Canadian author and genealogist Dave Obee recently opined on his Facebook page, “I’ve been hearing about the pending death of the book for several years now. One of these days, the prediction might turn out to be true.”
Obee’s comment kicked off an interesting online conversation. For many genealogists, the surge in online books can sound like a threat to the paper tome. But, as with all things, the market drives business and innovation, and the convenience and flexibility of digital books is very appealing. Here are some Tech Tips to help you dive in and reap the benefits of this growing phenomenon:
Allison Stacy, editor of Family Tree Magazine, made this great video for getting started with Google Books.
See How Other Genealogists Use Google Books
Miriam Robbins Midkiff, author of the popular genealogy blog AnceStories: The Story of My Ancestors was featured in this video produced by Google.
Search Within a Book
After conducting your initial search and selecting a particular book, you can search within that book by simply typing specific keywords in the search box found in the column on the left side of the book’s page. This box searches only the book currently being viewed and makes quick work of finding a desired surname on individual pages of a large volume. (Find this tip in my new book The Genealogist’s Google Toolbox.)
Keep Up To Date
The Inside Google Books blog is a great way to keep up to date on the latest news at Google Books. Add the RSS feed to your iGoogle page or favorite reader by simply clicking the Feedburner button found in the column on the right.
Have you noticed that the Google Books homepage looks different these days? That’s because they have introduced the Google eBookstore to the offering. Here’s a terrific little video that explains the benefits of online books in a fun and simple way:
Don’t skip Google eBooks just because they offer books for sale. Try this handy tip to unearth free gems:
1. Go to Google Books.
2. Click blue Go to the Google eBookstore Now button
3. Type family history in the search box and click the Search All Google eBooks button.
4. Click the Free Only link in the light blue box at the top of the page.
5. You’ll get a results list full of free books, many hard to find self-published family histories.
When it comes to digital family history books, Google Books isn’t the only game in town Check out the Family History Archive, then watch the video below to learn more about how to use this robust resource.
I’ve had such a great time sharing Tech Tips with you these last 2 months. Thanks for reading, and I hope you’ll join me at the free Family Tree Magazine podcast and Genealogy Gems podcast for more lively conversation about genealogy!
—Lisa Louise Cooke