Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Tuesday's Tip - Use the WorldCat Catalog to find genealogy books

Today's Tuesday's Tip is to:  Use the WorldCat website (http://worldcat.org) to find genealogy books of interest.

What is WorldCat?  "WorldCat is the world's largest network of library content and services. WorldCat libraries are dedicated to providing access to their resources on the Web, where most people start their search for information."

I use WorldCat to:

1)  Search for published books for specific family names or specific localities.

2)  Search for libraries that have the books of interest.

3)  Find source citation material for the sources in my database for which I used "shorthand" citations. 

To find specific family genealogies, put the surname and the word "family" or "genealogy" in quotes - e.g., "seaver family" or "seaver genealogy."  Or use a locality along with a surname.

A neat thing about WorldCat is that when you find a book that you want to obtain, the site provides a list of libraries that have the book available.  For instance, I did a search for "Hale family" today and found a book The Heald-Hale genealogy : John Heald of Concord, Massachusetts, and some of his descendants (six generations) which looked interesting.  It is available at the New York Public Library and at the New England Historic Genealogical Society in Boston.

You might want to check to see if your local library holdings are included in WorldCat.  for instance, my local city library, the Chula Vista Public Library, has 306,011 items listed in WorldCat today.

The source citation information for this work provides:

The Heald-Hale genealogy : John Heald of Concord, Massachusetts, and some of his descendants (six generations)
Author: Clarence Almon Torrey
Publisher:  Boston : C.A. Torrey, 1940
Edition/format:  Book : English

There are often different editions or formats of the books.  If the book is available on microfilm or microfiche, or is available as an eBook, that information is noted.  It appears that not every eBook on Google Books and Internet Archive, or other book sites, is included.

Unfortunately, the LDS Family History Library holdings are not included, unless a patron has submitted it to WorldCat.  Also, not every article in genealogy periodicals are included - only those submitted by readers and WorldCat users.

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