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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
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
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
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