Have you tried using WorldCat yet? It is a resource for genealogists that has recently been mentioned on the blog of the National Genealogical Society (NGS). It is safe to say that anything the NGS is excited about is a great resource!
WorldCat is the world’s largest library catalog. Sign in, and you are able to to use the search engine to find items in libraries that are near you. It gives you access to over 2 billion items that are in the collection of over 10,000 libraries worldwide. This includes books, DVDs, CDs, articles, and downloadable digital content (like audiobooks).
Want to check something out? It is helpful if you happen to have an active membership at the library that owns the item. The library also has to permit remote checkout. Some will, and others will not. If it doesn’t, there is potential that you can still checkout the item. Perhaps the library that has what you need will allow your local library to check it out. Your local library can then lend it to you.
People who use WorldCat are able to leave a review about the books, periodicals, and other materials that they have checked out. Your review could help other genealogists to determine if a particular resource is going to be useful for them. Take a look at someone else’s review. WorldCat will tell you if that item is one that a local library has. It will also note the availability and price of that item at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
WorldCat is connected with OCLC (Online Computer Library Center, Inc.) It is a non-profit group that is dedicated to the public purposes of furthering access to the world’s information and reducing the rate of rise of library costs. It is easy to see how WorldCat fits into that mission.
There is now a connection between OCLC and FamilySearch. This partnership allows WorldCat to incorporate data that is from FamilySearch’s catalog of genealogical materials. In short, this saves genealogists a few steps as they are doing their research. The idea is to allow genealogists to access WorldCat for resources that are in libraries and the data that is at FamilySearch. Soon, you won’t have to log into both WorldCat and FamilySearch for the same information. WorldCat is becoming a “one-stop” website.
It should be noted that the partnership between OCLC WorldCat and FamilySearch is a work in progress. They started working together around a year ago. The full contents of the FamilySearch catalog are not currently available through WorldCat. Over time, that will change as more of the information from FamilySearch is added to WorldCat.< Return To Blog