Friday, February 12, 2010

52 Weeks to Better Genealogy - Week #5

Amy Coffin at the We Tree blog is challenging bloggers to become better genealogists, with a new prompt each week through her 52 Weeks to Better Genealogy:

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 love WorldCat! So much so that I have even downloaded their app to my iTouch and use it often to check if I can get a book I read about on a blog or magazine review.  As a college student, inter-library loan is tremendously easy - I can even do it from the comfort of my couch and they email me when the book or article comes in.  Although I did not find any of my surnames for books, I did come up with a few books on towns I am researching that I will have to order.

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