Thursday, February 11, 2010

52 Weeks To Better Genealogy - Challenge #5

The challenge for week 5 was: Play with WorldCat.org. 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 played around with WorldCat for awhile, but it wasn't really helpful. Our ILL systen has a great website with search-function, so WorldCat couldn't tell me anything new there. I only have two uncommon surnames in my family tree so far, and neither one produced anything useful. Still, it's a good site to bookmark and check once in awhile.

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