FamilySearch Wiki talk:Format for Citing and Linking to Works in FHLC, Worldcat (OCLC)Edit This Page

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Format for OCLC and FHLC works

If a work is available in both WorldCat and FHLC, should both references be given in the Wiki? I propose that they both be listed, with OCLC reference first and FHLC reference second, in this format:

Grenham, John. Tracing Your Irish Ancestors: The Complete Guide. Dublin, Ireland: Gill and Macmillan, 1992. (WorldCat 68627254; FHL book 941.5 D27gj.) 

Alan 20:45, 20 April 2009 (UTC)

I like the idea, Alan. Ritcheymt 19:58, 21 April 2009 (UTC)

On 21 April 2009 those in attendance at the Community Meeting reached consensus that we should have not two links to a work in a collection, but one. So instead of a reference like this...

Grenham, John. Tracing Your Irish Ancestors: The Complete Guide. Dublin, Ireland: Gill and Macmillan, 1992. (WorldCat 68627254; FHL book 941.5 D27gj.) 

...the reference would look like this...

Grenham, John. Tracing Your Irish Ancestors: The Complete Guide. Dublin, Ireland: Gill and Macmillan, 1992. (WorldCat 68627254; FHL 941.5 D27gj.) 

The idea behind the simplification of links is this: The links should be simplified to avoid confusing the user. In the earlier iteration, the link on "WorldCat" leads to the Worldcat Home page or About page so that a reader unfamiliar with WorldCat can easily find out what it was. The other link -- the one to the WorldCat title number -- leads right to the listing for the book in question. The link to "FHL" leads to a wiki page about the FHL; the call number leads to the Family History Library entry for that book. It was posited that having two links -- one to define the collection/library and the other to lead to the book entry -- is confusing.

In Community Group meeting, it was posited that the links to the pages that describe the libraries/collections/catalogs (such as FHL or WorldCat) be nixed, that these links should be consolidated to go only to the catalog entry in question, and that if the user who is led to the catalog entry still has questions about the nature of the catalog/library/collection itself, they can simply navigate around that catalog's site for answers. Ritcheymt 18:51, 22 April 2009 (UTC)

I prefer the second version above, the one with WorldCat listed first followed by FHL. I prefer to see one link to the FHL catalog, instead of having no inclusive link for the word book/film/fiche. Anne 18:02, 27 April 2009 (UTC)

Going to assume consensus on this sub-issue

Since user group (community meeting) members came to a conclusion about this, and since it felt unanimous, and since nobody is raising objections here after the fact, I am assuming we have reached consensus on this subset of the issue: Namely, that references should appear like this:

Grenham, John. Tracing Your Irish Ancestors: The Complete Guide. Dublin, Ireland: Gill and Macmillan, 1992. (WorldCat 68627254; FHL 941.5 D27gj.)

Ritcheymt 13:15, 9 June 2009 (UTC)

I agree. It is more useful this way. Alan 21:28, 9 June 2009 (UTC)

I also agree, single WorldCat link followed single FHL link. Out of curiosity, what ever happened to someone checking into FHLC opening up some? As I recall: someone got the assignment / volunteered in a Community meeting to check into it. It was being discussed that FHLC internally does contain the same numbering system (if it exists) as in WorldCat . . . it is just not visible to the rest of the world. Thomas Lerman 13:31, 15 June 2009 (UTC)

Replace "Family History Library" with "FHL" in references

FamilySearch Wiki references thousands of books, microfilms, and fiche at the Family History Library. Each of these references contains the words "Family History Library," such as the following:

Grenham, John. Tracing Your Irish Ancestors: The Complete Guide. Dublin, Ireland: Gill and Macmillan, 1992. (Family History Library book 941.5 D27gj.)  

For readability's sake, some users are calling for the words "Family History Library" in these links be shortened to "FHL" and made into a link which introduces the FHL to those who don't already know the acronym.

So the new style would look like this:

Grenham, John. Tracing Your Irish Ancestors: The Complete Guide. Dublin, Ireland: Gill and Macmillan, 1992. (FHL book  941.5 D27gj.)

This idea was proposed by Dsammy. I am serving as his scribe here. Ritcheymt 19:40, 20 April 2009 (UTC)

As mentioned below, I suggest FHL not be linked.  When they click on the call number link, they will learn quickly enough that FHL stands for the Family History Library.  I prefer the acronym for the same reason, and it's shorter.  Bakerbh 21:56, 21 April 2009 (UTC)
I agree with bakerbh. The acronym is sufficient. I'm sure one day we'll see the acronyms TNA (The National Archives), LOC (Library of Congress), ACPL (Allen County Public Library), NARA (National Archives Records Administration), and so forth.
The volunteers who started the project of linking call numbers to the catalog were given guidelines. After that, volunteers chose to do what they thought best. Some chose to type Family History Library; some FHL. Some linked an entire string, including the words Family History Library or FHL. Some chose to link only the film/fiche of book number. Some chose to link the book number, then link a film/fiche number separately, even though the links went to the same catalog record. Anne 17:43, 27 April 2009 (UTC)

Assuming consensus on this issue

Again, since we discussed this issue in user group/community meeting as we discussed the issue above, I'm going to assume consensus here. Please correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe we have consensus. There were literally no dissenting opinions in community group meeting, and we had a robust discussion. Ritcheymt 14:03, 10 June 2009 (UTC)

Referencing OCLC/Worldcat works

It is proposed that references to works found on OCLC/Worldcat should be linked to the "All editions and formats" entry for that work in OCLC/WorldCat. One question is how the entry should look. Which of the following (or some variant) would work best if we adopt this proposal?

Grenham, John. Tracing Your Irish Ancestors: The Complete Guide. Dublin, Ireland: Gill and Macmillan, 1992. (OCLC 68627254.)

Grenham, John. Tracing Your Irish Ancestors: The Complete Guide. Dublin, Ireland: Gill and Macmillan, 1992. (WorldCat 68627254.) 

Grenham, John. Tracing Your Irish Ancestors: The Complete Guide. Dublin, Ireland: Gill and Macmillan, 1992. (OCLC/WorldCat 68627254.)

Ritcheymt 19:40, 20 April 2009 (UTC)

The second style seems the best--WorldCat is more recognized, is part of the domain name, and putting both OCLC and WorldCat looks unattractive. Alan 20:52, 20 April 2009 (UTC)
As long as the record identifies what resource you are in (when you click on the item number), I don't think the resource name or acronym needs to be a link.  I would use WorldCat because that is what appears in the record when you click on the link.  Bakerbh 21:41, 21 April 2009 (UTC)

Linking to works in the FHLC

FamilySearch Wiki references thousands of books and microform at the Family History Library. It is proposed that each reference be linked to the FHL entry which lists all editions of the work in question. So a reference like this:

Grenham, John. Tracing Your Irish Ancestors: The Complete Guide. Dublin, Ireland: Gill and Macmillan, 1992. (Family History Library book 941.5 D27gj.)

...would look like this:

Grenham, John. Tracing Your Irish Ancestors: The Complete Guide. Dublin, Ireland: Gill and Macmillan, 1992. (Family History Library book 941.5 D27gj.)

Ritcheymt 12:03, 29 April 2009 (UTC)

The link in the preceding reference (941.5 D27gj) actually brings up the 1999 and 2006 editions of the work being cited--not the 1992 edition described in the citation. Should these references be edition-specific or just grab anything with that call number stem? Steve M. Law 11:55, 18 Aug 2009.

I agree with the Chicago Manual of Style, due to wide recognition/acceptance.
For the large project of linking the BYU Family History Archives local histories, what do you see for the link to that entry as well as the FHLC entry. Just let one link to the FHLC do the job, or should there be the other link, such as you have done for WorldCat and the FHLC? Adkinswh 13:00, 30 Apr 2009 (UTC)
If a work were in the FHLC and in the BYU Family History Archives, I would lean against just linking to the catalog. In fact, if I were going to link to only one, I'd link to the digitized book on the BYUFHA. I think users looking for records want to find the records first and the catalog entry second. Ritcheymt 14:06, 10 June 2009 (UTC)
As long as I recall correctly, someone was going to talk to the FHLC people about opening up the standard numbers that is used by WorldCat, etc. that is currently stored internally by the FHLC people. Okay, I am having a slight brain-cramp on the name of this. I hope you understand what I am trying to type. Anyway, that seems like it would be great. Also, I am of the opinion, if at all possible, that the links in FHLC references should be done in a template, plug-in, or something. When the FHLC changes, it would be very nice to change it in one place. Thomas Lerman 16:40, 17 May 2009 (UTC)
I am not sure what's being referred to here. If by "standard number" you mean some WorldCat ID number--these do not exist in the FHLC. If you mean the ISBN of a book, there are many books in both WorldCat and the FHLC which have never had an ISBN assigned (although most publications have had ISBN's since the late 60s). The only thing "stored internally" is the Title Number which has no direct correspondence with the "View all editions and formats" in WorldCat--it is generally edition-specific. Steven M. Law 11:42, 18 Aug 2009.
The discussion in the meeting was talking about some percentage of books (and other things) have ISBNs associated with them. They said that these books do have the ISBN stored internally in the FHLC. Someone was going to check into the possibility of displaying the ISBN and allowing WorldCat (or other catalogs of this type) to display that the FHL maintains copies of the particular book. This is what they said and, unfortunately, I do not remember who said it and notes & recordings have really not been available for a while now. Thomas Lerman 18:25, 18 August 2009 (UTC)
This idea may work with the more mainstream publications from the past 40 years, but there are many books in the FHLC with no ISBNs. A recent report indicated that 13% of the books in the catalog had ISBNs associated with them. ISBNs only began in the 1960s and not even now there are many publications issued with no ISBNs. Steven M. Law 15:40, 17 Aug 2009.
That is good to know. I presume that you work in the FHL or FHD as I have not found such statistics. I guess I am just posting this topic because someone said that they were going to check into this possibility in one of the meetings. Thomas Lerman 22:56, 27 August 2009 (UTC)
Thomas, remind me: What's the use case for having the FHLC display the Worldcat number? And how does it affect how we will reference works which appear in both catalogs? Ritcheymt 14:06, 10 June 2009 (UTC)
I do not remember too much about this other than it was talked about, someone got the assignment or volunteered, and it seems to have got dropped. It may have been just so it would appear in WorldCat listings so other web sources can find it without coming into the FHLC. If it were in WorldCat, especially if we can get it closer to the top (if we wanted to do that), I do not think we would need both links. Maybe this discussion needs to be in a different topic? Thomas Lerman 13:38, 15 June 2009 (UTC)
I may be missing something obvious, but why direct wiki readers to the FHL for a book?  What percentage of wiki users would have access to the FHL book collection in SLC (since the FHL doesn't loan, right?).  It makes perfect sense to link to a microfilm in the FHL catalog because anyone can do something with that information (i.e., go to a FHC and order the film). I think book references should link to a more universally accessible resource (like WorldCat or Google Books). Eirebrain 00:50, 23 May 2009 (UTC)
This is a good point. There are many cases where the work will be much more accessible elsewhere than the Family History Library. On the other hand, in cases where the book has been microfilmed and circulates to Family History Centers everywhere, a link to the FHLC record is very helpful. Steven M. Law 11:52, 18 Aug 2009
The rule is try to find Google books, other places having the same books and list them first with FHL books always listed last, unless it's Family History Archive at BYU. dsammy 04:54, 23 May 2009 (UTC)
Lembley, this movement isn't about linking to FHLC and not to WorldCat or Google Books. It's about which order we're going to link to them in a book reference, and how those links will look. So if a book is on Google Books, Worldcat, and FHLC, the links to each of these systems will appear in that order in the reference. Google Books link will come first, then WorldCat, then FHLC. Ritcheymt 14:06, 10 June 2009 (UTC)
I agree that they all should be listed with FHLC last. If I am going to the FHLC, I would want to know that the book exists without going to the FHLC. Thomas Lerman 13:41, 15 June 2009 (UTC)

General Opinions

I definitely agree with a single link to WorldCat's number, not to a descriptive page about WorldCat. I feel the same way about linking directly to the FHLC entry for that book or film or fiche, rather than to a link to a description about the Family History Library and its catalog.

The use of FHL instead of spelling out Family History Library everywhere makes much more sense. It reduces the size of the entry, the amount of typing or copying, and doesn't lose much in understanding for the user. Most family history users would likely already know what FHL means. If they don't, it is not difficult for them to find out. Furthermore, using the abbreviation is less "in your face" for the worldwide user. It's bad enough that some contributors are still referring only to the holdings of the Family History Library instead of trying to locate an on-line source or other depository source for that record. I think the abbreviation is a nice compromise.

In everything I add to the Wiki, I try to think of the users out there in the world (1) who have only internet access to sources being listed, (2) who may have relatively easy access to a records depository in their area where they may access copies of the records, (3) who may gain access to the source (book or microform) through inter-library loan at a public library or through film loan through a Family History Center, and (4) who have the time and means to come to Salt Lake City to use the Family History Library. I try to list the references to the records in that order of priority, so FHL book references are always the last reference given, since it is the least accessible means of seeing the source.

I agree with the comment about the limited value of listing books only available at the Family History Library. However, providing the bibliographic information for a source is important and it doesn't hurt to have a link to the FHL catalog for an item, since the catalog entry may provide some additional information about that book.

I think there is value in listing two or three references to a source, such as WorldCat and FHLC, or NARA holdings, or unique holdings of a university or historical society archives, but too many references to multiple copies a single source gets way too confusing to the user.

Jbparker 16:29, 8 June 2009 (UTC)

Looks like consensus on all sub-issues

Again, I'm going to assume we have reached consensus on this issue. The only pushback we've had is from folks who didn't quite understand what we were trying to do, but it feels like we've addressed their concerns. Ritcheymt 14:07, 10 June 2009 (UTC)

Good so far, but what about a template?


My opinion has been added (been busy, sorry). I agree with everything WorldCat followed by FHL, etc. I added comments about the FHL appearing in WorldCat (twice, I believe). Another thought, I REALLY would like to see the FHL link as either an extension or a template. The FHLC will be changing and it would be nice to have it updated all over the place automatically. For example, instead of doing:

[*%2C0%2C0&callno=941.5+D27gj FHL 941.5 D27gj]

, it would be nice to do something like:

{{FHL|941.5 D27gj}}

Thomas Lerman 13:51, 15 June 2009 (UTC)

Thomas, can you build a tempate for this and vet it with the community? Or if the functionality or system permissions you need to do so are not available to you, could you let me know what you need and I'll get it to you? Ritcheymt 19:38, 23 June 2009 (UTC)
Absolutely, I started taking a look at it last week since I volunteered myself. I need to know the various types of links that we would need so that I can design it properly. What do you recommend would be the best way to get the various types and examples? With the various types, I am referring to the different links to books, microfilms, place searches, details, etc. (not sure if all those are even used. I believe I still can create templates (I have created some in the not too far distant past). Thomas Lerman 19:53, 23 June 2009 (UTC)
The Library is moving in direction of barcodes for microfilms starting yesterday. Eventually barcodes will be assigned to specific film number. This may be fine but not the books because of multiple editions. dsammy 20:26, 23 June 2009 (UTC)

<input type="hidden" id="gwProxy"> </input><input type="hidden" id="jsProxy" onclick="jsCall();"></input>

There are the issues of different FHLC searches for different media types, but also the question of which page we want to link to: The summary page showing different editions (copies) of the work, The "title summary" page, or the film notes page for films, or the printable version of the page that gives both title summary and film notes. In the case of a film, I would opt for the film notes page, but I suspect others may disagree...Alan 21:05, 23 June 2009 (UTC)
P.S. I am not sure about the barcodes, but know that I have seen barcodes on the film boxes for a while now. However, they still use the current FHL number. It seems that the barcodes are for inventory use or something. I guess we will see. Thomas Lerman 22:38, 23 June 2009 (UTC)
I'm not sure about the barcodes, either, Thomas. The Library has been using barcodes for over 25 years as an inventory device. I haven't heard about additional uses of bar codes on films. Jbparker 23:32, 30 June 2009 (UTC)


As promised, I have created a WorldCat template since it is much easier I believe. At this point, it only has one parameter and displays an error if that parameter does not exist. I do not know if there are any other cases that I can check for . . . for example, is the WorldCat number ALWAYS a number, without any commas, etc.? Is the number ALWAYS within a certain range? Anyway, you can see the results by clicking here. Please let me know what you all think. Thomas Lerman 22:38, 23 June 2009 (UTC) P.P.S. You may also see some of the examples at the WorldCat template page. P.P.P.S. The actual WorldCat template page now has a link to WorldCat in the creation of permalinks. This page discusses OCLC, ISBN, and ISSN number formats. Yes, the WorldCat can display similar results using any of those three formats. Are we interested in this ability? I have added the ability to enter ISBN or ISSN. Currently, OCLC lists all editions which technically may not be a permalink.
I like the WorldCat template you have created. I would like to try it out for a few days to see how it waorks, but at first thought, it looks fine. What would be the advantage of using ISBN or OCLC? If it's in WorldCat, it has a unique WorldCat number. It seems to me that that would be sufficient to refer users to the WorldCat entry, and the preferable number to use.Jbparker 23:32, 30 June 2009 (UTC)
Thank you for your comments. I look forward to seeing how you like it compared to the non-template method. I really think you may like it. The OCLC is definitely the best way to go as it will display all editions. Both ISBN and ISSN will only display the edition for that particular number. I really do not see an advantage to ISBN nor ISSN, but added it mostly because ISBN at least used to be an extension that we used. Thomas Lerman 01:14, 1 July 2009 (UTC)