Sunday, August 16, 2009

Renovations to FamilySearch

FamilySearch is in the process of making major renovations to the FamilySearch.org Website. Indications of the process are being displayed online at the FamilySearch Alpha project. Beyond cosmetic changes to the design of the Website, the new Alpha version contains several new items not directly available from the present FamilySearch Website.

The first of these is a blog. However, despite more recent changes to the Alpha site, the latest blog post dates back to March, 2009.

The Search Tab on the menu bar takes the user directly to FamilySearch Record Search Pilot rather than to the older list of FamilySearch regulars, such as Ancestral File and IGI. By the way, the FamilySearch Record Search Pilot Website has been down the last couple of days for maintenance.

The feature with the most extensive promise in the Alpha version is the Learning Tab, which shows some innovative ideas for presenting research information. Unfortunately, few of the features are yet active.

The information on the Library Tab is current but most of the features are not yet connected to active Web pages. One editorial comment, the picture they used of the Reference Consultants showed a definite bias towards very young consultants, that is certainly not my experience at any genealogical library, including the one in Salt Lake.

All in all, the Alpha Website is promising, but very incomplete. It is something you may wish to check now and again for progress.

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