Genealogy.com
Big changes have come to Genealogy.com — all content is now read-only, and member subscriptions and the Shop have been discontinued.
 
Learn more
New? Start Here
Genealogy How-To
 Getting Started
 Getting Organized
 Developing Your Research Skills
 Sharing Your Family's Story
 Reference Guide
 Biography Assistant
Free Genealogy Classes
 Beginning Genealogy
 Internet Genealogy
 Tracing Immigrant Origins
Search

Family Finder
First Name:
Middle:
Last:
 

I've been involved with using computers for genealogy since 1985; at that time genealogical resources were limited to books, microfilms, microfiche, and original records with little or no electronic resources other than a handful of genealogy programs. While I believe books are still the most efficient way to disseminate genealogical information, CD-ROMs have given researchers the chance to purchase resources which previously were too expensive or out-of-print.

A CD-ROM (generally abbreviated to just CD-the name stands for Compact Disc: Read Only Memory) can hold as much information as several hundred floppy disks. CDs can contain 650 megabytes (MB) of information-that's roughly equivalent to 160,000 pages of text! Due to the nature of CDs and the CD-ROM drives, information can be read faster from a CD than from a floppy, making them an ideal media for storing and retrieving large amounts of data.

CDs you encounter that have been made commercially are read-only; that is, you cannot write data to them as you can a floppy disk. New rewritable CDs are available offering users the chance to use them as a small, portable, hard drive. The cost of writing information to a CD has fallen dramatically in the last few years as the price of the rewritable CD drives has dropped, making it a practical medium in which to publish a family tree, to sell society publications, or to simply serve as a storage facility for a researcher's genealogical database back-up files, photos, etc.

Types of Genealogical CDs

Genealogists encounter two basic types of genealogical CDs: those containing text, and those containing images. While many CDs are a combination of the two types, the CDs meant specifically for genealogists usually fall into one of these categories.

Previous Page | Next Page

Home | Help | About Us | Terms of Service | PRIVACY
© 2011 Ancestry.com