Information is the life blood of genealogy, and the larger the body of information the greater the potential for successful research. Nowhere can more information be found in a smaller space than on a CD-ROM disc, a 4 1/2" wafer that holds the equivalent in information of a multi-volume encyclopedia. Little wonder, then, that CD-ROM is viewed as the perfect medium for genealogical research, its storage capacity and search and retrieval functions offering more opportunities than any research tool in use today. Even though CD-ROM is relatively new, the logic for using it as an information storage and retrieval system is overwhelming, as confirmed by the recent proliferation of genealogy databases on CD-ROM.
In fact, the growth of genealogy on CD-ROM has been so explosive that a need has arisen to impose some form of bibliographical control over the medium, some means of listing and categorizing CDs so we'll know precisely what is available for research. Without this type of discipline we would be left floundering in an ocean of CDs, unable even to distinguish between what is useful and what is not. Happily, the revolution taking place in this new medium is now reduced to order by the first book ever published on the subject, Genealogy on CD-ROM.
Written by Martha Arends, author of Genealogy Software Guide (another book designed to provide the researcher with a disciplined view of a rapidly growing subject), this book is intended to show the researcher what is available on CD-ROM in all major categories, in particular, biographies; genealogical references; historical references and dictionaries; journals, newspapers, and periodicals; geographical finding aids; immigration and naturalization records; military records; African American and Native American records; U.S. resources; international resources; compiled family histories and genealogies; indexes; and bible records. Screen shots showing typical views are spaced throughout the book to enhance recognition and understanding of selected CDs.
All CDs aimed specifically at genealogists (and available at the time the book was compiled) are included, as are a number of CDs that are useful to researchers but not intended specifically for genealogists, including several serial sets produced for the library market by such reference book publishers as R. R. Bowker and Gale Research. Organized by subject, each CD listing--except for census records--includes the title, publisher, price, system requirements (operating system, RAM, hard drive, monitor), and a description of the contents. To ensure that you have all the information you need to make an informed purchase, a separate section listing CD publishers and vendors appears at the rear of the book.