Sunday, May 28, 2006

Google has some Vital Record books

While messing around with Google tonight, I discovered that Google Books has some of the Massachusetts Vital Records to 1850 "Tan Books" online for browsing and downloading.

To find Massachusetts VR books, I put in the string ["vital records" massachusetts] and got about 70 hits. Some listings are duplicates. It looks like there are 40 or 50 different books available at present (out of over 300 towns). These are, of course, the books that are not copyright protected any longer.

If the Google item says "Full Copy" then the entire book is available. If it says "Limited Preview" then that book is still under copyright and you have to sign up for Google account to read a limited number of pages. Other items in the list say "No preview available" for a book that is not yet indexed.

When you get to the pages of a book, you can move page to page by either putting a page number in the box and clicking on "Go" or by hitting the arrows on either side of the "Go" button to advance page by page.

Pretty nifty. With a lot of promise, I think.

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