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Filtering For Library Catalog

While researching the Library Catalog to see what was available in Manila Philippines, I came across notarial records that numbered over 2000 easy. There are several records, and all I can see is the 1900's, but I know because of Genwiki that the records themselves go back to 1700's. Each page holds about 25 to 50 results then you have to click the button to get more results. I found it very tedious to transverse. Then an Idea came. You know how familysearch.org is designed in a way that you can filter down to a particular year in the record search. It would be very beneficial to filter the Library Catalog down to the point that you can look up certain years in a province and see all the records available for that province (in every city, town, or otherwise) during the said year or years that you have selected. To take it a step further it might also be wise to filter it into births, deaths, marriages, etc. The overall process of this endeavor will not be without its price, but I believe that the time and effort that goes into this will aid ourselves and our posterity, to find our families. If this endeavor is undergone, it will require a New Library Catalog Beta to be formed that would incorporate all of these different filterizations. This task is much more than one individual can undergo. It would require the assistance of several volunteers much to the likes of what Family Search Indexing has now. But if the endeavor is undertaken, the day will arive that the average researcher will be able to find their ancestor with one single catalog search and researching the different records available during that period in a particular area. But either way, the future awaits.
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  • Shawn,

    It is only place searching in the catalog that has had the filters temporarily removed for technical reasons. If you search on Last Name, for instance, you will see filters for Year, Category, Availability and Language.

    We will restore filtering to the place search as we finish the implementation of all the missing catalog search features that are planned.

    -R
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  • The problem in locating the records of notaries is a general one in the FHL catalogue. Records of notaries have been catalogued in different ways for different regions and countries, often inconsistently even within a region. There are actually at least three separate problems:

    1. Inconsistent titles: as an example, for Manila, the entries in the catalogue have titles such as Notarial Records, Registros, or Protocolos. If the entries were returned from a search in strict alphabetical order, there would be at least 3 separate series in this case.

    2. Some of the titles are uninformative: the general problem of finding the right notary, out of dozens or sometimes hundreds, requires the ability to search and retrieve the catalogue entries in an order such that the records of notaries who practiced at about the same time appear close together in the results list. Titles such as "Notarial records", inclusive dates, and the name of the notary in some standard format would do the trick.

    3. But the most significant problem is that, as of today, the results are not always returned in strict alphabetical order! When I tried the search, it took some time to find even one notary of Manila, so I used a keyword search. When I found an entry from the series of notarial registers, I clicked on the subject term, and was amazed to see that the results list came back in no particular order -- not in order by title, nor by author!

    Therefore, while there is a need to continually review the catalogue for inconsistencies and errors, there is also a need to assure that the catalogue entries returned from all searches are sorted in a useful and predictable order -- in other words, enforce a standard sort order before displaying the results list!
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