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Friday, January 3, 2014

New enhancements to the FamilySearch Catalog.

You may not have noticed, but the Family History Library Catalog has now become the FamilySearch Catalog. The difference is significant in that the newer catalog contains entries from many of the FamilySearch Centers around the world. There is a link to view the content of the catalogs of the other Centers around the world in a drop-down menu. Likewise, when you view any catalog item, you can see if the item is available in any of the other Centers around the world. There is a screenshot showing the location of the drop-down menu:

 One of the most valuable parts of the old Family History Library Catalog was the ability to use the catalog as a geographic finding aid. Enhancements to the new catalog are being made to completely add that functionality to the new catalog. As stated in a blog post by Lynne C. VanWagenen entitled, "Two New Enhancements to the FamilySearch Catalog:"
These changes will improve the power of your search and increase the chances of finding exactly what you need. These enhancements include the following:
  • Place Look-up
  • The Related Places Feature Is Now in the New Catalog
Place Look-UpWhen you do a place search in the old catalog, you can see a list of places that match what you enter. This is useful in many situations, such as:
  • You know that a person was born in “Franklin,” but not which Franklin. Using this feature, you can at least see the possibilities.
  • You have a record where you can read the first few letters of a place but not the rest, due to the handwriting or a great big smudge. You could use this feature to see a list of places that begin with those same letters.
 You will need to look for some of these developments in the near future. Meanwhile you can see what the developments will look like from screenshots in the blog post.

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