“When searching for something … I can fully expect that [words] would be transliterated and OCR’d in multiple ways,” Notess said. “Bear in mind when you’re searching, especially for older data, that you’re not getting everything unless you think creatively.”

Some other issues with online book-search services include access that is limited in some cases only to subscribers, overly general subject headings, and catalogs that haven’t been kept up to date.

Notess offered strategies to help researchers locate the information they are looking for. For example, he suggested that researchers check multiple sources while searching in multiple ways–such as by title, author, publisher, publication date, keyword, and phrase.


WebSearch University

Google Books


Hathi Trust

Open Library

Internet Archive Texts

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