Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Tuesday's Tip - Search for Books Online First

Let me begin by saying today marks one year since I published my first item on this (and any) blog.  Although I haven't posted regularly, I intend to keep adding entries as I have time and ideas. 

What I want to post today is a tip that's really an obvious thing to do, but something I didn't do before purchasing some books in the past.  If you're looking for a book on a certain topic or if you come across a book on a certain topic that's for sale, first you might want to check to see if it has been scanned and available in a digital format for free.  This gives you a chance to view it and then decide if you want to purchase it or not.  If you know the title of the book, you can "Google it" or do a search by typing the title in quotes.  You don't have to know the title of the book; you can search for a surname or word.

Here are a few FREE sites I've used to search for books online.  No doubt there are some free sites I have overlooked and there are some that require a fee.

  1. Family Search
  2. Google Books
  3. Heritage Quest
  4. Hathi Trust
  5. Internet Archive
You might also want to look for books you already own online.  Since they are in digital format they are much easier to search.  One example is a two volume set I own, William T. Hearne's Brief History and Genealogy of the Hearne Family.  It was written in 1907 and revised in 1912, but although it has lots of information, it is not indexed.  Finding information about the line I was researching was tedious since the information isn't exactly in chronological order.  Luckily I found Brian Cragun has it all online and it's indexed.  He also has a Hearne Research Blog and a wealth of information posted.

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