Google Books: Mormon Studies goodness

By: J. Stapley - April 03, 2007

Things have been a bit slow going here as most of my free time is going towards MHA prep. However, I thought it would be nice to share the good news about Google Books for Mormon Studies. Google has gone though major libraries and digitized their books. Publishers have also digitized their collections and they are available in various states of accessibility though Google’s website. This is an incredible resource.

First, there are tons of 19th century books on Mormonism that are otherwise difficult to find. They are completely text searchable and they are often available for download. Here are a couple examples:

Books that are still under copyright and submitted by publishers have varying degrees of availability. In most cases there are several excerpts, but most importantly they are text searchable. University of Illinois Press has jumped on board, including the stuff published after New Mormon Studies CD-ROM. Even if you have the volumes, it is nice to have a digital search function:

Many major university presses, such as Oxford, Yale, etc. are participating (though Utah State has yet to join up and UU Press hasn’t made available their older works):

Even Collier’s Publishing has gotten in on the act:

Sometimes reprints are available:

Many Mormon Publishers are not yet participating. However, if you are lucky, Google may have digitized something you want in one of their library sweeps. These items are very limited in what they show you, however, they are still technically searchable:

Like I said, amazing.


  1. So much information… little time.

    Thanks for the links.

    Comment by Eric Nielson — 4/3/2007 @ 4:13 pm

  2. Yea, this is really cool. Thanks for the heads up on some of the stuff that is now available. I can’t wait until everything in the world is google searchable.

    Comment by Jacob J — 4/3/2007 @ 5:00 pm

  3. Thanks, J. I’ve been looking through the Manuscript History of BY, 1847-50. The one complaint I have is that Google is too literal with their “snippets.”. No need to obscure a line of text with “ripped” digital paper.

    Comment by Justin — 4/3/2007 @ 5:45 pm

  4. Yeah, they do that on the copyrighted material, where the Publisher doesn’t furnish the material. While the Watson Manuscript History does have the ripped excerps, the Collier’s Publishing version gives full pages.

    Comment by J. Stapley — 4/3/2007 @ 6:29 pm

  5. I’ve been reading many of the comments regarding the blessing of children within the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and personally, I feel that it is important that we keep in mind that there is a separation or difference as to “policy” versus “doctrine.”

    Many of the items that have been discussed here have to do with policy, which can change as the church grows and as the leadership deems it necessary to do so. We have read some of the different changes in many of the comments here from different people and of the leaders.

    What doesn’t change however is the authority to administer in the ordinaces of the Lord. That is always the same. Whether-or-not a woman has participated in the past in ordinances is only relevant until the policy is changed. When that happens it is definitive as to policy and has nothing to do with doctrine or authority, either one.

    Comment by Craig — 4/4/2007 @ 2:13 pm

  6. …Craig, I’m not sure what you are talking about. This is a post on Google Books.

    Comment by J. Stapley — 4/4/2007 @ 2:16 pm

  7. don’t forget that other 19th century contextualizations are also available, stuff like Buck’s Dictionary and Priest’s American Antiquities and a variety of magazines from the early 19th century. GB is a Godsend.

    Comment by smb — 4/10/2007 @ 3:41 pm

  8. Agreed, smb. It is a bounty.

    Comment by J. Stapley — 4/10/2007 @ 6:08 pm

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