Sunday, February 24, 2008

Google Books Affords Easier Access to Many Old Obscure Books

Some of the most fascinating sources of information for researchers come from old and obscure volumes of books usually housed in libraries’ special collections. Once, many of these rare and obscure books could only be accessed by visiting a library, as they are not usually a part of the general circulating collection.

Thanks to Google Books, thousands of these old and valuable volumes are made available to researchers online through the Google Books collection. Entire books in the public domain, many published during the 19th Century, can be viewed online and even downloaded in their entirety in Adobe PDF format and the vast array of books in this collection is astounding.

These fully searchable books are coming from a host of prestigious libraries taking part in the Google Books project, including Columbia University, Cornell University, Harvard University, the New York Public Library, Oxford University, Princeton University, Stanford University, University of Virginia, University of Michigan and a host of other institutions.

This project makes it easier for researchers to find books and resources that they would not find in other ways such as those items that are out of print. Just a minute sampling of rare Mississippi volumes in this digital collection includes such works as J.F.H. Claiborne’s Mississippi as a Province, Territory and State (1880), Mississippi by Robert Lowery and William McCardle (1891),History of the Choctaw, Chickasaw and Natchez Indians by H.B. Cushman (1899), Lloyd’s Steamboat Directory and Disasters on the Western Waters by James T. Lloyd (1856), Mississippi Scenes or Sketches of Southern and Western Life and Adventure by Joseph B. Cobb (1851), The Chickasaw Nation by James Malone (1922) and Recollections of Mississippi and Mississippians by Reuben Davis (1890).

To search the thousands of old and valuable downloadable books in the collection, simply visit the Advanced Search page, and after entering your search criteria, click the “full view” radio button. A search of the collection can be narrowed by entering a date of publication range, publisher information, author and title in the appropriate fields.

Take time to discover what Google Books can offer. It will be time well spent for the astute genealogical and historical researcher.


Anonymous said...

Yes indeed!! Google Book Search is a great site. They even have my book listed.I have written down a lot of books that are at Ole Miss concerning Itawamba County that I hope to check out this year. Martha

Bob Franks said...

I agree Martha. I can spend hours on end looking through all those old digitized 19th Century books they have made available. A ton of local and family histories can be found in their collection.