The ability to have digital copies of books and newsletters, especially those with family history, to be viewed on your computer, is invaluable. The HathiTrust Digital Library has such a digital preservation collection. The digital books on ‘Google Books’ are an excellent source, but here is yet another resource to use. These books in the HathiTrust are in the public domain, so making them accessible to everyone online. A great feature is that additions are being placed online every month. So if you search one month and don’t find anything, try in a couple months.
Using the full advance search method you can narrow down your selection from this vast collection. Here you place the language you want, the time period and then you can narrow the search to which type of collection. For example there are books, newspapers, photos, journals, videos, music, maps and directories just to name a few. Hold down the ‘Ctrl’ key and then select which type of formats (books, maps, etc) you want searched.
Keep in mind when using a surname, not only will topics referring to that name appear, but also authors who wrote materials will be displayed. In searching the surname ‘Everhart’ an interesting book titled History of the Everhart and Shower families, from 1744 to 1883 embracing six generations; also a sketch of Manchester, Md.” was available. If your were doing family history on the Shower or Everhart branches in Maryland between 1744 and 1883 you would have hit the jackpot. The author was O. T. Everhart, so clearly a family ancestor researched his two family lines as of 1883.
Click on the item labeled ‘Full View’ to see the book. As you look at each page, do allow time for each page to download. If you need a full digital copy, look to the left and you can download a PDF copy of the book to your computer. You can also enlarge a page for improved viewing. The numbers and arrows at the top allow to advance to certain pages. Use the icon of a book on the left and it will be two pages together just as if you were reading the book in your hand.
Any books you locate could have photos, copies of individual wills, letters, family trees, anything is possible. This is a source could be very beneficial, so do try many different keywords, hometowns, surnames and topics.
Photo: The front inside page of ‘History of the Everhart and Shower Families.’< Return To Blog