Sunday, September 28, 2014

Stumbling Books Part 1

Stumbling?  The inveterate reader and messy person leaves books stacked by the bed, on the floor by the recliner, tucked into already heavily laden bookcases.  It's okay to be messy as long as you are a genius, right?!  As long as you don't stumble, trip, or land on your head, put your books wherever you can.  Dick Eastman, popular blogger, is an advocate for scanning those books that are irreplaceable.

Are you stumbling to find sources for your favorite hobby, genealogy?  Are you able to find virtual sources online that have the beauty of being searchable with a keyboard, mouse, and a click?  Can you locate genealogical information (stored in a physical book) via the Internet? 

The modern solution to these and other challenges is: combine the power of digital with the power of physical repositories.  Get the best of both worlds, realizing that there is still so much published data not yet scanned, not yet digitized, and not yet available on the Internet, and the work of getting that done is still a mammoth project!

How did we find the books we needed for genealogy before the Internet?  We used bibliographical guides and we used card catalogs, right?  On the Internet, we actually have "virtual" card catalogs.  They are found at, a portal is provided at, at and a searchable option for books at  There are webistes, now for most physical repositories whether large or small. 

Search the Library of Congress to see what has already been published about your family names (the wheel doesn't always need to be re-invented). 

Loveliest of all, perhaps, is WorldCat, a catalog that can find the book you are searching for, combined with the ability to tell you just where copies of the physical book reside in reference to your location.

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