Google Books corpora, an alternative search interface for Google Books…

This new interface for Google Books allows you to search more than 200 billion words [though it is] not an official product of Google or Google Books. Rather it was created by Mark Davies, Professor of Linguistics at Brigham Young University…”

A Google link: search suggests it’s had some notice from the field of linguistics, but not from outside. For non-linguists the tool seems to serve as a rather useful way of quickly bouncing a Google Books search through to a specific decade, without spending a minute fiddling around with the custom range date fields in the small Google Books date drop-down box. The tool may be especially useful for those who need to do this sort of Google Books search many times for many different decades.

As a test I looked for the phrase “a whit” (as in “not a whit of it” and “He had not changed a whit”), and then clicked on the link to occurrences from the period 1900-1910. I was taken to the book results on Google Books, and saw that the custom date range was automatically constrained to 1 Jan 1900 – 31 Dec 1909. There was some confusion by Google with “a Whit-sunday”, but finessing the search terms would have probably fixed that.