Monday, February 1, 2010

52 Weeks to Better Genealogy: WorldCat

Here are the instructions for this week's challenge: Play with WorldCat is a massive network of library content that the public can search for free (user name and password not required). Not every library is a part of WorldCat, but the vast size of the network makes it an important genealogy tool. If you are looking for a specific book or publication, enter the identifying information into the WorldCat search box and see which libraries hold the item. You may even find that you can get the item through your library’s inter-library loan program. Don’t forget to search for some of your more unusual surnames and see what comes up. The goal is to play with WorldCat and examine its possibilities for your own research. If you’re already familiar with WorldCat, play with it again. The network and collection grow and change constantly. If you have a genealogy blog, write about your experiences with searching WorldCat for this exercise

I have been playing with WorldCat lately because I've been looking at how many libraries have bought my new book, Non-Federal Censuses of Florida, 1784-1945: A Guide to Sources. It is just so cool to see your own work in a library catalog, or, in this instance, a meta-catalog.

Something else I played with, according to the instructions: I entered the phrase "St. Augustine, Florida" and saw what came up. There are a few things I might look into for my current grant project on St. Augustine, so WorldCat did give me a bit of help there. But as for my own surnames, not much luck. Seems the branches I descended from had no writers hiding in them!

1 comment:

Amy Coffin, MLIS said...

Thank you for playing along in my genealogy challenge.