Finding Sources of Good Used Books.

Sources of Genealogical Research Books.

So you’ve been doing the bulk of your genealogical research on-line now right?

You have ready access to images and indexes of census returns, historical documents, maps, huge databases of linked individuals and enough digitized bits and bytes to choke a USB port.

Well don’t forget the OLD methods of research.
There are still a lot of treasures to be dug out of BOOKS! You remember books right?

Some of the best finds that this writer has made through the years is by haunting the lawn and garage sales, thrift stores, used book stores, and the book sales of libraries and historical societies. It’s a win-win situation. The seller is getting rid of items that they no longer need or have a use for, and the buyer gets to rescue a treasure trove of information. They make a little money for the treasury and you have a new friend to explore.

Re-cycling is not only the key here, the fact is, that some of these books were printed in very small quantities and may be considered rare! That does not mean they are necessarily worth a fortune, just that they are hard to come by. Last summer at a genealogical society sale for about $20, I found a set of the Centennial Directory of Patriot Ancestors published by the DAR. OK, so there is a new volume out, but that does not mean all of the information in the previous edition is obsolete.

In Saratoga at the library book sale last year I bought for two dollars, a copy of Guzik’s masterpiece on researching in the New York City areas.

Once at a house sale a friend of mine purchased a copy of Smith’s Syracuse and It’s Surroundings for $35. That book is SO RARE! It was only printed in 200 copies and had actual stereoscopic photo images in it of the 1870′s in Syracuse, NY. This book has a fold out viewer built into the binding so that you can see the images in 3-D, and it now sells in the multi-thousands of dollars, if you can ever find one that is. Oh yes, my good buddy Charlie said, “You will appreciate this more than me, give me the thirty five bucks.”

If you have been a regular reader of this Blog or of the unyg website, you will remember that we have promoted various companies where you may find used historical and genealogical reference books that are available for sale. A couple of these vendors are now advertisers on our websites, those being and You can have confidence in these companies, however do not overlook the chances of finding some goodies on ebay, cragislist, Barnes and Noble, Sam Weller Books, and many other fine companies, oh and ask at your favorite library when their annual sale is going to be.

Here in Upstate New York we have had a spring thaw recently, but there is plenty of winter still to come, so pull a tome off the shelf and enjoy. Some of my best friends are books.


3 Responses to “Finding Sources of Good Used Books.”

  • Rachel Jagareski, Old Saratoga Books:

    Just discovered your interesting blog. Thanks for letting upstate New York readers know about how useful used bookstores can be for reasonably priced historical material. We would welcome browsers to our large New York history section at Old Saratoga Books, 94 Broad Street, Schuylerville, New York. Our website, has directions and a web page, Booking Around, that also recommends other used bookstore colleagues with a great selection of books. Happy Hunting!

    -Rachel, Old Saratoga Books

  • unyg:


    That is such great news! I’m going to try to get there next week. I’m going to put a link on our website also. Funny thing, just today there was someone asking on one of the mail lists where they could find a used book store near Saratoga. I’ll let them know. unyg.

  • False Nails:

    there are mnay used books online and the price is cheap too but i wonder if the quality of it is good ~”*

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