Thursday, January 20, 2011

Computer Group Summary - 19 January 2011

We had 13 members at the Computer Group meeting at 12 noon on Wednesday, 19 January, in the Chula Vista Civic Center Branch Library Computer Lab. 

Randy led the meeting this month, and we visited the updated web site, where everything is FREE to any researcher.  The pages visited and demonstrated included:

*  The Home Page that has links for Learn, FamilySearch Centers, Give Back (volunteer indexing) and the Blog.  And the Search Box tabs for Historical Records, Family Trees and Library Catalog.

*  There are currently 530 Historical Record Collections with 20 to 30 being added each month by the imaging and indexing efforts.  The user can find databases for a specific state or country, or choose by places, categories, or date ranges.  Some collections have only an index, some have only images arranged in a logical fashion, and some have both indexing and images.  Some collections have only indexes that link to images on a subscription web site.

*  The Library Catalog page accesses the Family History Library Catalog in Salt Lake City, and is composed of books, periodicals and manuscripts on the shelf at the library, and microfilms and microfiche that can be rented at a FamilySearch Center for about $6 for a four-week period.  The Catalog can be searched by place name, surname, subject, author, title, microfilm number, call numbers and keywords. 

*  The Learn page includes the Research Wiki and the educational Research Courses and Get Started.  The Research Wiki has information about countries, states, counties, and general topics that can be added or edited by any registered user in a wiki format.  The Research Courses page has more than 120 courses taught by subject matter experts at the Family History Library or professional researchers that can be watched and heard on the Internet.  Some courses can be downloaded to a computer. 

This was a whirlwind tour of the website, and many of the attendees found useful historical records online or microfilms to order at the FamilySearch Center next week.  Everyone is now more aware of the offerings on the site and have some insight as to how to navigate the site to help their research.

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