RootsTech 2014

Some people eat, sleep and chew gum, I do genealogy and write...

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Digitized Books Explode at FamilySearch.org

No, I didn't mean that the books exploded, just that the number of scanned and online books is increasing dramatically. Recently, representatives from FamilySearch showed up at the Mesa FamilySearch Library to instruct our staff on the procedures to integrate the Mesa catalog with the Family History Library Catalog. If you were not aware, or hadn't been looking lately, you might have missed the fact that entries in the Catalog are being expanded to include the holdings of the FamilySearch Centers, including the Mesa FamilySearch Library. In addition, thousands of books scanned from the Mesa FamilySearch Library will begin to appear as online digitized copies and will be listed in the Catalog. I have been following this issue for years, ever since scanning began at the then Mesa Regional Family History Center (now Mesa FamilySearch Library).

Apparently, there have been a number of technical issues that had to be resolved before the books scanned in Mesa would start appearing in the Catalog and online on FamilySearch.org. Those issues included cataloging the books and integrating them into the Catalog. Those issues are getting resolved and so there is some movement of books into the Catalog and online. 

Now here is a blog post from FamilySearch about the same issue called "New Digital Family History Books – June 2012 Report." I might say something about the fact that the article refers to the June report and is now appearing in August, but I won't. :-)

Quoting from the article:
FamilySearch is undergoing a massive project to digitize the family history book collections at the Family History Library (Salt Lake City, Utah), the Allen County Public Library (Ft. Wayne, Indiana), the Houston Public Library – Clayton Library Center for Genealogical Research (Houston, Texas), and the Mid-Continent Public Library – Midwest Genealogy Center (Independence, Missouri) among others. In the month of June 2012 alone, more than 1,500 books were added to Family History Books.
Lists of new digital family history books:
The blog post goes on to explain:
At present, the bulk of the books being digitized are English-language compiled genealogies that are out of copyright or whose authors have granted permission for the books to be placed online. Other notable additions in June 2012 include Lineage Books of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution (Volumes 1-166), Volumes 1-11 of the periodical Genealogy: A Journal of American Ancestry, a large collection of indexes to Indiana local histories, many Missouri and Texas local histories, and Houston, Texas death certificates (1876, 1889, 1896-1900).
This effort will enable these valuable books to be more easily accessible around the globe for free through the Internet. The highly-accurate OCR system we are using permits each book to be keyword searched for any word in the text. This post will be the first of several updates to help you keep up-to-date with the new books being added to Family History Books.
You might not think that 1,500 books constitutes an explosion, especially if you think about the number of books that are available now in the Library, 356,000 books, but you can see that adding that many more in a month is certainly a good sign. I will be really happy when the book I had scanned more than a year ago, shows up in the Catalog as a scanned book. I suggest that the numbers will continue to grow rapidly and that you should check the Family History Library Catalog for new entries. When a book becomes available, it will show as digitized in the Catalog with a link to the digital online copy.


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