WorldCat for Genealogy: 40 Million Records and Digital Gateway

The 40 millionth record has been added to WorldCat, the enormous multi-library catalog that helps people find library materials all over the world.

Even cooler, that 40 millionth record was harvested to WorldCat through the WorldCat Digital Collection Gateway. This gateway allows for “unique, open-access digital content” to be brought into WorldCat, according to owner OCLC. “Once there…collections are more visible and discoverable to end users who search WorldCat as well as Google and other popular websites.”

If you haven’t used WorldCat for genealogy, you may be missing out on a lot. Like published history books (regional, county, local, ethnic, religious and more). And published family histories (search by the surname as a subject). The holdings of the enormous Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah are now included in WorldCat, too (click here to read a blog post on that).

The idea that digital archives are integrating into WorldCat–hence becoming more searchable for us–is fantastic. What kinds of digitized materials might be cataloged here? Well, the Arizona Memory Project is the digital archive that provided that 40 millionth WorldCat record. The Arizona Memory Project “provide(s) online access to the wealth of primary sources in Arizona libraries, archives, museums and other cultural institutions including government documents, photographs, maps and objects that chronicle Arizona’s past and present.” Good stuff!

Remember to also search ArchiveGrid, WorldCat’s sister search interface for archival materials, for original family history documents.


14 Best Libraries for Genealogy via Brand New Pinterest Feature

Libraries Pinterest BoardAre you wondering how to find the best public libraries for genealogy research? Travel this very special map on my brand new Pinterest board, and click to explore some of my favorites (in no particular order.)

The collections of these libraries span nationally and internationally, so don’t let their physical location fool you.

This map is part of my brand new Pinterest board “Best U.S. Libraries for Genealogy Research,” just one of my 33 boards  (many of which are family history themed) on the free Pinterest site. Visit Lisa’s Boards

This mapping feature called “Place Pins” was just announced officially today by You can now add one of these can i buy medication for uti over the counter maps to any of your boards.

These 14 library pins include details on the collections they contain. Click the pin on the map, you’ll get contact information for the library. Click “Learn More” and you’ll be taken instantly to the library’s website.

If you still haven’t found just the collection you are looking for with these 14 stellar libraries, click the 15th pin which will take you to headquarters of OCLC, the home of From there you can search libraries across the country and around the world.

Visit Lisa’s Best Libraries Board

WorldCat + FHL Catalog = True Genealogical Love!

It’s a match made in genealogical heaven: two of our most important online tools for finding family history resources, WorldCat and the Family History Library catalog, will soon be searchable simultaneously.

Recently OCLC (the company that runs announced that Family History Library holdings will soon appear in WorldCat search results, and vice versa. For several years we’ve had to remember to search both catalogs, because holdings didn’t overlap.

Just to remind you what a significant development this is, let’s run a few numbers. WorldCat is the world’s largest online library catalog with 1.5 billion resources from more than 10,000 libraries worldwide. They add new materials at the rate of one per second. The Family History Library’s collection is much smaller, but every one of its 3.5 million or so holdings supports genealogical research. Their catalog is actively growing, too; they have 200 cameras are currently digitizing records in 45 countries.

Once the interface is complete, searchers at or the FHL site will be able to view relevant search results in the other catalog without having to leave the website they’re on.  According to OCLC Public Relations Manager Bob Murphy, there’s not a firm date yet for when the reciprocal service will be available. “It will likely take a few months,” he says. What he can say is how well received the announcement has been by genealogists and librarians: one response calls this the best collaboration since peanut butter and jelly.

What will this mean for our ability to borrow Family History Library materials? In the past, Family History Library books have not circulated through interlibrary loan, and microfilms have only circulated to designated FamilySearch Centers. FamilySearch has not said whether lending services will expand. However, in the past few years many public and private libraries have become FamilySearch affiliates. If you haven’t checked lately, you may be pleasantly surprised to learn that you can now rent Family History Library microfilms through your favorite local library. We’ll keep an eye on this developing story for sure!

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