04 July 2008

Questia: 15 free books online

Questia claims to be the world's largest online library of copyright-cleared books, with over 67,000 full-text books, 1.5 million articles, and a reference set complete with dictionary, encyclopedia, and thesaurus.

More than an online library, a subscription also includes "digital productivity tools for highlighting text, taking notes, and generating footnotes and bibliographies in seven different styles."

The company has made more than 5,000 public domain books available for free to read online; click here for the index.

Readers can sign up for the Questia Reading Room and receive email updates every other month featuring 15 books to read online for free.

This month, I found Visual Culture and Tourism edited by David Crouch and Nina Lubbren (Berg, 2003. 289 pgs.) and Reframing Pilgrimages: Cultures in Motion, edited by Simon Coleman and John Eade (Routledge, 2004. 199 pgs.) . Each offers insight for genealogists and family historians.

The first book has a chapter titled "Holocaust Tourism: Being There, Looking Back and the Ethics of Spatial Memory," and numerous other interesting chapters, while the second volume also offers relevant insights into family history.

Questia's research tools allow you to highlight, take notes, bookmark and even create instant citations and bibliographies - but only if you have a subscription.

Subscriptions include a single collection or the entire collection at a monthly fee. The cost to access one collection is $7.95 per month (choose from Psychology, Literature, History, Education, Philosophy or Religious Studies), while access to all is $14.95 per month.

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