Some people eat, sleep and chew gum, I do genealogy and write...

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Google Books Advanced Search

Thanks to Jimmy Zimmerman for a presentation last week at the Utah Valley Technology and Genealogy Group for reminding me about the Google Books Advanced Search. When we do searches in most large online search engines, it is not uncommon for the website to have two or more levels of search capability. If there is an advanced search, it is always a good idea to see what it adds and use it if possible.

The Google Books advanced search is not exactly obvious. Here is a screenshot of the Google Books search window:

There is no apparent link here to the advanced search capabilities. In fact, in poking around on the website, I could not find any reference link at all to the Advanced Search. Here is the sitemap for the Google Books website and there is no mention of an advanced search capability at all:

So where is the advanced search? It is apparently a separate website. Here is another page from Google Books from the About Google Books link:

But, if you do a Google search for "Google books advanced search," there it is. Here is a screenshot showing the proof that it does exist:

I have no idea why the advanced search page is so obscure. The page is pretty well self-explanatory with lots of filters to apply to any book search you wish to do. Remember, Google has over 30,000,000 books and you will need to be specific if you want a small number of returns.


  1. Thanks so much for this post. I didn't know there was a special search page like this for Google books and it's a really good tip!

  2. That is so strange! Normally you can get to all of their advanced search mechanisms at Google by clicking the gear sign on the right side of the page. I wonder why they buried this one!

  3. very true James. what I especially like about Google books search (note, not newspapers) is that it includes some old German newspapers. Difficult to find, and then to read because of the font, but there can be "gold" buried in them