanic vice president and creative designer, says that the exhibit covers the whole range of human experience, from the heroic to the tragic. “The power of the Titanic story is that it’s a human story. What started out as an optimistic, exciting trip filled with celebrities turned to tragedy. It speaks to all of us.”
About the preparations for the exhibit, Mr. Lach says: “It takes a lot of hard work and a lot of time to get these exhibits ready. But, in the end, it is worth being able to pass on the legacy of the Titanic.”
Tom Taylor, manager of the Titanic exhibit from the Utah Museum of Natural History, says: “One of the unique aspects of having this exhibit in Salt Lake City, which is known as the genealogical capital of the world, is the opportunity to partner with the Family History Library. In the adjacent FamilySearch Center, visitors moved by this inspiring Titanic experience can gain further appreciation for the value of family histories and the legacies of immigrant ancestors that need to be preserved and shared with posterity.”
The FamilySearch Center at the museum annex at the ZCMI Mall will be open Monday-Friday 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. and Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and admission is free to the public.