A Plea for Help: The Official Records and Southern Historical Society Papers at Google Books

by Brett Schulte on April 14, 2010 · 10 comments

Editor’s Note: This post is crossposted at Beyond the Crater: The Petersburg Campaign Online.

I need to some help from TOCWOC and Beyond the Crater readers, all knowledgeable students of the Civil War.  I post articles from quite a few sources at Beyond the Crater, including Battles and Leaders, the MOLLUS War Papers, Papers of the Military Historical Society of Massachusetts, the Southern Historical Society Papers, and the Official Records.

Hard copies of these sources are used to double check and proofread the articles I post at Beyond the Crater.  I typically use OCR software or copy and paste the content from online versions of these primary sources.  I have hard copies or PDFs of the first three primary sources, but the Southern Historical Society Papers and Official Records are troubling me a bit.  Specifically, I’m looking for the following volumes of each at Google Books.  If you know where these volumes exist as fully reabale books, I would appreciate it if you add the links in the comments section below.

Official Records:

  • Volume XL, Part 2 (Correspondence)
  • Volume XL, Part 3 (Correspondence)
  • Volume XLII, Part 2 (Correspondence)
  • Volume XLII, Part 3 (Correspondence)
  • Volume XLVI, Part 1 (Reports)
  • Volume XLVI, Part 2 (Correspondence)
  • Volume XLVI, Part 3 (Correspondence)

Southern Historical Society Papers:

  • Volumes 1-7
  • Volumes 10-12
  • Volumes 19-20
  • Volumes 23-26
  • Volumes 29-36
  • Volumes 39-52 (i.e. the “New Series”)

If anyone knows where I can find these volumes at Google Books I would greatly appreciate it if you could provide me the links in the comments section below.   Thanks to all of my loyal and intelligent readers.  Your interaction at both of my sites has taught me quite a bit over the last few years.

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Jim Miller April 14, 2010 at 8:01 pm

Brett, I was only able to find 8 volumes of the Southern Historical Society Papers on Google Books… Volumes: 8, 9, 13, 15, 17, 21, 27 & 37. I’ve put links to those volumes on the Resourses page on Civil War Notebook under Books, General Reference. Here’s the link: http://civilwarnotebook.blogspot.com/p/resources.html


admin April 15, 2010 at 7:56 am

Thanks for the help Jim!


Jane Johansson April 15, 2010 at 7:47 pm

I don’t know if this will be helpful to you or not, but Cornell University has digitized both the Army and Navy Official Records, and they are available for viewing through their “Making of America” website. Access is free and you can search the sets as well as go to a specific volume and page number. The link for the Army and Navy sets is:


admin April 15, 2010 at 8:14 pm


I had a few people email me privately about the Cornell MOA site. That’s a great resource and one I had forgotten about since I last used it in 2004 or so. That will fit my needs perfectly, so I’m not concerned about the ORs any longer. The Southern Historical Society Papers are still proving to be somewhat elusive, as are a few volumes of the MOLLUS War Papers given as presentations at various state MOLLUS meetings over the years after the war.



Gil R. April 26, 2010 at 3:53 am

Since I’m at a research university I checked the online catalog and saw that SHSP is online through vol. 28 at the website of a company called ProQuest (http://proquest.umi.com). For those of us at university that subscribe to ProQuest’s services access is free, but you’d almost certainly need to pay. I just checked vol. 28 to see what it’s like, and every article is there as a .pdf. (I was able to download one that I have been meaning to find, and it seems to be a direct scan and is thus unsearchable. Still, quite a resource. I’d be happy to send you some articles that you need.


Gil R. April 26, 2010 at 3:56 am

Oh, sorry, that URL doesn’t work. It’s http://www.proquest.com/en-US/products/brands/pl_umi.shtml

And evidently my grammar wasn’t working in that second sentence…


admin April 26, 2010 at 7:49 pm


Thanks for the link to ProQuest and confirming that the Proquest SHSP volumes are image replicas of pages (which I want) rather than (sometimes badly) OCRed text. I don’t have the extra money right now for a ProQuest subscription, so I might just have to take you up on the offer to send me a few articles now and then.



Gil R. April 26, 2010 at 9:53 pm

To be honest, I’m not sure what they are, exactly. After reading the article on Williamsburg that I was looking for (which was after posting here) I used their search function to find other articles about the battle, and when I’d click on the links that the search provided the word “Williamsburg” would be highlighted. So it looks to me like very good OCR that maintains the look of the original. My guess is that they used magic to achieve this.


fred hickey August 3, 2010 at 8:56 am

I have the hard bound 52 vol. set of SHSP. Excellent shape. I am looking to sell.


Jessie Sutherland February 11, 2014 at 1:57 pm

I have Volume 36 in my possession published in 1908


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