The University of Michigan gives search tips for Google Books:
There is no, single “right” way to find the needed year or volume number. There are some general tips, though, to try to tease this information out of Google Book Search. All of these tips should be used in the Search in this book search box:
• Search for the title of the journal. Sometimes this will show you a snippet that includes a running header that will contain a year or a volume number.
• Search for the words “volume” and “issue”.
• Search for the word “subscriptions”. Many times, journals will have a subscription information section that will include the pricing for the current year (and it will tell you which year is the ‘current’ year).
• After trying these three options, you may have a feel for the time period, but perhaps not an exact year. If you have been seeing dates hovering around the 1950’s, try searching for years, like “1956”, and “1957”. Chances are, if you have results for “1956”, but no results for “1957”, the issue you are looking at is probably from 1956 or 1955.
Once you’ve got the volume and issue number, you’ll likely still need to know the page numbers of the full article you’re looking for. Contact a library that has this title and ask if you can get the page numbers of the article you’re interested in, then use your local library’s interlibrary loan department if an issue isn’t near to where you are.
I can add the following tips:
– Try to find “Tables of content” (TOC) of the journal online.
– There are often “Key words and phrases” Google presents. This might be useless to represent the content of the volume but this keywords are often taken from the TOC. You can compare them with an online-TOC or quotations of articles found via Google or Google Scholar.
– You can make the same with the “sections” content Google gives.
– Use “Jahrgang” or “Band” when searching journals in German (Sample)
– If there are “other editions” look at the dates. If the dates are differing it might be that the Google’s publication date “Published” is right. (But it also might be it is wrong …)
An example for identifying the volume:
1972 is evidently wrong, because by searching the volume “Alterthumskunde” appears often. It must be an XIXth century volume:
Searching for “jahrgang” doesn’t help.
Searching for “band” gives the hypothesis that it might volume 6.
The TOC is online at:
Some tests with words taken from the keywords and sections (aesculap, limpurg …) were failing. If one takes “inschriften” from the online-TOC: bingo! It is volume 6, 1859/60:
It often takes long time to find the right issue.
Unfortunately, “as opposed to other countries, in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, typesetting in Fraktur was very common still in the early 20th century” (Wikipedia). If there are right recognized words in Fraktur journals it is very hard or impossible to find out the volume as described!
Here is another example for English speaking readers:
Google: “Published 1926”.
The search for subscription (or copyright) allows the hypothesis that it is Speculum 36, 1961.
A Google search for Speculum 36 1961:
If you search inside the book for Johnson you can find a snippet from the journal’s TOC:
Now it is easy to proof that the volume is indeed 36, 1961.