Tag Archives: Project Gutenberg

Project Gutenberg & Genealogy

Project Gutenberg has been around for a very long time – since 1971! It’s a volunteer effort to digitize and archive cultural works, as well as to “encourage the creation and distribution of eBooks” and is the world’s oldest digital library.

I have to admit that, while I’ve occasionally browsed Project Gutenberg, it has never been one of my first digital choices to find books and genealogically related materials.

I decided it was time to take another, closer look at this digital book repository.

As can be seen by this screen shot of the home page, there are many types of books available in more than one language. What they have in common is that they were published by 1927 and are now out of U.S. copyright protection.

Searching by a generalized category like “genealogy” definitely isn’t the most efficient way to browse the collections. My search produced this page:

The only apparent family history publication is found at the very bottom of the second column – the Horton Genealogy by George Horton. However, by chance, I stumbled upon a gem – The New England Historic Genealogical Register, at least the first three volumes.

There is an advanced search option:

I came across a genealogy of the Stephens family, who settled in Berks County, Pennsylvania in the 1700s.

I really like the size of the book page taking up most of the screen. It makes reading very easy:

I have to be honest and admit that Project Gutenberg isn’t terribly oriented towards genealogy materials. However, the website is free, it is very easy to use if searching for book titles and is on my list of resources to check if I can’t find an out-of-copyright book elsewhere.