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# Thursday, April 24, 2008
Six Hints for Google Books Search
Posted by Allison

In our July issue, we have a Toolkit article on Google Books Search: a functionality within Google to comb the contents of all kinds of books the company has digitized in conjunction with libraries, publishers and authors.

I've been playing around with Books Search to create a video demonstration of how it can help genealogists (watch it on our You Tube channel), and decided to share a few hints I picked up:

  1. For best results, limit your search to books only: From the Google home page, click the more link in the top frame, then select Books.

  2. Type a surname plus subject:genealogy in the search box to look for published family histories. Not that your results will also include books authored by people with that surname, even if that family isn't the primary focus. By searching for genealogy as the subject, you'll avoid lots of hits on books where the word genealogy just happens to appear in the text.

  3. Search by county and local history books by typing the state, county or city name (use quotation marks around an exact phrase) and the word history in the search box. For example: ohio "wood county" history.

  4. On the results page, look at the end of each listing for Full View, Limited Preview, Snippet View or No Preview Available. This tells you how much of the actual book you'll get to see.

  5. If the book is too big or takes too long to download, an alternative is to save it to a personal Google library you create. You have sign up for a free Google account to use this feature.

  6. For books with limited or no viewable pages, use the Find This Book in a Library link to go to WorldCat, where you can enter your ZIP code to locate it in a library near you or where you can get it on interlibrary loan.


Family Tree Magazine articles | Genealogy Web Sites | Research Tips
Thursday, April 24, 2008 10:03:42 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [2]
Thursday, April 24, 2008 11:26:45 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
Thanks for the mention, Allison. The WorldCat developers are working hard to make sure the functionality we put in meets the needs of a number of audiences--very much including genealogy researchers. We've made it easier to see digital collections of historical images in WorldCat, too.
This autumn we plan to do some work around gathering helpful tools in various topical areas--do you think the genealogy community would be interested in being one of these areas on WorldCat.org?
Wednesday, April 30, 2008 8:37:51 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
I've been using Google Books this way for at least a year now. Another tip is to try searching for your ancestor's name as "Smith, John" to catch entries in lists that you might miss by typing just "John Smith".
Teresa D
Comments are closed.