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Using Google Books Search for Genealogy

Using Google Books Search for Genealogy

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Published by milesmeyer
This guide describes some of the ways Google Books can be used to enhance your genealogy research.
This guide describes some of the ways Google Books can be used to enhance your genealogy research.

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Published by: milesmeyer on Nov 01, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Using Google Books Search for Genealogy
Compiled by Miles Meyer, Jacksonville Florida East Stake
Many of us have used Google as a search engine to search for various topics including our relatives but Google has many more components than just the internet search engine. One of thesecomponents is the books search which can be found athttp://books.google.com. In this lesson I willdiscuss the power of this search engine. Remember, due to the fluid nature of the internet, some of the things that I discuss may change when you begin searching the site.
Where Does Google Get the Books From?
Google has a variety of sources for their books. Some of the newer books come directly from the publishers. These are generally limited to viewing only a few pages and are placed there to whetyour appetite in the hopes that you will buy the book from one of the selected vendors. The older  books come from the collections of a variety of libraries including: Bavarian State Library,Committee on Institutional Cooperation, Cornell University, Harvard University, Ghent University,Keio University, the National Library of Catalonia, New York Public Library, Oxford University,Princeton University, Stanford University, University of California, University of Complutense of Madrid, University of Lausanne, University of Michigan, University of Texas, University of Virginia, and the University of Wisconsin.
Searching for Books
Google Books allows you to search the full text of any books that Google has scanned into their collection. The search criteria are the same as you would use to search for web pages. For example,the following types of searches can be performed:Joseph Smith – This search will locate any books that have the words Joseph and Smith inside them.This may result in a large number of hits that may not be useful to you. You may end up with pagesthat have Joseph Miller and Clara Smith or any variety of results with these two words. (63,900 hits9/16/2007)“Joseph Smith” – Placing words inside quotes limits the search to only pages where these words arein close proximity to each other. (4,327 hits 9/16/2007)“Joseph Smith” +Ohio – Using the “+” sign in the search will only result in books where JosephSmith and Ohio are mentioned. This can allow you to reduce the number of hits to only thoseindividuals that were present within a specific state, county, etc. (734 hits 9/16/2007)
“Joseph Smith” –Ohio – Placing the “-“ sign in the search will reduce the number of hits byremoving those that reference that specific word. This specific search would eliminate all hits whereOhio was mentioned. (3,970 hits 9/16/2007)
Using the Results
Above you see a typical list view of results. This shows a page of the text, the title, author and pagenumber where a result is located and a brief description of the book. Additionally there are links tothe books. Clicking on these links will open up a page view of that book. The search above lists all books that match your query. If you would only like to see those with full text then you would click on “Full view” in the upper blue bar.Books that are out of copyright will have
Full View
 under the description. Those books that are stillunder copyright will say
Limited Preview
 under the description. In the image above, all three booksare listed as full view. This means that you will be able to read all of the pages in these books. Theones listed as limited view will only show a certain number of pages.Let’s look at the results in a little more detail. There is a link labeled “About this book” under eachresult. Clicking on this link gives you a huge amount of data about the book. The next few pageshave screen shots of what this detail looks like. Here you will find a summary of the book and thekey words. You can click on “Read This Book” or “Download PDF”. If you click on “Read ThisBook” you will be given a page by page view of the book that you can read on the computer. Eachtime your search term is located on a page it will be highlighted in yellow. The “Download PDF” button allows you to download the entire book to your computer in pdf format. You now have a permanent copy of this book to keep and read anytime you want.To the right of this screen you will see a list of several vendors that have this book for sale if youwant to buy it. Additionally, below the vendors list is a link to search local libraries to see who hasthis book available for loan.Further down the list you will see a table of contents, selected page views, selected popular passages,a search feature and a list of web pages that reference this book. This can be very useful in furtheringyour research. Further down the page you will find a list of books that have references to your book,any additional editions that may have been published, any references in scholarly publications andrelated books. The final section of this page is a Google map with all of the locations referenced inthe book marked. By clicking on one of the location markers you will be able to view a passage fromthe book referencing that location.

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