Today Google announced on their Book Search Blog that they have developed a series of partnerships in order to more fully integrate Google Books into existing websites. In the post, they highlight several advantages of this feature including
“For example, suppose you’ve turned to the Books-A-Millionsite to look for a book on the history of your hometown (say, Mountain View, California). When you see a book that looks promising, you can now click on “Google Preview” to browse through the book just as you might in the physical store, without ever having to leave Books-A-Million’s website. “
Whenever browsing participating websites, you just need to look for the Google Preview button and it will open up a window to preview the book online. There are many different sites participating – bookstores, university libraries, publishers (even Arcadia Publishing – publisher of the Images of America Series), and social book sharing sites. One of my favorite sites, WorldCat.org is also participating.
I’ve blogged about Worldcat before: it allows you to locate books in libraries that may be close to you. When you are looking at a record for a book, if you see the Google Preview button you can begin to browse what is available.
You can read more about what WorldCat did here. Right now, it looks like you need to use APIs in order to take advantage of the book preview. I wonder if there would be any utility in them making an embed code of some type for an individual book-by-book basis? One could always make a static link to a book, but I like the look of the embedded book.
I find this particularly of interest as I’ve been spending some time exploring Google Books for my various genealogy interests. Each month I choose a database to look at more in-depth and this month, Google Books was the one of choice. During the Genea-Blogger games, my posts from this month on Google Books included:
- two posts on the Blount County blog I maintain for the TNGenWeb county site for Blount County. One is about a Quaker that was associated with the area, and another about one of the county sheriffs.
- on my newspaper blog for the Kinston Free Press, I shared some information I found about a minister of the city.
- on my Vanderbilt genealogy blog, I found an annual report of the vast railroad empire of the Vanderbilts
- and, just because I was writing this post, I did another quick search for my own actual family tree and found a report I’m not sure I’d seen before. It is the Official Proceedings of the Twelfth Republican National Convention held in Philadelphia in 1900. In the roll of delegates appears Dred Wimberly as representing Tarboro, Edgecombe County, NC. I believe Dred to be the brother of my 3rd great-grandmother, Mariah Wimberly. Very cool.