Wednesday, November 24, 2010

FamilySearch Wiki filled with resources

One of the landmarks and mainstays of genealogical research for years has been the FamilySearch Research Outlines. These white-covered over-sized pamphlets contain a concise outline of how and where to look for you ancestors. They were published for each of the states in the United States and many countries. These Outlines have been available for years on FamilySearch.org under the Research Helps tab as "Articles." Clicking on this link brought up a long list of publications most of which were available in PDF format. Here is a screen shot of the first part of the list:


Guess what? Nearly all of the information in these helpful guides has been seeded into the FamilySearch Wiki. Although presently, the Wiki can be accessed from Wiki.FamilySearch.org, The Wiki has been almost completely integrated into the Beta.FamilySearch.org website.

For example, a search in the Beta site under the "Learn" tab takes you directly to the Wiki. There is nothing on the startup page however, that indicates either the scope or amount of information available. It might be nice to have a link to a page saying something like, "About this Website" which could then explain in more detail the resources available and even give a brief introduction to the Wiki resources. Another idea is that it might say something like, "Click here for information about the resources available from FamilySearch on this site." Anyway, click on the Learn tab and you are taken to the Wiki.



Now, type a subject or whatever into the text box and chose your subject from the list. When I typed "german handwriting" into the box, I was immediately taken to an article with a number of useful links to deciphering German handwriting. The obvious advantage over the static published Research Outlines is that the information is current and kept up-to-date by the Wiki community.

Reminder, if you find information in the Wiki that you think is wrong or out-of-date, take the time to join the Wiki and correct the information. As a collaborative website, the Wiki will become more useful in direct proportion to the number of people who contribute.

1 comment:

  1. I honestly prefer the hard copy after viewing the Research Guide info, online. Some of the links didn't work and the print was too small. I felt like I was going around in circles. Either it's a bad night for me(too much turkey and pumpkin pie, most likely) or this format could be more forthright and visible.

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