Tuesday 6 August 2013

Family Search Library grows to 100,000 free books

The LDS Family Search website passed an important milestone recently with the addition of the 100,000th publication to its online Family History Library.

This collection is free to view on the website (go to home page, click Search and then select Books) and has been created through a partnership with a number of American libraries and genealogical centres.

As you'd expect, most of the books relate to American genealogy. The majority are family histories, with a smaller portion made up of cemetery records, local and county histories, genealogy magazines and how-to-books.

In this mix, however, are hundreds of titles of clear Irish interest. Again, many are family histories, but there are also many general histories relating to Irish immigration and settlement in specific towns or states or of certain groups from Ireland (Quakers, Scots-Irish, Presbyterian). Many of the reference books regularly used by professionals are on the online shelves, as are a good number of titles produced by Irish family history societies in the US and beyond. The latter, of course, would normally reach only a select number of members.

While most of the books were published many years back, there are a surprising number of very recent vintage (even 2012!).

It's definitely a good first stop for a genealogical title. The search interface is easy enough (when you work out where to type your search criteria – no search box is evident in my browser) and you can search by author, title, subject and full text.