OCLC and FamilySearch International, the largest genealogy organization in the world, 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.
Under this new partnership, OCLC will incorporate data from FamilySearch’s catalog of genealogical materials into WorldCat, and FamilySearch will use OCLC cataloging services to continue to catalog its collections in WorldCat. FamilySearch will also use the WorldCat Search API to incorporate WorldCat results into search results returned by FamilySearch genealogy services.
“We’re excited to see information about FamilySearch holdings more broadly circulated, and to inform our own patrons about genealogical holdings available outside our network,” said Jake Gehring, FamilySearch’s Director of Data Operations.
“This combination of genealogical and bibliographic resources will be of enormous benefit to librarians and library users as well as genealogists,” said Jay Jordan, OCLC President and CEO. “OCLC and FamilySearch are organizations with similar goals—to connect people to knowledge and information through cooperation. We look forward to working with FamilySearch.”
FamilySearch, historically known as the Genealogical Society of Utah, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the discovery and preservation of family histories and stories, introducing individuals to their ancestors through the widespread access to records, and collaborating with others who share this vision.
The collections of FamilySearch include historic documents of genealogical value such as civil registration records; church records; and probate, census, land, tax and military records. The collection also contains compiled sources such as family histories, clan and lineage genealogies, oral pedigrees and local histories. FamilySearch has also been a pioneer in the use of technology and processes for image capture, digital conversion, preservation, online indexing and online access. FamilySearch has operated on OCLC’s OLIB library management system since 1996 to manage the vast metadata in its catalog.
FamilySearch offers a unique service to users around the world through its network of more than 4,600 family history centers. In each center, trained FamilySearch volunteers provide individualized help for family history patrons seeking access to records and the information they contain.
WorldCat is the world’s most comprehensive database of library materials. Updated at a rate of nearly one new record every second, WorldCat is a cooperatively-created catalog of items held in thousands of libraries worldwide, including public, academic, state and national libraries; archives; and historical societies. These libraries have cataloged their regular collections as well as many special collections—including digitized materials—devoted to local history. This makes WorldCat an indispensible tool for genealogy research.