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

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Vast new digital collections online

Doesn't the title to this post just grab your attention? Probably not. Digital collections coming online are getting to be old news and hardly worth the time to mention. They are getting so common there is no possible way to keep up with all of the additions. But, of course, I am listening to what is going on in Utah and Salt Lake City particularly. So, I picked up a significant announcement that the Church History Library has just put millions of documents online in digitized format. Here is the news article talking about the additional records online:

Millions of LDS documents, images now online, Deseret News 29 June 2012

Here is a quote from the announcement:
"We are pleased as a Church History Department ... to announce that the Church History Catalog is now online, and it is live, and it has remarkable features and capabilities," said Reid L. Neilson, managing director of the department.
A beta test of the online catalog was announced in May 2011 at the association conference in St. George, Utah. Asked for a show of hands, many in the luncheon audience indicated they had already acquainted themselves with the beta version of the product.
"This warms my heart," Neilson said.
"Isn't it marvelous that before you go to Salt Lake City you can do research and figure out what reference you want to see before you actually get to Salt Lake City?"
A user can now search the database, save it electronically and simply access it upon arrival at the Church History Library, he said.
The new online catalog can be accessed at
He showcased some of the features of the new online catalog, which can link to more than 400,000 pages of digitized documents and images.
OK, but that was only the first half of the announcement. Here is the second half:
"We've also worked with Brigham Young University's Harold B. Lee Library and the Family History Department, and we are pleased to let you know that we have tens of thousands of family histories that have been digitized and now linked to our library catalog," he said.
The department is also endeavoring, Neilson said, to digitize the most important Mormon periodicals of the 19th century. These include "The Evening and the Morning Star," the entire run of the "Improvement Era," and "The Juvenile Instructor" in conjunction with an Internet archive that provides fully searchable digital scans of the pages of those publications.
Photographs are already available through the catalog. In coming years, Neilson said, many of the photos will be digitized and made available for download and greater access through the catalog.
Neilson noted that the department has created a series of short video vignettes explaining how to use the new online catalog and do such things as saving search results to an "e-shelf" for later research.
If you find something in the catalog that you would like to see, for a fee, you can request that the document be digitized and sent to you. There are some supposed links to YouTube in the article but the links are bad. I put one of the videos at the beginning of this post.

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