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Friday, March 28, 2014

FamilySearch Catalog Now Linked to the OCLC WorldCat Catalog

With all the changes being made to the FamilySearch.org website nearly every day, it is no wonder that the major improvements and monumentally important changes go almost completely unnoticed. Raising the online visibility of the Family History Library Catalog (now the FamilySearch Catalog) is one of those deal-changing events that creeps in under the door and receives almost no attention from genealogists. Since my whole life has revolved, more or less, around libraries, I have been carefully watching the changes in the FamilySearch Catalog. Now, there are direct links from the entries to the same items in the huge WorldCat.org catalog. This is comparable to going from a small town in Central Utah, to the big city. It is a major, major change in the way the catalog works and its visibility. 

First, the FamilySearch Catalog. This is now a compilation of all of the holdings of all of the larger FamilySearch Centers around the world. Here is a screen shot of the link showing some of the FamilySearch Centers now being integrated into the master catalog:

First you click on the link that says "Search these Family History Centers:"


When you click, you get a list of all of the participating Centers. Any search you make will include all of the Centers. There is a further link on any resulting search window taking you to any Center having a copy of the item you are searching for:


Note that there is also a link to the digitized copy of the book, free and online, if one exists. Clicking on the link to the "Location" gives you a drop-down list of all of the FamilySearch Centers that have a copy of the item.

Now, if you look near the bottom of this same search page, you will also see a link taking you directly to the WorldCal.com (OCLC) catalog website:


Clicking on this link takes you directly to the catalog entry in the WorldCat.org catalog:


Notice that there are entries for the Family History Library and for the Mesa Arizona FamilySearch Library. But you should also note all the other locations where this particular book can be found, including the previously noted online version. 

Any genealogist worth their salt should be very well acquainted with WorldCat.org. With over 2 billion catalog entries, this is the most valuable searching resource for genealogists on the Internet after Google. If you use WorldCat.org regularly, you just might begin to understand why this linking of the two catalogs is so important. 

See "FamilySearch Catalog Will Soon Link to the OCLC World Catalog" on the FamilySearch.org blog for another announcement. 

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