Friday, June 22, 2012

New Church History Library Catalog

For anyone interested in Mormon Studies, Mormon history, genealogy, the history of the Western United States, or even history in general, you will want to become familiar with the new Church History Catalog of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I assume this is being released in advance of next week's annual meeting of the Mormon History Association in Calgary, Alberta, which I wish I could attend.

This new online catalog brings together the collections of the Church History Library, a huge database of Family History Books, the BYU Digital Collections, and the Church History Library Collections at the Internet Archives.

Here is an article about the collection from the academic Mormon history blog, Juvenile Instructor. ("The New Church History Library Catalog.") The article notes that the Church is expanding its online digitized holdings, and that:
...over 500,000 documents and images are presently available on the catalog. Additionally, the catalog includes opportunities for historians to request digitization of various collections (providing approval is granted).  Although digitization will come with an attached cost, once completed, the digitized images will be made available to the whole Mormon history community, thus allowing patrons to build the body of digitized documents.
If you have any questions or comments about the catalog or the collections, the Juvenile Instructor article would be a good place for them.

What About the Marsdens?

To keep this announcement in the ongoing series about the Marsden family, I just typed "Marsden" into the search box of the new catalog. It came up with 615 results. That's too many to read through, so I will return to this search another time and limit it with additional search terms, but from a quick glance, although the first two results are about a different family, the third included a link to a book about a family line which came through James Marsden, the son of Charles and Mary Hancock Marsden. 

As I look through the book, I see that it discusses the short history of James Marsden which is available at the DUP and which is full of errors. The book provides some additional information and corrections. I have saved a copy of the book in my Marsden research files and entered the bibliographical information into my source list and will return to it in a future post.

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