Tech Tip: Google Books Image Search for Genealogy and Family History Research


Hello and welcome! I’m Lisa Louise Cooke and this is your Tech
Tip for genealogy and family history and today we are going to talk a little bit more about
one of my favorite websites. And that’s Google Books. Now if you haven’t already seen my past videos
on Google Books you’ve got to go check them out and of course everything else we are doing
here at Genealogy Gems is at our Genealogy Gems YouTube channel. YouTube.com/GenealogyGems. But today were going to be talking about Google
Books and I want to give you kind of a way to speed things up, if you will, as you’re
looking through Google Books. You know the problem is, there’s never enough
time is there? There’s just never enough time and so as we’re
using technology and we’re online doing our research, it would be really great to be able
to save a little bit of time and get better results. That’s what these tips are all about! So in the first Google Books video I showed
you a really fast way to get to the free stuff fast. In this video we’re going to use that technique
but we’ll take it a little bit further. We’re going to find some unusual gems, I like
to call them gems. Those little nuggets of wonderful information,
pictures, photographs that have to do with our family history. And you don’t think of Google Books as a place
to go and get pictures, but it’s a great place to do that. And I’m going to show you a really fast and
easy way. So, we are at books.google.com and here I’m
going to just do a basic search. Let’s say that I’m looking for Texas geography
history. I’m looking for old maps, Ok, in Texas. So we did our initial search. Now before we start digging into all of these
and get disappointed because some of these are not free, we going to click Search Tools,
Any Books, and Free Google eBooks. Great, no we’re good. Now let’s say that we’re looking for El Paso,
Ok, the area of El Paso. So this is again searching everything in the
list that we had refined down to and pulled up the ones that kind of focused on El Paso. So here’s the “History and Geography of Texas
as Told in County Names.” It’s from 1915, that’s why it makes sense
it’s in the free list. So you come here and you’re inside the book. Ok, this is great except it’s going to take
a long time to find what you’re looking for. What Google Books did was, you can see these
little marks down here on the right. These show the spots in the book where El
Paso is mentioned, and this is way down into the book, these are toward the end of the
book. And if we use our scroll bar, we can go and
look at some of the other pages, we can also use the wheel on our mouse to spin up. This is going to take a long time to go through
and see how much imagery and if there are any maps in this book. But, we are going to use the thumbnail tool. This button up here. It looks like a checkerboard. Ok And what it’s going to do is it’s going
to take us from full page screen to many pages screen and that is really going to speed things
up. Look how different this book looks now! So now when you scroll through, wow you can
spot how many portraits are in here. But look at this, there are maps. So as you’re really quickly skimming, I kind
of think of this as the Evelyn Woods speed reading dynamics for Google Books. And that is a really fast way to kind of move
your way through a book and locate what you want. And if you’re looking for maps I see one,
let’s click it. And there it is. So this map is perfect, this is in the area
maybe that we’re looking for, or maybe it’s not. Let’s head back to our thumbnail view. Remember our little button up here. Click that, and you can keep scrolling through. Here’s another map. So this is a really fast way to see imagery. You could dig into the Table of Contents and
then you could go down and see if there’s an index for the book but I’ve got to tell
you, I have found things so much more quickly this way, in terms of finding imagery in particular. And photographs and just seeing that there
are drawings in here as well. So there you have it. It’s a really quick Tech Tip, but it’s one
I think that you could use on a pretty regular basis. Again, think about it. Google Books is chock full of 25 million fully
digitized books. And the books prior to around 1923, those
are the ones that are typically in the public domain. There are exceptions, if the family of an
author has continued on their copyright, that kind of thing. But generally, history books are perfect for
digging in to because they’re going to be fully digitized, they’re going to have the
OCR optical character recognition applied to them, that’s how Google Books found El
Paso so quickly in this book. And now once you get to a book, you can just
do a real quick scan to see what kinds of photos, drawings and maps are in your books. And that you’re going to do through the thumbnail
tool. I hope you’ve enjoyed this Tech Tip. These all come my book, The Genealogist’s
Google Toolbox the Second Edition. So if you are looking for more and you like
this kind of stuff, check that out. We’ll have a link below this video here on
our YouTube channel or wherever it is that you’re seeing this. And of course I do hope that you will subscribe
to the YouTube channel so that I can be in touch with you next time with our next Tech
Tip. Thanks for watching friend, I’ll talk to you
soon.

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