Friday, March 20, 2009

WorldCat Tutorial

Gary Zimmerman from the Fiske Foundation Library in Seattle gave a great lecture today at our Bainbridge Island Gen. Soc. on European search engines. He ended with our own WorldCat. At our IMFA website I added the WorldCat search box because it will find a library that holds a book you've just heard about. However, if your library subscribes to WorldCat's FirstSearch (only available through libraries) you might have more success searching for family history via your library's computer terminal, than on yours at home.

If this is new information to you, the link in the title ( takes you to a tutorial showing FirstSearch's many features for family historians - including how to search preferred subject headings (an example: Wills includes Codicils-you don't have to think to type codicil). It will show lists of broader, narrower and related subject headings - meaning a librarian cataloged like subjects together so we don't have to think of all synonyms. Also Genre Forms (like Bibles) can focus a search, or a Preferred Citation can make sourcing what you find that much easier. For family history, we could search "Mullenix family" in the field Named Person, or a county/state name in the Geographic field. Next time you visit your library, see if FirstSearch helps you find what you're looking for.
Marie Mx Spearman