Boy did I make a mistake!
Finding books: rare books, originals, reprints, print to order, new and used book vendors, digitized on-line, etc., etc.
I just helped a man locate a reprint of a rare book that he had previously looked at in
Don’t give up. If the book was ever published, even if it is considered rare, there is still a possibility that you can find a working copy for a non-exorbitant price, or maybe even free or for a nominal subscription price on-line.
If I wanted to purchase my own copy to use at will then the first place I would look is the major on-line vendors such as:
www.abebooks.com (17,000 booksellers, with 7 million books for sale)
www.amazon.com (millions of new and used books for sale, ‘and everything else too’)
www.bookfinder.com (“Over 100 million new, used, rare, and out of print books at your fingertips.”)
www.barnesandnoble.com (millions of new, used & rare books available.)
Note that several of the vendors will cross post the same book in more than one search site, but then again many are unique to just one search site.
www.ebay.com , good books may be found at both the auction site and the eBay on-line stores at fixed prices.
www.samwellers.com/ . Sam Weller’s Zion Bookshop in
www.genealogical.com – Genealogical Publishing Company. Huge assortment of NYS material.
www.kinshipny.com – Very NYS specific.
www.higginsonbooks.com – This Company has many NYS titles available and they are a major publisher of books on demand. They will print your book upon receipt of order.
www.hopefarm.com is a bookshop that will most likely have what you need, especially if you are doing research in the Eastern parts of NY. They advertise that they have 300+ genealogical titles in stock.
http://www.nyhistory.com/links/books.htm - is a site that will help locate books on New York State History.
There are more search sites. Use you imagination and search through any of the normal search engines for author and title, etc., and you might just find one lonely old copy sitting on the shelf of a lone antiques dealer or used bookshop that never lists with any major book vendor. See my website www.ny-genes.com also for various search engine recommendations.
There are also booksellers that specialize in certain categories and they might not be listed in the major vendor search engines above. You will have to go hunting a little on the web to locate them. In the case above the man was looking for a Civil War Regimental History, so I looked under that category of vendors and found one that had the right book, a reprint at about 50 bucks. Not a bad deal.
If you know the publisher of a specific book you want then I would go directly to their own website and see if it is still in print or reprinted or whatever.
There are now beginning to be many sources on the Internet that you might find a copy published in the digitized text format, or perhaps just scanned photo images. The most recent exciting news to me was in my blog ( http://ny-genes.blogspot.com/ ) of a couple of days ago regarding the fact that LDS in conjunction with BYU have about 6,000 or so Family Histories / Genealogies on the BYU Library servers that are fully all word searchable.
If you have a subscription to Heritage Quest directly or through another portal such as: www.godfrey.org – The Godfrey Library, or www.newyorkfamilyhistory.org/ - The New York Genealogical and Biographical Society (NYG&B), or www.newenglandancestors.org/ -
The New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) (or otherwise affectionately known as the “histgen” by the regulars,) or even your local library, perhaps accessible at no charge though just the use of your library card, then you will see that HeritageQuest / ProQuest have about 25,000 family and local histories digitized and ready for your use at any time day or night.
www.hti.umich.edu/m/micounty/ - Michigan County Histories are in my “Favorite Links” on my website. Many “Yorkers” went to
http://cdl.library.cornell.edu/ - Cornell University Digital Library. There are many different categories of digitized books available but a couple of very important collections of benefit to us may be found in their “Making of America” series, with over 100,000 journal articles with 19th century imprints, and their “New York State Historical” series with 691 monographs and pamphlets. Their on-line collection is enormous as well in many other categories also.
These are certainly not all of the on-line sources to check. If you have specific location, or certain ethnic quests, then include your subject in your search engine request.
I LOVE to get feedback, so if you want to add to this list or make any corrections, please contact me through email and I will give an update.