What's New with the FamilySearch Catalog

For over two decades, the FamilySearch Catalog has been a valuable research tool. Today, it handles more than 5 million searches each week. This highly customized system has been running on outdated technology that must be replaced.

How the Catalog is changing

The most noticeable change with this update is that the Catalog uses the newest FamilySearch place standards. Place standards provide a consistent experience for how place information is organized and presented. They must be updated regularly since place names around the world are changing.

How different place standards may affect your searches

Using different place standards may impact search results for some locations. Some places will have slightly different display names than in the past. Other places could be grouped within a larger place. In these cases, you may have to perform an extra click or two to find the search results you desire.

There are some places from the old Catalog that aren’t in the new place standards yet. However, many of these excluded places are in the process of being added.

Benefits of updating the Catalog

With the new system, searches can be more precise and the results will be sorted better. For example, doing a place search for China now returns resources in English and Chinese.

In the coming months, you’ll see updated and new collections appear. Besides usability improvements, we are also working to unify the search experience for digital, image, and physical collections.

We’re interested in your feedback

Please use the comment button at the bottom of the Catalog page to ask questions or share your thoughts. Your feedback is important to us. We look forward to hearing from you!

Was this helpful?