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)