OCLC and FamilySearch Announce Partnership

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OCLC and FamilySearch Announce Partnership

OCLC and FamilySearch Announce PartnershipOCLC and FamilySearch International announce a partnership today. The two organizations have signed an agreement that will enrich WorldCat and FamilySearch services with data from both organizations to provide users with more resources for improved genealogy research.

OCLC is the leading non-profit company providing access services to library collections through WorldCat.

FamilySearch.org is the largest genealogy organization in the world.

What does this partnership mean for genealogists?

This partnership means that information on the holdings of the Family History Library in Salt Lake City will show up in WorldCat searches. FamilySearch will use OCLC cataloging services going forward and OCLC will incorporate the information from FamilySearch’s catalog of genealogical materials into WorldCat search results.

“Many of the books in the FamilySearch library collection are also in other collections of other public and academic libraries and appear in WorldCat,” said Steve Fox, Product Manager for FamilySearch. “This means genealogists using the FamilySearch Catalog may now be able to find additional copies of books and other sources at libraries closer to them. Many additional materials related to their research that are not in the FamilySearch collection will also be discoverable in the collections of other libraries that include their holdings in WorldCat.”

“The FamilySearch Catalog and WorldCat have been tremendous resources for genealogy research for many years,” said Chip Nilges, Vice President of Business Development, OCLC. “OCLC and FamilySearch are bringing these great resources together through our data sharing partnership. We will continue to update these resources through our ongoing partnership to continue to improve and enhance the tools available for genealogy researchers around the world.”

Those who start their research by using the FamilySearch Catalog now have access to unique and freely available sources that libraries can offer, including:

  • Local histories of counties, cities and regions
  • Maps, photos and other images
  • Local biographies and profiles of prominent citizens
  • City directories, catalogs, inventories and original manuscript materials.

FamilySearch has been a pioneer in the use of technology and processes for image capture, digital conversion, preservation, online indexing and online access and adds over 400 million new digital images each year to FamilySearch.org. Those who start their research by using WorldCat will have access to collections from FamilySearch that include historic documents of genealogical value such as:

  • Civil registration records
  • Church records
  • Probate, census, land and tax records
  • Military records
  • Family histories
  • Clan and lineage genealogies
  • Oral pedigrees
  • Local histories

In addition, this agreement benefits website visitors when one site is suffering an outage. In that scenario, the other site can serve as a “back-up” catalog.

WorldCat searches now incorporate Family History Library holdings. Great news!

About the Author:

Nancy Loe has an MA in American History and an MLS in Library Science and Archives. She has appeared on PBS’s American Experience, at Rootstech, SCGS Jamboree, and state and regional genealogy conferences. Her website was featured in Family Tree Magazine’s “Social Media Mavericks: 40 to Follow.”

2 Comments

  1. Bonnie 6 March 2013 at 10:31 AM

    Are there any specific collections in WorldCat that will now be searchable through FamilySearch? Which organization has the better search engine?

  2. Sassy Jane Genealogy 6 March 2013 at 4:02 PM

    Hi Bonnie:

    WorldCat doesn’t have digitized collections itself. It is a union catalog – aka a giant catalog of materials held in thousands of libraries in the U.S. BUT you will get better search results once FamilySearch adds its holdings to WorldCat.

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