At some point, WorldCat was mentioned as a way to search for the specific type of document I was seeking.
I promptly Googled WorldCat and was promptly confused beyond measure. However, with a bit of help from the YouTube videos and calming down in general, I came to understand and embrace WorldCat.
What is it? Well, it is network of over 10,000 libraries and the two billion items those libraries possess. WorldCat libraries provide information about their holdings via the internet. In short, WorldCat has a blue ton of information you can access to help with your genealogical research.
I find WorldCat to be helpful in many respects. One in particular, is the way it delivers my results. When I search for an item, it returns results, with detail, in order of physical proximity to me.
And it isn’t just books. I can search for CDs, manuscripts, videos, etc. Many of the items are of great genealogical value—they may be research materials or rare original items. Some items are available digitally through a viewer or a download depending upon the library holding the item. The library holding the item you want may require you to log in with your library membership and many have a handy link for you to apply for the membership.
Specific item pages contain details about the item, including how the item can be accessed—digitally, physically or through interlibrary loan. Some of the libraries have an “Ask a Librarian” link which will allow you to communicate directly with the repository holding your item.
I love WorldCat
If you don’t give up in frustration or intimidation, you will too.