Wednesday, August 7, 2013

FamilySearch Books reality check

On Monday the FamilySearch blog announced that "more than 100,000 books have now been scanned and published online" at their book search site. As the result of a partnership among eight libraries, "Family History Books are available to search and use on the website and can be viewed by clicking Search and then clicking Books."

I thought, I've neglected this resource too long, and promptly searched for the exact phrase "Joseph Wilkinson." There were 39 hits, sorted by relevance.

The first and presumably most relevant hit was not available: "You do not have sufficient rights to view requested object. This book is restricted; it can only be used in the Family History Library, a family history center, or one of the listed partner libraries."

The second most relevant book was so poorly digitized as to be barely readable. Evidently the search function felt the same, as it was not possible to search within the book at all.

Fortunately I live near one of the partner libraries and will be able to consult both books in the old-fashioned way.

Make that 99,998.

Harold Henderson, "FamilySearch Books reality check," Midwestern Microhistory: A Genealogy Blog, posted 7 August 2013 ( : viewed [date]). [Please feel free to link to the specific post if you prefer.]


Candace said...

I got the "insufficient rights" message on the first five I tried to look at.

David said...

"The second most relevant book was so poorly digitized as to be barely readable."

I had the same problem when I tried to read the book through my browser. The image was much better resolution after saving it to my computer.

Taneya said...

Agreed! I've left feedback on the FamilySearch blog that it would be helpful if they added a filter so we could exclude those that have viewing restrictions.