Shared Library Catalogs

Fairly recently the FamilySearch catalog was merged with the WorldCat catalog. It definitely benefits genealogical researchers in finding sources closer to where they live.

From the main FamilySearch web page, you can get to the catalog either of two ways. If you hover over the “Search” at the top of the page a menu comes up with “Catalog” that you can click on. Or if you click on “Search” on the bottom bar on the main web page, then a new web page comes up with “Catalog” to click on at the top of that web page. On the Catalog page you can search by places, surnames, titles, authors, subjects and keywords. For this example I searched for the Town of Parma, here in Monroe County. I findĀ  “Heroes in Homespun; The Story of Parm’s Revolutionary Heroes…” that I would like to see (see Graphic 1) (you can click on the graphic to see a larger version).

Graphic 1

Graphic 1

I click on the title of “Heroes…” and I get this description (below).

Graphic 2

Graphic 2

I see that it isn’t available on microfilm, just as a book in the Family History Library in Salt Lake City. But if you scroll down on the web page there is a link that says “View this catalog record in WorldCat for other possible copy locations” (my big red arrow). If you click on that link, it opens a new web page on WorldCat (see below).

Graphic 3

Graphic 3

On the WorldCat page you can put your zip code in the location box (my blue arrow) and it will sort the libraries by closest to you. For “Heroes…” that is many libraries in Rochester. All together this book is in 23 libraries in the US. I edited the results to show the farthest locations below the red line. Note that the book is in libraries in Florida, Wisconsin and Michigan. Note that the farthest library from me is Family History Library but I wouldn’t have to travel that far to see this book.

For some older books, WorldCat also indicates those digital copies that are available online. Check out a surname or location on the FamilySearch catalog and see what references you can find for your family research.

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