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Using WorldCat for Genealogy: Thinking Outside the Chart. Presented by Callie B. McGinnis Dean of Libraries Columbus State University Columbus, Georgia. Presentation Outline. I. What is WorldCat? II. What are the basic uses of WorldCat for genealogy?

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using worldcat for genealogy thinking outside the chart

Using WorldCat for Genealogy:Thinking Outside the Chart

Presented by

Callie B. McGinnis

Dean of Libraries

Columbus State University

Columbus, Georgia

presentation outline
Presentation Outline

I. What is WorldCat?

II. What are the basic uses of WorldCat for genealogy?

III. Using WorldCat for family history

  • Promoting WorldCat

VI. Barriers to WorldCat’s usage in genealogical/family history research

first steps

First steps:

Understand what WorldCat is

Envision all the ways it can be used for genealogical research

slide4

WorldCAT:a database containing65+ million bibliographic records contributed by over 9,000 libraries

slide5
Bibliographic records for:Books Periodicals (including newspapers) AV materials Archival manuscripts Internet sites
genealogists are looking for facts names dates places relationships
Genealogists are looking for facts: names, dates, places relationships

John Brown, b. 1667, Barbados, d. 1714, Maryland; m. Ann Smith, b. 1673, Maryland, d. 1727, Maryland; m. 1693, Maryland.

Children: John, 1695-1743; Robert, 1698-1625; Ann, 1700-1762.

slide27

If it’s a journal – try to contact the society that publishes it to see if an index is available; then request photocopies of relevant articles via ILL

things to consider in locating a copy of the item

Thingsto consider in locating a copy of the item

Try to borrow the item from a library that is not located near the locale treated in the publication

Consider visiting the nearest library that owns the item if you cannot borrow it

Consider trying to purchase the item

kicking it up a notch going beyond genealogy
Kicking it up a notch: Going beyond genealogy
  • Expand your vision to family history
  • The final product in genealogy is a pedigree chart
  • The final product in family history is narrative
a family history includes information that fleshes out the pedigree chart
A family history includes information that “fleshes out” the pedigree chart

The basic effort in family history is to put your ancestor in context

slide31
Research for family history is comparable to research for any other type of history—it involves an in-depth literature search
once you value worldcat how can you promote it
Once you value WorldCat,how can you promote it?
  • Emphasize its value for family history
  • Explain its usage in genealogy classes that you teach
  • Show it to patrons in one-on-one situations
  • Make it more accessible
barriers related to using worldcat for genealogical research
Barriers Related to Using WorldCat for Genealogical Research

The “culture of now” and the misconception that everything is on the web

Aversion to traditional research methodology

Complicated Interlibrary Loan processes and fees

Reference librarians who avoid “genies”

final words of wisdom
Final Words of Wisdom
  • To enhance the value of WorldCat for genealogists, promote the concept of “family history” (i.e., placing your family in context)
  • For the family historian who utilizes basic research methodology, WorldCat will be an essential tool—just as it is for scholars in academic disciplines
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