Friday, April 20, 2012

E-Books:Digital Resources for Researchers

Do you own a digital reader or do you use a small laptop, a smart phone or a note pad for reading electronic versions of books? As more and more books become available digitally the need for these readers becomes greater, however this writer believes there will always be room for the physical book for awhile yet.

While authors make their books available as a digital download, there are still those books that are being scanned and put into digital format for preservation purposes. One of the problems with the electronic version is the question of ownership? Even though one has purchased an ebook, the eReader doesn't really own the books in their eReader. Copyright issues still abound within this realm. There are other issues but time will work its way through all these issues.

So how can a family historian or genalogist take advantage of this type of media in their research? There are many of older historical books that have been and will continue to be scanned making access that much easier.

The first location for historical books worth mentioning is the Internet Archive. According to their site "their purposes include offering permanent access for researchers, historians, scholars, people with disabilities, and the general public to historical collections that exist in digital format."
Just a few of the many types of family history books freely availabe on this site which contains over 1 million digital books are the following:
  • City Directories
  • Vital Records
  • Marriage Records
  • Probate Records
  • Pension Records
  • Newspapers
Another site worth sharing is FamilySearch.og which has been digitizing books for many years now. According to their site they have a collection of more than 40,000 digitized genealogical and family history publications in connection with 6 other libraries that are also freely available.

Google Books has also made many of their digitized books that are 'out of copyright' available through their collections as well as limited previews for those that are still in copyright. They have over a million books available that were published in the 1800s and early 1900s.

Using the same topics mentioned above provides more books with vital data in them available for use in one's research! From an 1873 Saint Louis City directory to a 1922 City Directory for Flint City along with vital records for Sherborn, Massachusetts in 1850, the list is amazing, one just has to look!

Thanks to most public libraries, access is available to HeritageQuest online which houses thousands of ditized family and local histories downloadable again to aid one with their genealogial research. 

There are other online archives out there so let's use the comments and let others know where they are, it is possible to help someone break through another brick wall as they learn of new resources! 

Comments and Suggestions are always welcomed!

Building Bridges for All Generations!

Claire (*)
Timeless Genealogies
We're Your Family is "No. 1"



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