Ancestry.com has added a Card Catalog to help users find records in their 23,700 plus items. Juliana Smith's 24-7 Family History Circle blog alerted me to this just as I left town last week. Juliana says:
Ancestry.com has created a new tool to help you find the information you need with the Ancestry Card Catalog. The Card Catalog is a free tool that allows you to search by keyword or title and narrow that search by date or location. A couple tips I picked up:
* Use the keyword search. It seems to pick up more than the title and location search. I tried a search for Brooklyn New York and got 125 hits with those terms in the keyword search, and only fourteen in the title search. This is due to the fact that the keyword search searches more fields, including the full description as it is set out in the database. The title search will only search that field.
* Try surname searches. Although this is primarily a search of databases, and not the names contained within them, don’t overlook searches using a surname. The Family & Local History Collection includes a lot of family histories and biographical materials that you may have missed.
* Even if you think you’re familiar with the offerings at Ancestry.com, be sure to check this database out. Because of my work with the newsletter, I have been looking at Ancestry.com postings daily for around eight years. I thought I knew exactly what was available for my areas of interest, but I ended up spending hours browsing through databases I had previously overlooked.
You can find the Card Catalog by clicking on the Search Tab and then clicking on the Card Catalog link on the right hand side of the page under the section “Search Resources” or directly through this link. http://www.ancestry.com/s20918/t7637/e/rd.ashx
This is a Card Catalog only, but you can see the results of your search, including the title, category, and location, plus the number of hits in the record of the keyword. If you click on the title, then you can see a full citation and abstract of the record. However, in order to see the contents of the records, you have to subscribe to the Ancestry.com service. Or you can do what I do - go to a local LDS Family History Center and use their subscription to Ancestry for free.