How Google Book Search Can Help You in Your Research and Studies
The U.Va. Library has been a pioneer in digitizing public domain works. Since 1992 we have created several thousand public domain "e-texts" and made them accessible through our digital collections. The partnership with the Google Book Search continues these efforts.
As a student, faculty, or staff, you're possibly wondering, "How can I use Google Book Search in my own work and research?"
Here's what you can do with Google Book Search:
Search for and browse books online:
Scroll through your results; clicking on a book title will allow you to see a view of your book (your search terms will be highlighted in yellow). There are different types of views, depending on a few factors.
If a book is out of copyright or the publisher or rightsholder has given Google permission, you'll be able to page through the entire book from start to finish, as with Two Women in the Klondike shown below.
If the publisher or author has provided the book through the Google Book Partner Program, you'll be able to preview sample pages according to the publisher's specifications — typically about 20% of the book.
If a book is under copyright and the publisher or author is not part of the Partner Program, you'll find bibliographic information about the book and at most a few lines of text, or a snippet, to show your search term in context (see image on right).
No preview available:
For books where Google is unable to show snippets, you'll see only bibliographic information.
To the right of your book view is a list of options that include "Search in this book," "Contents" (some will offer a table of contents), "Popular passages" and "Subjects." You have the option to write reviews of books or add them to your Google library.
Search within the book:
Once you a find a title of interest, you can search within the book simply by entering your word or phrases in the "Search in this book" field. An example would be searching within Hamlet for "to be or not to be" to find the rest of the famous soliloquy. This tool can be of great use when trying to locate specific terms or subjects within a book.
Find more information about the book, including other titles that interest you:
Just click on "About this book" to view in-depth information about the current selection (including a blurb, number of pages, publisher, ISBN). Also displayed are key terms and phrases in the work, popular passages, and even an explanation of the book's cover. You'll also find lists of related books and books to use as references.
Google Book Search is now integrated with Google Maps. If Google detects names of specific locations in your book, a tagged map with page references will be displayed in "About this book."
Buy the book … or find it in a library:
For every book, you’ll see links directing you to booksellers where you can buy the book (such as the book's publishing press or Amazon).
Another link will direct you to libraries where you can borrow the book. For instance, if you are viewing the book Jefferson and Education by Jennings Wagoner and choose "Find this book in a library," you'll get a list of libraries, sorted by proximity, where you can check out Jefferson and Education.
Download public domain works:
If a book is out of copyright (which varies depending on what country you're in), you'll be able download, save, and print a free PDF to read at your own pace.
View a tutorial on Google Book Search/Google Scholar.
For more information, see Google Book Press Release.
"Since 1992, the U.Va. Library has been making public domain works freely available online. Scholars tell us that we have made it possible to ask new questions because these works are available digitally. With Google, we will be able to offer access to many more texts. For example, 18th- and 19th-century works that are rarely found can be discovered by new audiences."
- Karin Wittenborg, University Librarian
Let us know what you think. Send feedback on U.Va./Google Book Search.