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:
- Daniel P. Kidder, Mormonism and the Mormons, (New York: G. Lane & P. P. Sandford, 1842).
- Henry Caswall, The City of the Mormons; or, Three Days in Nauvoo, in 1842, (London: J. G. F. & J. Rivinton, 1842).
- Hubert Howe Bancroft, History of Utah, 1540-1886, (San Francisco: The History Company, Publishers, 1889).
- Hannah Cornaby, Autobiography and Poems, (Salt Lake City: J. C. Graham & Co., 1881).
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:
- Jan Shipps and John W. Welch, eds., The Journals of William E. McLellin, 1831-1836, (Provo, Urbana and Chicago: BYU Studies and University of Illinois Press, 1994).
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):
- Kathleen Flake, The Politics of American Religious Identity: The Seating of Senator Reed Smoot, Mormon Apostle, (Not at home so can’t check: University of North Carolina Press, 2004).
- Gregory A. Prince and Wm. Robert Wright, David O. McKay and the Rise of Modern Mormonism, (Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 2005).
Even Collier’s Publishing has gotten in on the act:
- Fred C. Collier and William S. Harwell, eds., Kirtland Council Minute Book, (Hannah: Collier’s Publishing Co., 2002).
- Fred C. Collier, ed., The Nauvoo High Council Minute Book, (Hannah: Collier’s Publishing Co., 2005).
Sometimes reprints are available:
- George Albert Smith, ed., Correspondence of Palestine Tourists Comprising a Series of Letters, (1875; reprint ed., New York: Arno Press, 1977).
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:
- Juanita Brooks, ed., On the Mormon Frontier: The Diary of Hosea Stout, 1844-1861, (Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 1964).
- Leonard James Arrington, Charles C. Rich, Mormon General and Western Frontiersman, (Provo: Brigham Young University Press, 1974).
- Dean Jesse, ed., Letters of Brigham Young to His Sons, (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Company, 1974).
Like I said, amazing.