02 February 2013

OCLC and FamilySearch Partner Up -- WorldCat Just Continues to Get Better

This is exciting news!  And, I can’t believe that we haven’t blogged explicitly about WorldCat before!  It is an incredible resource for genealogists!

First part of the press release and then let’s talk a bit about why WorldCat is such a great resource to anyone doing research.

DUBLIN, Ohio, January 31, 2013—OCLC and FamilySearch International, the largest genealogy organization in the world, have signed an agreement that will enrich WorldCat and FamilySearch services with data from both organizations to provide users with more resources for improved genealogy research.

Under this new partnership, OCLC will incorporate data from FamilySearch’s catalog of genealogical materials into WorldCat, and FamilySearch will use OCLC cataloging services to continue to catalog its collections in WorldCat. FamilySearch will also use the WorldCat Search API to incorporate WorldCat results into search results returned by FamilySearch genealogy services...

WorldCat is a great resource!  I use it all the time to identify books (and other media) that might have relevance to my current research project – abstracted records (county, state, religious, newspaper, etc), church or community histories, family histories, etc.  Then I use it to determine “where” the found item of interest is – hopefully in the State Library of North Carolina.  If not held locally, I then determine where it is held and then I either use interlibrary loan (ILL) or see if a library which has a copy will copy select pages or provide some other means to access the content!  

For example, I searched on “Wake County” court.  This search brought up a bunch of published abstracts which I was aware of.  Additionally, it brought up a book published by the Wake County Genealogical Society.  Though this book is available locally, it is not able to be accessed through ILL.  I’ve always just assumed someone would need to buy the book if they could not get to a “local” library.  Well, I learned that copies of the book are held by at least 8 libraries including the Mid-Continent (Missouri) and Fort Worth (TX) libraries.  This is neat to know since I can now guide those who want to access and not purchase this book to these other repositories.  

This is why I find WorldCat invaluable.  One place where I am able to examine what is held by a lot of libraries!  With the new partnership with FamilySearch, instead of independently going to WorldCat and the FamilySearch catalog, which is something I am always doing, I will now be able to go to one place and search both!  Identifying genealogical and historical research material just keeps getting easier!

Are you in love with WorldCat as much as I am?  What has been your best “find” using it?

copyright © National Genealogical Society, 3108 Columbia Pike, Suite 300, Arlington, Virginia 22204-4370. http://www.ngsgenealogy.org.
Want to learn more about interacting with the blog, please read Hyperlinks, Subscribing and Comments -- How to Interact with Upfront with NGS Blog posts!
NGS does not imply endorsement of any outside advertiser or other vendors appearing in this blog.
Republication of UpFront articles is permitted and encouraged for non-commercial purposes without express permission from NGS. Please drop us a note telling us where and when you are using the article. Express written permission is required if you wish to republish UpFront articles for commercial purposes. You may send a request for express written permission to [email protected]. All republished articles may not be edited or reworded and must contain the copyright statement found at the bottom of each UpFront article.
Follow NGS via Facebook, YouTube, Google+, Twitter
Think your friends, colleagues, or fellow genealogy researchers would find this blog post interesting? If so, please let them know that anyone can read past UpFront with NGS posts or subscribe!
Suggestions for topics for future UpFront with NGS posts are always welcome. Please send any suggested topics to [email protected]