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The following is an article about online books that I just received.
The message is incredibly cool! You can go to the Brigham Young University
website http://www.lib.byu.edu/ and do searches of over 5000 books which
the Family History Library has put online.* ... the LDS Family History
Library has announced that it has begun the process of digitizing and
making available on the Internet all of the Family History books in their
collection. These are primarily books in the "929.273 Series" that are
currently housed on the first floor of the Family History Library
(previously housed on the fourth floor of the Joseph Smith Memorial
Building). At the present time (September 2005), about 5000 books have been
digitized and are available, and they have announced that they are adding
about 100 titles a week to the on-line collection. Copyright issues are
playing a role in determining the order in which they progress through this
task; books out of copyright are being done first.
As these Family History books are digitized and placed on-line, an entry is
being placed in the Family History Library on-line catalog with a hyperlink
to the digitized image. By going to the FHL On-Line Catalog, you can search
for a specific name, find a book that has been indexed using the name, and
view it on-line, flipping through the pages as separate "pdf" images, much
the same as if you were on the first floor of the Family History Library. =
Of course, the indexing that is available through the FHL Catalog is only
as good as the human indexers made it; typically they only include the "top"
4 to 6 names that appear in each book in their indexing efforts. But there
is even better news!
The digitized images of these Family History books are actually being
stored on the electronic servers at Brigham Young University in Provo,
By going directly to the BYU web site to view the images, there are several
additional possibilities that provide genealogists functionality that they
have never had before. You are now able to do full-text searches on each
book, and on every digitized book in the collection. Now you can locate the
small two-paragraph entry on Grandpa Ebenezer McGarrah that is buried in one
of the Family History books that you would have otherwise never thought to
look at before. This can open up a huge new possibility for extending lines,
getting past brick walls, and uncovering new relatives!=
How to Find The Digitized Images?
Go to the web site of the Harold B. Lee Library at BYU at
http://www.lib.byu.edu/ on their home page, follow the links "Find Other
Materials/Electronic/On Line Collections at BYU". Click on the "Text
Collections" tab and select the "Family History Archive" from the list of
collections that are displayed.
(Direct link: http://www.lib.byu.edu/fhc/)
You would then normally want to use the "Search All" feature with the
"Search Full Text" box checked, although the "Advanced Search" will allow
very high-powered searches that will allow certain phrases to be searched
for and other words to be used to exclude potential hits. As you make
selections from the "hits" that are displayed, you will need to use the
"Click Here to View Item" button near the top of the screen to display the
actual image of the page. You can page through the entire document using the
index displayed on the left side of the screen. Each page may be printed
after being viewed.
One interesting sidelight is, when you are at the first web page for the
Family History Archive (the page that lets you begin a search), click on
the "Browse the Collection" button. This will display every Family History
book that has been digitized and is available in the collection.
You can scroll through this list much the same as if you were walking up
and down the stacks at the library. At the top of the first page of the
search results, it displays the number of hits, which (in this case) is the
number of books in the collection. If you keep track of this number, you can
get a pretty good idea of how fast they are adding titles to the collection
as you revisit the web site from time to time. I think you will want to
visit this site often as the collection grows!"