A Google Book Search™ of a Book on Your Shelf

Google’s Book Search™ offers a way to find things in a book on a shelf near you.

To find which pages in Boatner’s Encyclopedia of the American Revolution contain a mention of, say, William R. Davie,

  1. go to the Google Advanced Book Search™ website
  2. enter boatner in the “Author:” box
  3. enter davie (or whatever you are looking for) in the “with exact phrase” box, or however you’d like to set up the query.
  4. click on “Google Search”
  5. click on [More results from this book]. This is where you find what you want to know.

You will be rewarded with a list of the 10 locations in Boatner’s Encyclopedia…where Davie’s name is mentioned. Since this is a copyrighted book, you will be shown little or nothing of what appears on those pages, but if you have the book on your shelves, as many of us do, all you have to do is pull it down and turn to the listed pages.


This will also work with other search terms and with some (not all) other authors. You can also do this by entering the author's name without a search term. Working with authors of books in my vicinity, I found it to work for these authors:

  • John Alden
  • Babits
  • Jeremy Black (numberous books, some relevant, but not War for America)
  • Borick
  • Don Cook (Long Fuse)
  • Dann
  • Burke Davis
  • Edgar (two books)
  • John W Gordon
  • William T Graves (you can use this to find out how often James Williams name appears compared to that of William Hill!)
  • Patrick Griffin (The People with No Name: Ireland's Ulster Scots, America's Scots Irish, and the Creation of a British Atlantic World, 1689-1764 and another for different period)
  • Christopher Hibbert (George III: A Personal History, also Redcoats and Rebels: The American Revolution Through British Eyes and 9 others of no interest to me)
  • Higginbotham (Daniel Morgan)
  • Walter Isaacson (Benjamin Franklin)
  • Henry Lee (!)
  • Benjamin W Labaree (America's Nation-Time, 1607-1789)
  • Leyburn (Scotch-Irish)
  • Mackesy (War for America)!
  • Morison (6 books, all non-Rev. War)
  • Benjamin Quarles
  • Hugh F. Rankin (Rebels and Redcoats)
  • George F Scheer (Rebels and Redcoats)
  • Elswyth Thane (The Family Quarrel: A Journey Through the Years of the Revolution)
  • Woodmason


This will also work with book titles, e.g,

  • Rebels and Redcoats (using a search term, gives pages, if any, in both books with this title)

search tools
and numerous items somehow relevant to the Southern Campaign found with such can be found on the
Online Library of the Southern Campaign of the American Revolution

~ John Robertson