You may have heard whisperings about a new FamilySearch Web site underway, and wondered what it’s like and when youll get a crack at using it. Today we got some information to share.
FamilySearch Labs is testing a variety of tools FamilySearch hopes to include on its Web site. The challenge, spokesperson Paul Nauta told us, is that each tool requires different architecture. FamilySearchs main site (at www.familysearch.org) hasnt changed yet because its architecture must be updated to accommodate all the cool new features in the works. Eventually, the tools will be built into that site.
But you already can use some of these features on the domains where theyre being tested:
Record Search is a tool for searching the first digitized recordsincluding censuses, church records, Civil War pensions and morecoming from FamilySearchs many partnerships with repositories and digitization companies. It has a microfilm reader-like viewer (minus the elbow-busting crank) that lets you zoom in on an image, nimbly move around, and switch from black on white to white on black.
Family Tree (previously called Pedigree Viewer), which lets users build an online, collaborative family tree, is available in demo version to the public. Its being rolled out gradually to Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints locations, after which itll go public.
The Family Tree Research Wiki is where experts post how-to advice about genealogical resources around the world.
FamilySearch Indexing is the site volunteers around the world are using to create indexes to digitized records. Itll tell you how you can volunteer, too.
Those are the main tools, but there are a couple of others you can try at FamilySearch Labs.