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Monday, November 4, 2013

Use Google Books to Get Free Copies of Pages of Family History Library Books

You may not be aware, but earlier this year, FamilySearch announced a free lookup service for genealogy books and microfilm available at the renowned Family History Library in Salt Lake City. The response to this offer was overwhelming, 1000s of people contacted the Library to take advantage of this free service. Another way to utilize this service is to start with a limited preview of Google Books and the Library will then scan the entire page and email it to you for free.

This process is explained in detail in a blog post by Nathan W. Murphy.

Google has scanned millions of books that are both (1) out of copyright and (2) still under copyright. If you happen to find a book that is out of copyright, i.e. published before 1923, you’ll usually be able to read the entire book for free online and you do not need to use FamilySearch’s free lookup service. For books still under copyright, i.e. published since 1923, Google Books often provides a “snippet view” or limited view of the pages with your search term or terms. Since you cannot see the entire book online, only a snippet of the page, what if you want to see the entire page, or several pages from the book? The answer — use FamilySearch’s free lookup service.

This will only work if the book happens to be in the Family History Library Catalog, so you need to search for the book first to see if they have the book. If the book is available in Family History Library collection, then you must complete their online Photoduplication Request form and the copy of the page you indicate will be sent to you by email. 

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