September 9, 2011

Fun with Google Books

Hospital Scenes, a book published by the
Patriot Daughters of Lancaster in 1864
recounting their aid trip to Gettysburg.
The book was sold as a fundraiser.  Original
copies today have sold for over $1,000.
An advantage to studying the Civil War is that essentially all primary sources are part of the public domain, which basically means copyright has expired and the works are available for use by anyone.  Since this includes books published before 1922, it is now possible through Google Books to view and download many books relevant to the 79th Pennsylvania and Lancaster County in the nineteenth century.

Additionally, Google provides full-text searchability which makes research queries possible that probably couldn't have been dreamed of ten years ago.  For instance, by typing in "Henry A. Hambright" and setting a couple search parameters, I can see just about every time the regiment's colonel has appeared in print.

I have begun assembling my own small virtual bookshelf of public domain books related to this blog, so I invite you to check them out here: Google Books: Lancaster at War.

Titles include:

Boyd's Lancaster county business directory ...
William Henry Boyd - 1859 - Reference - Full view
Still's underground rail road records: with a life of the author...
William Still - 1886 - History - Full view
Pennsylvania at Chickamauga and Chattanooga: Ceremonies at the dedication of ...
Pennsylvania. Chickamauga-Chattanooga Battlefields Commission - 1897 - History -
A biographical history of Lancaster County ...: being a history of early ...
Alexander Harris - 1872 - Full view
John and Mary: or, The fugitive slaves. A tale of south-eastern Pennsylvania
Ellwood Griest - 1873 - Full view

An authentic history of Lancaster County: in the state of Pennsylvania
Jacob Isidor Mombert - 1869 - Full view

Hospital scenes after the battle of Gettysburg, July, 1863
Patriot Daughters of Lancaster (Pa.) - 1864 - Full view
History of the Pennsylvania Reserve Corps: a complete record of the ...
1865 - History - Full view

An authentic history of Lancaster County: in the state of ...
Jacob Isidor Mombert - 1869 - Full view

1 comment:

  1. A note to myself for future reference: the author of Hospital Scenes is Martha Ehler, according to:
    "The Patriot Daughters Of Lancaster, Hospital Scenes After the Battle of Gettysburg (Philadelphia: 1864), pp. 54-57. The original book printed in a limited edition did not make mention of the authors name. This has led to confusion over the years as to her identity. An Obituary notice in the Star & Sentinel for July 22, 1875 makes it clear however, that Martha A. Ehler was the author."