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How to … FAQ

Our FAQ are a work in progress and will be continuously updated. Thank you for your patience!

Utah State Historical Society

How do I join the Utah State Historical Society?
Welcome!  Find out how to join here.

Can I order back issues of UHQ?
We don’t sell back issues (though some sellers on the Web do), but you can find them online here and here.

Do you have an app?
We’re working on that!

Can I buy copies of the county history series?
We are working on a print-on-demand solution in partnership with the University of Utah printing service.

How do I submit an article to UHQ?
Please see this page.


Library & Collections

How do I submit a research request?
Our staff is able to do limited research to discover what resources we have at the History Research Center.  Please send your question to  Allow 2-3 weeks for a reply.

How do I view items I found in your online catalog?
These items are available at the Utah History Research Center at 300 S. Rio Grande Street, Salt Lake City, Utah.

How do I place a photo order?
See this page.

How can I correct information for a photo I found on your website?
Please contact Heidi Orchard with details of information and the sources of this information.

How do I find a birth, death, or burial record for my ancestor?
You can search Utah burial records here. Utah State Archives has some birth and death records.

How can I find a photo of my historic home?
There are a few places you can look.  See this page for tips on researching your home.

How can I find a photo of my ancestor in your collection?
Search through online photos here.  You can also search through collections that aren’t online here.  These photographs are available at our Research Center.

Can I donate items to your collection?
We welcome and accept items–manuscripts, photographs, documents, and artifacts–that meet our collecting scope. If we are unable to accept an item, we can sometimes can suggest other possible repositories.

If so, who do I talk to?
Please contact historical curator Melissa Ferguson 

Can I make copies of things I find in your collection?
Items that will not be harmed by copying may be copied. You are responsible to obey all copyright laws.  If an item is fragile or otherwise not suitable for photocopying, you may photograph it.  Please see copy charges here.

Do I need to make an appointment to visit your library?
You don’t need an appointment!  The Research Center is open to walk-ins from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday


I am an archaeology professional. Where can I find information about cultural resource management in Utah?
Please visit this page.

Public Archaeology

What is archaeology?
Learn more about archaeology and archaeology in Utah here.

Where can I learn about Utah’s prehistory?
Get an overview here

What is Utah Archaeology Week?
It’s a week of activities, presentations, tours, and lectures held statewide–all helping people learn about Utah’s unique archaeological resources. Learn more.

Can I visit archaeological sites in Utah?
Utah has many archaeological sites open to the public.  These could be in national parks and monuments or state parks.  Here are a few good places to visit.

What do I do if I encounter artifacts in my yard or recreating elsewhere?
If you find an artifact on your land, it is yours.  If it is on someone else’s land, you do NOT own it and may not take it without permission.  It is ALWAYS against the law to take home artifacts found on federal lands.

Can I take an arrowhead?
See the answer above!

What do I do if I see someone vandalizing artifacts or sites?
Serious looters are sometimes dangerous. Instead of confronting them, get their license plate number and report them right away to a ranger, the landowner, or the Antiquities Section (that’s us). Report anyone who is intentionally damaging rock art or sites in any way.

How can I get more involved in Utah archaeology?
You might want to investigate and join one of the organizations that are working to preserve Utah’s archaeology.

Are there laws about archaeology in Utah?
Both federal and state laws exist to protect Utah’s archaeology.  It is against the law to disturb sites, take artifacts, or deface rock art. The federal government and the state of Utah prosecute looters and vandals. These criminals face jail time and/or large fines.

What do I do if I find human remains?
Learn what to do here.

Historic Buildings

How can I find out if my building can be listed on the National Register of Historic Places?
Take a look at this page to learn what the criteria are.

How can I find information on my building and the buildings in my neighborhood?
If your building is on the National Register, it will be on our database. You can find the entire National Register nomination form on the National Register site. You can also research any building yourself. Take a look at some tips for your research.

Will listing on the National Register protect my building?  Will you tell me what color I can paint it?
The National Register does not provide any protection to buildings. It does not restrict what owners can do with their buildings. An owner can paint it any color he or she wants–or even demolish it.

My neighbor told me they got tax credits for fixing up their house.  How does this work?
National Register listing does provide the opportunity to receive tax credits, if the work is done according to the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation. See more about tax credits for commercial buildings and tax credits for residential buildings.

How can I get a Section 106 SHPO letter?
See this page.

How can my city/county become a Certified Local Government (CLG)?
See this page.

What are the advantages of becoming a Certified Local Government (CLG)?
You can also find this info on this page.

Can you help me find a contractor?
We have a list of contractors that do historic preservation work; however, this list is not an endorsement! We strongly recommend that you ask for and check references.


Why can’t I find the cemetery or name I’m looking for?
Our database is an ongoing project. Although the database currently contains information on more than 600,000 burials, this is only a fraction of the total number of burials in the state. We are continuing to update on a regular basis. Check back often.

I found the person I’m looking for, but the database doesn’t have the information I need. 
This database only provides burial information. If you are looking for other information, you will need to use other resources, like the State Archives. If you need a birth or death date and it is not available in the system, please contact Amy Oliver at 801-245-7247 or the cemetery.

Why do I only get 100 hits?
The database can only return 100 hits at a time. Refining your search by providing additional criteria will narrow your search results.

I found an error in the cemeteries database. What should I do?
If you found an error in the cemeteries database, you will need to contact the cemetery and have the error corrected in the official cemetery ledger. We do not make alterations to cemetery-provided information because it will revert back to the previous error on the next update. For questions on this process, please contact Amy Oliver at 801-245-7247. Be prepared to provide appropriate documentation.

Why does the database keep “timing out”?
This happens with AOL. If you are an AOL user, you must open and use a browser (like Explorer or Firefox) outside of AOL.

How often do you update burial records?
We are continuously updating our database with new cemeteries. At this time, we collect new burial records from cemeteries already in the database once per quarter.