Mar 13, 2011

Finding Old Books in Private Collections

Dick Eastman has a post today about an online book cataloging website. I'm not a Plus Edition subscriber, so I can't see all the way to the punchline. But I have a sneaking suspicion he's talking about LibraryThing, which I mentioned in an earlier post on crowdsourcing. I won't repeat what I wrote earlier, but I absolutely love LibraryThing. A feature I didn't mention before was their groups–one of many social aspects to the website. Like any online forum, some groups are more active than others. There's one specifically by and for genealogists, called Genealogy@LT.

The subtitle of Dick's post is "How to Find Someone Who Has the Book You Seek." I imagine the purpose is for genealogists who are searching for obscure, out-of-print titles that might have information about ancestors they're researching. When they can't find the book anywhere else, there's always the chance somebody who owns it has cataloged it on LibraryThing or another, similar website. While I don't own many books with useful genealogical records, my collection of history books is quite large. Since this is a semi-anonymous blog, I'm not connecting it with my various online personas. However, if anyone were to find a book on LibraryThing they're interested in, drop a note to one of the people who added the book, by commenting on their profile. In my experience, LibraryThing members are usually receptive to questions about their books. I'm sure many would be more than happy to do a look-up for you.

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