21 April 2009

The Future of Genealogy

In her May/June 2009 Family Chronicle article titled "The Future of Genealogy", Lisa A. Alzo reports on her request for predictions from:
My colleagues' comments ranged from thoughts of DNA tests at birth, preservation, a wristwatch radio, but in Web 10.0- format, the role of professionals, collaboration, and competition among genealogy websites.

One of DearMYRTLE's comments was As Web2 technology emerges for all Internet users, genealogists can look forward to the debut of the comprehensive Family History Catalog, a joint effort between FamilySearch.org and WorldVitalRecords.org, rumored to debut in May 2009.

The catalog will list all known locations of genealogy databases, indexes, scanned images, microfilm, books, etc., at places not limited to the Family History Library and FamilySearch.org, by incorporating information from genealogy websites, library catalogs and online books.

Users will be able to annotate a catalog entry, pointing followers to the better version of scanned census images, etc.

Also, the FamilySearchWIKI is a growing entity, which will benefit researchers who aren’t sure how to proceed with records research in a newly discovered ancestral place. I may know a lot about Maryland research, but I find that the FSWiki provides ideas and insights for other areas where I am just venturing out in research.

With the advent of the Family History Catalog, Aaron Underwood will be quite busy redesigning GenSmarts, to compare your current genealogy database (and its missing data fields) with what’s listed in the new catalog. The resulting to-do list will provide shortcuts for those of us who are simply overwhelmed when considering where to go and what to do next by pointing to indexes, scanned images, books, microfilm and fiche that might provide additional information."

How do my DearREADERS feel about a centralized catalog of "all things genealogical" ? Sorta like the "Whole Earth Catalog" of the 1970s.

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)
Your friend in genealogy.


tajicat said...

Wow that idea sounds great to me! I need all the help I can get! :)

Randy Seaver said...

There will never be a catalog of ALL things genealogical. The estimate last year was that 3% was imaged and indexed so far. I think FamilySearch Indexing is going to take longer than 10 years. Nobody knows how much is in repositories that is unindexed and unimaged. Many periodicals and books will not be imaged because of copyright restrictions.

Even a catalog of all things genealogical online will be a challenge. GenSeek.com will be helpful, especially if it includes links to online databases on free and commercial web sites, not just the FHLC. I can hardly wait!

My 3 cents (inflation is coming!) -- Randy

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