Using WorldCat to find Genealogy Books


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WorldCat may be a genealogist's best friend! This presentation describes the methods of finding genealogy books that reside in libraries around the world.

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Using WorldCat to find Genealogy Books

  1. 1. Using WorldCat to Find Genealogy Books March 3, 2017
  2. 2. Today’s slides may be found at:
  3. 3. WorldCat WorldCat is the world's largest catalog of library content and services.
  4. 4. WorldCat • WorldCat is an online library catalog that lets you look up items in libraries around the world. • The items available include books, electronic documents, journals, microform, and audio and video recordings.
  5. 5. WorldCat • WorldCat is available to everyone free of charge on the Web. • By using the catalog, you can search the collections of libraries in your community and thousands more around the world.
  6. 6. WorldCat • WorldCat is a catalog of available books, not the text of the books. • WorldCat is useful in at least three situations:
  7. 7. WorldCat 1 You know which item you want, but you don't know which libraries have it 2 You want to know what items exist on a particular subject (or by a particular author) 3 You need more information about an item (for instance, to get a proper source citation)
  8. 8. WorldCat • WorldCat also will let you search for books available at your local library, assuming that the library participates in WorldCat. • WorldCat identifies the book's title, author, publisher, and more and then shows the participating libraries where the book is available.
  9. 9. WorldCat • Many libraries allow remote patrons to borrow a book via Inter Library Loan
  10. 10. WorldCat
  11. 11. WorldCat .
  12. 12. Participating libraries include: Family History Library in Salt Lake City Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne, Indiana Clayton Library, Center for Genealogical Research in Houston, Texas Newberry Library in Chicago
  13. 13. Participating libraries include: New England Historic Genealogical Society in Boston, Massachusetts Albany Regional Family History Society Inc. in Albany, Western Australia Australind Family History Society Inc. Library in Australind, Western Australia
  14. 14. Participating libraries include: Tacoma Public Library Seattle Public Library …and thousands more local libraries. The above list is a sample extracted from the “Find A Library” link on WorldCat.
  15. 15. WorldCat Mobile • iPad, iPhone and Android • No software to install – Simply open a web browser and go to
  16. 16. WorldCat Mobile
  17. 17. WorldCat • FREE! • You don't even need a user name or password to search WorldCat. • However, there are advantages to creating an optional account that I will describe shortly.
  18. 18. WorldCat • Some libraries may offer “Ask a Librarian." This is a help feature of a library's Web site. • Not all libraries offer this feature. In most cases, librarians will answer questions about the book but cannot look for specific information inside the book. That remains as your task.
  19. 19. WorldCat • Basic Search
  20. 20. WorldCat • Advanced Search provides a search screen that asks for keywords, title, author, year of publication, language, and more.
  21. 21. WorldCat
  22. 22. WorldCat • A FREE user account provides even more functionality. • Registered users can provide ratings and even write reviews of the books. • Users may contribute factual notes or a book's table of contents under the "Details" tab.
  23. 23. WorldCat • WorldCat doesn't have everything, but it is the largest available online catalog of books from libraries around the world. • As you become more and more experienced with WorldCat, you will find many new resources that perhaps you never knew existed.
  24. 24. WorldCat • WorldCat grows every day, thanks to the efforts of librarians and other information professionals.
  25. 25. WorldCat WorldCat may be found at:
  26. 26. Today’s slides may be found at: