Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Tuesday's Tip - Check out the BYU Family History Archives

This week's Tuesday's Tip is to:  Check for FREE family history books at the BYU Family History Archive site (http://lib.byu.edu/fhc/index.php).

This site has 17,777 family history books (and there are probably many more - they haven't updated the number for awhile) available for free access - to read, print or save to your computer.  The collection description is:

"The Family History Archive is a collection of published genealogy and family history books. The archive includes histories of families, county and local histories, how-to books on genealogy, genealogy magazines and periodicals (including some international), medieval books (including histories and pedigrees), and gazetteers. It also includes some specialized collections such as the Filipino card collection and the “Liahona Elders Journal.” The books come from the collections of the FamilySearch Family History Library, the Allen County Public Library, the Houston Public Library – Clayton Library Center for Genealogical Research, the Mid-Continent Public Library – Midwest Genealogy Center, the BYU Harold B. Lee Library, the BYU Hawaii Joseph F. Smith Library, and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Church History Library."

The user can search by Surname, Author or Title keywords.  Alternatively, there is a "Search all" field that will return matches from all of the keyword fields.  There is also an Advanced Search capability that permits a user to search "all of the words," "exact phrase," "any of the words" and "none of the words," and to select specific collections to search.

When you are on the www.FamilySearch.org site and click on the "Books" tab, you are taken to the BYU Family History Archive site.  There are links to these books from within the FamilySearch Library Catalog on the FamilySearch site.

The neat thing is that these are not all "out-of-copyright" books.  They are books that patrons donated to the FamilySearch library, or other participating libraries.  For instance, this collection has the book:

Frederick G. Rolfe, The Early Rolfe Settlers of New England ( Baltimore, MD: Gateway Press, 1995). 

This book unlocked several mysteries for me on my Rolfe and Martin ancestry.


Mary Ellen said...

Thanks for the reminder! There's a lot of valuable information in books that might be one of a kind or just a few of a kind, and in libraries you don't ordinarily use!

Sierra said...

Thank you! I just did a quick search out of curiosity. I found a great book that chronicles the immigration of some of my mennonite Swiss ancestors as they were forced out of Switzerland. I was surprised to find a tie in to Jost Hite who was featured in Tim McGraw's WDYTYA.