OpenLibrary – Genealogy Book Resource


Well, like most genealogists I am always on the lookout for a good book resource especially one that can look up keywords and offers full-text search of scanned books.  There is a new resource called OpenLibrary which is still in beta – but you can check it out now!

OpenLibrary is really a very ambitious project: one web page for every book ever published.  Seriously.

They already have close to 24 million in their database and 1 million of those are scanned and can be searched using full text searches.

For example, using my 9th great-grandfather Hugo Freer as my criteria:

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I find there is a book (with which I am already familiar) by Ruth P. Heidgerd:

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But I can also use the fields in the sidebar to find other books such as those by the Huguenot Historical Society.

What else can you do with OpenLibrary?

  • you can add a book if the OpenLibrary does not already have it
  • search for books by keywords and then filter those results by various fields including author, subject, and more

Who’s behind OpenLibrary?  The fine folks from Internet Archive who bring you the Wayback Machine as well as Text Archive which many genealogists already use to access full text searching for scanned books.

It looks like OpenLibrary is worth checking out! (bad pun, I know)


© 2009, copyright Thomas MacEntee

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About Thomas MacEntee

What happens when a “tech guy” with a love for history gets laid off during The Great Recession of 2008? You get Thomas MacEntee, a genealogy professional who’s also a blogger, educator, author, social media connector, online community builder and more. Thomas was laid off after a 25-year career in the information technology field, so he started his own genealogy-related business called High Definition Genealogy. He also created an online community of over 3,000 family history bloggers known as GeneaBloggers. His most recent endeavor, Hack Genealogy, is an attempt to “re-purpose today’s technology for tomorrow’s genealogy.” Thomas describes himself as a lifelong learner with a background in a multitude of topics who has finally figured out what he does best: teach, inspire, instigate, and serve as a curator and go-to-guy for concept nurturing and inspiration. Thomas is a big believer in success, and that we all succeed when we help each other find success.

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