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Sunday, March 15, 2009

Digitized books in the Family History Library

For some time now the Family History Library Catalog has provided links to the Family History Archives directly from the catalog entry. As I have noted in previous posts, the Family History Archives now has over 30,000 searchable digitized books on line. This feature is available directly from a search of the catalog.

The Family History Library Catalog has various levels of search capability by place, surname, keyword, title, film or fiche number, author, subject or call number. By far the most used and most valuable is the place search. The Place Search is further enhanced by a button saying "View Related Places" which then gives the records available in the further divided general area selected. It is important to note, that these subdivided locations are not usually duplicate records. For example, if you chose Arizona, the catalog will show all the state records. When you click View Related Places, you get a list of all of the counties and when you chose a county and click the button again, you get a list of city records available.

At each level of the catalog, if you look at the catalog entry for an item, if that item has been digitized in the Family History Archive, there will be a link to the digitized item. On occasion, some of these links have not worked on my computer, but you can simply search for the item directly in the Family History Archive and view the digitized version.

It would be helpful if you didn't have to go all the way to looking at the catalog entry for the individual items before seeing if digitized versions are available. Perhaps the catalog could show the availability of digitized records from the search screens also.

As more and more of these items become available, this resource becomes even more valuable.

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