FIBIS Google Books Library

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FIBIS has a growing Google Books library with books on topics related to its aims. You can search within the books in the library, a useful technique for eliminating results unrelated to historical British India topics. Titles can also be browsed by 'Label' (ie tag or keyword), a way of grouping books on similar topic (for instance, Assam or Indian Mutiny).

What is Google Books?

Google Books is an online repository of digitised books scanned from libraries around the world. Books that are labelled 'Full View' can be read in their entirety and pdf copies can be saved to your computer.

There are thousands of books that have content relevant for family history research including directories, civil lists, biographies and military histories. As well as reading around a topic or finding out about a place, it is worth searching an ancestor's name in inverted commas. You might have to try various combinations of the name. This is particularly successful for ancestor's of a certain social class living in the first half of the nineteenth century, but you never know what you might find. Try tracing an officer's career via listings of promotions, look for births/marriages/deaths or find the postings of an apothecary. Using the Advanced Search to narrow down the time frame of publication can be useful.

Copying Information from Full View Google Books

The following method is not possible if the book is marked Limited or Snippet View, or No Preview.

When you are reading a Full View book you can click:

  • ”Plain Text” to copy the text to a Word or similar document. What you copy will not be fully accurate, so you will need to check your copy against the original wording.
  • ”Clip” as a first step to copying a part of the actual page. A small blue rectangle should appear around the word clip. Next left click and draw a rectangle around the paragraph you require. Click within the paragraph which should then become blue. Then copy the link which appears under “Image” and paste in a document. You can subsequently use this link to view the paragraph you have saved. You can also use programs such as Powerpoint to make a slide of the paragraph you have clipped.

Note that the Clip function will only appear when the Google Book page is in HTML Mode.