DUBLIN, Ohio, 4 March 2014—OCLC and FamilySearch International are working together to share data between WorldCat and the FamilySearch Catalog to provide more resources for improved genealogy research. More than 1 million FamilySearch genealogical records are now discoverable in WorldCat, the world’s largest database of records representing resources in libraries worldwide. Links to WorldCat are now available on FamilySearch.org.
Many FamilySearch records added to WorldCat represent large collections of vital information, such as birth and death records from localities all over the world. If digitized, these records link back to FamilySearch.org where they can be viewed online. If on film, these records can be requested from FamilySearch to a satellite or affiliate FamilySearch Family History Center. FamilySearch records with a corresponding WorldCat record will indicate a library or libraries that hold the item.
“Many of the books in the FamilySearch library collection are also in other collections of other public and academic libraries and appear in WorldCat,” said Steve Fox, Product Manager for FamilySearch. “This means genealogists using the FamilySearch Catalog may now be able to find additional copies of books and other sources at libraries closer to them. Many additional materials related to their research that are not in the FamilySearch collection will also be discoverable in the collections of other libraries that include their holdings in WorldCat.”
“The FamilySearch Catalog and WorldCat have been tremendous resources for genealogy research for many years,” said Chip Nilges, Vice President of Business Development, OCLC. “OCLC and FamilySearch are bringing these great resources together through our data sharing partnership. We will continue to update these resources through our ongoing partnership to continue to improve and enhance the tools available for genealogy researchers around the world.”
Those who start their research by using the FamilySearch Catalog now have access to unique and freely available sources that libraries can offer, including:
- Local histories of counties, cities and regions
- Maps, photos and other images
- Local biographies and profiles of prominent citizens
- City directories, catalogs, inventories and original manuscript materials.
FamilySearch has been a pioneer in the use of technology and processes for image capture, digital conversion, preservation, online indexing and online access and adds over 400 million new digital images each year to FamilySearch.org. Those who start their research by using WorldCat will have access to collections from FamilySearch that include historic documents of genealogical value such as:
- Civil registration records
- Church records
- Probate, census, land and tax records
- Military records
- Family histories
- Clan and lineage genealogies
- Oral pedigrees
- Local histories
In addition, this agreement benefits website visitors when one site is suffering an outage. In that scenario, the other site can serve as a “back-up” catalog.
OCLC is sponsoring a program, “What Do Genealogists Really Want from a Public Library?” at the PLA Conference on Saturday, March 15, from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. in Wabash Ballroom 1 of the Indiana Convention Center. More about the event is at oc.lc/FQHmA1.
Steve Fox, Product Manager for FamilySearch, will also be in the OCLC Booth (1331) during PLA to answer questions on Thursday, March 13, 10:00–10:15 a.m., and 4:00–4:15 p.m.; and Friday, March 14, 10:00–10:15 a.m.
Founded in 1967, OCLC is a nonprofit, membership, computer library service and research organization dedicated to the public purposes of furthering access to the world’s information and reducing library costs. More than 74,000 libraries in 170 countries have used OCLC services to locate, acquire, catalog, lend, preserve and manage library materials. Researchers, students, faculty, scholars, professional librarians and other information seekers use OCLC services to obtain bibliographic, abstract and full-text information when and where they need it. OCLC and its member libraries cooperatively produce and maintain WorldCat, the world’s largest online database for discovery of library resources. Search WorldCat.org on the Web. For more information, visit the OCLC website.