FamilySearch collections are growing every day, adding genealogically relevant sources to one of the largest databases in the world. A key FamilySearch goal is to improve the tools that provide access to these records by users searching for the details of their family story. Some enhancements were recently made to the historical image viewer as well as the search interface that should make accessing the growing amount of information that much easier.
Improved viewer experience
Getting around within the historical record image viewer has been made easier with two new enhancements. First is a unified and consistent navigational view, in either full-screen or pop-up view. You’ll notice breadcrumbs (1), or the path you followed to arrive at the record you are viewing. You can also now move between images within the collection by clicking the forward or back arrows, or by entering the image number you wish to view (2).
Second, you can now switch between the single image view and a new thumbnail gallery view as you browse images in a collection (3). This second new feature is a response to user requests to create an easier way to quickly navigate to specific spots in the image set. It also makes it easier to look at the records surrounding the record, which is helpful for finding relatives or neighbors or seeing all of a record that has been split over two pages. These new navigation features can be used anywhere that a user can view a single image by clicking the thumbnail icon in the left side toolbar. Any thumbnail can be clicked to switch back to single image view.
Refinements of exact search
Another oft-requested Search feature has been to make search results more precise through the exclusion of certain words, letters, and punctuation in the name search fields when a user selects “Match all terms exactly.” With this change, exact searching will return exactly what the user types into the name fields, in the order they typed it, with the following exceptions:
- Exact search will ignore spaces: van der graff = vandergraff
- Exact search will ignore punctuation: O’Brien = OBrien
- Exact search will ignore diacritics: Pena = Peña
- Exact search will ignore the spanish “y”: Gonzalez y Gomez = Gonzalez Gomez
- Exact search will ignore capitalization: MacDonald = Macdonald
New Links in the FamlySearch Catalog
The FamilySearch Catalog (formerly Family History Library Catalog) describes the genealogical resources held by FamilySearch.org, the Family History Library, selected FamilySearch Centers, and selected partner libraries. The Catalog is an incredible guide to original sources of information that can help you discover details of your family story. A new enhancement to the catalog adds hyperlinked logos that take you directly to where you can access or request the item listed. Users of the FamilySearch Catalog who are viewing the film notes for a title will be presented with whatever resources are available for that title :
If you don’t see an icon, it means that option is not available for that entry.
We hope these new enhancements will make your research time more productive and help you experience the joy of connecting with your ancestors.