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Theology & Religion: Postgraduate Studies: Google Books

Welcome to the guide for postgraduate research support. It is a mini-website that offers resources and library services for postgraduate students. Please evaluate material on web sites critical and use peer reviewed, scholarly information.

Google Books

Google Books is Google's project to digitize the world's books and make them available online. The books primarily come from two sources: publishers and academic libraries. You won't find the last fiction bestsellers in Google Books, but you will find a lot of books that are appropriate for your research on just about any topic.

Google uses four access levels for books: full view, limited preview, snippet view, and no preview.

Searching & Viewing results

Google Books works just like Google's regular web search, including the use of quotation marks for 'exact phrases' (=words immediately next to each other) .

When Google finds a book with content that contains a match for your search terms, it will link to it in your search results. By clicking on the book title link, you're taken directly to the 'Preview this book' or 'Read this Book' page. This is where you can search the full text of a book and read selected passages (or, if you're lucky, the entire book). From the 'About this book' section , you can read a summary of the book and browse the table of contents. 

How to use Google Books

Google Books can be a useful resource because it allows you to search the full text of millions of scanned books -- something that's not possible in a regular library catalog. With Google Books you can easily determine whether a book comprises the information you're looking for. Have you found a useful book that Google Books doesn't offer in full view? To find out if the university library has a copy of the book, do a title search in the University of Pretoria catalog