Printed or digital editions of books that are under copyright must be purchased or borrowed; you will not be able to read them online for free. However, you can do some pretty impressive online searching, even in copyrighted books, before you buy or borrow. A few minutes on the computer can help you to zero in on the titles that will best suit your research. Here are a few resources that can help.
Even though many contemporary research resources are copyright-protected, you can often study its table of contents and index, and perform a keyword search of the contents, using Google Books.
When searching for a topic, remember to be as specific as possible, or you’ll end up with too many hits. For example, if you’re searching for a particular family, include at least one other term, such as a place or an occupation, to narrow your search (e.g. "Eves wolfe island"). Once you've found a resource that appears relavent, you can explore the content and refine or change your initial search terms.
You won’t be able to read the whole book this way, but it’s a great way to decide whether you want to pursue it. If you do, you can try to find it at the Kingston Frontenac Public Library or Other Local Collections.
WorldCat is a gigantic library catalogue, in which you will find almost any book you can think of, from the most popular title to the most obscure family history.
When you find the book you want, enter your postal code and WorldCat will tell you the name of the closest participating library that holds that item.
WorldCat also includes a handy source citation tool. You can look up a book, click the cite/export link on the top toolbar, and choose a citation format (e.g. MLA, Chicago, Turabian, etc.). You can then cut and paste the citation into your own document.
In January 2013, FamilySearch announced that its massive genealogical library has formed a new partnership with WorldCat. This means that genealogists and historical researchers will soon be able to search this huge collection from within WorldCat. Read more about this in OCLC's press release.
Canadian History Reference Works
For many years, the reference sections of many libraries—including KFPL—have been filled with multi-volume tomes on Canadian history. These days, you can have access to your very own Canadian reference collection, containing thousands of books, from your home computer. Follow the links below to start your research today.
Dictionary of Canadian Biography
Early Canadiana Online
This site includes a subscription-only collection, but it also provides free access to thousands of interesting historical books, for which you don't need to register.
The Canadian Encyclopedia
Read more about The Canadian Encylopedia.