Wednesday, December 23, 2009

A simple reminder

When you find something online that is useful to your genealogy research -- don't assume it will remain there to return to and review at a later date. If it's downloadable, download it and save it to your hard drive. If not, copy and paste it into a word document.

This may be easy to remember with personal, educational, or other amateur websites. But don't forget even the big websites can be forced to take things down by lawsuits, etc.

Google has faced some recent lawsuits over their Google Books project. I'm not positive it's related, but I have discovered that several books that used to be "Full View" (and downloadable in PDF form) are no longer available except in "Snippet View" at best, and in some cases no preview at all.

These are all books published prior to 1920, most prior to 1900, so it's not an issue of whether or not they were in the public domain. I'm not entirely certain what the issue was.

4 comments:

Greta Koehl said...

A big "What he said!" from me - I have copied a lot of information into word documents for future reference, including the URL, and for several of them I have tried to go back - not there anymore.

Vickie Everhart said...

Ditto! I started my 1st blog specifically for the purpose of sharing clips from Google Books that pertained to kith 'n kin from our family tree ... and now I have multiple posts with the message "No Image Available" (or something like that) and no access to the text that I did not download ... 'cause I assumed the books would not go away! Shame on me!

David said...

I prefer to use PDFCreator (from SourceForge) to "print" what I find online as a PDF saved to my hard drive.

John said...

That's a good idea. My printer software automatically allows me to "Print to PDF", which I use a lot for email, but can be used for webpages too.

I'm pretty good at remembering to save text from webpages in some fashion. However, the online books were a blind spot.

Luckily I found the books that were 'disappeared' from Google at Internet Archive (archive.org). Some of these were linking to Google for the PDF versions, but Internet Archive was storing them in other formats, too.