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How do I access e-books (electronic books)?

Links to electronic books are available in the online catalog, an index to the materials owned by this library. Search for the title you want or search by subject or keyword, and electronic books will appear in the result list if they are available. Look for E BOOK in the Format column.

To limit your search only to electronic books:

  • Choose an author, title, subject, or keyword search and use the drop-down menu next to the submit button to choose "E book"
  • Do any search, and then use the Limit button or the Modify Search button to limit the Material Type to E BOOK
  • Start with an Advanced Search, and limit the Material type to E BOOK after entering your search terms

The library subscribes to the ACLS Humanities E-Book Project. These titles are also accessible through the Boyden Library Online Catalog.

Additional ebooks are available in the catalog through a service called NetLibrary. It provides the full text of electronic books on a wide variety of subjects including business, computers, consumer health, careers, travel, and literature.

Contact a Reference Librarian at (413) 774-1510 with questions about remote access or how to use NetLibrary. NetLibrary is a subscription service available free to all libraries in Massachusetts through the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners.

Free Electronic Books on the Internet

  • Bartleby.com
    Includes poetry, prose, reference books, and more
  • Project Gutenberg
    Oldest producer of free electronic books on the Internet--includes over 20,000 free ebooks
  • Google Book Search
    Partners include Cornell, Harvard, Stanford, Princeton, Oxford U., New York Public Library, U. of Michigan, U. of Virginia, U. of Wisconsin-Madison, and more
  • Online Books Page (U. of Pennsylvania)
    Includes over 30,000 English works
  • Making of America (U. of Michigan)
    Digital library of over 8,000 primary sources in American Social History
  • Oxford Text Archive
    High quality, well documented electronic texts in various languages
  • Universal Digital Library
    "The mission is to create a Universal Library which will foster creativity and free access to all human knowledge." Includes books in a variety of languages, including Chinese and Arabic.
  • World eBook Library
    Free access to thousands of online texts in all subjects--some materials require a fee, so use Interlibrary Loan instead--includes audiobooks
  • Internet Archive
    "Founded to build an Internet library, with the purpose of offering permanent access for researchers, historians, and scholars to historical collections that exist in digital format."
  • Perseus Digital Library (Tufts U.)
    Includes digital sources in the humanities (classics, English renaissance, etc.)
  • American Verse Project (U. of Michigan)
    American poetry prior to 1920
  • International Children's Digital Library
    A digital library of outstanding children's books from around the world
  • MBooks: Michigan Digitization Project
    "The University of Michigan and Google, Inc. have entered into a partnership to digitize the entire print collection of the University Library."
  • Illinois Harvest
    "A free public gateway . . . providing organized and thematic access to digitized and born-digital resources about Illinois, created by Illinois scholars, or included among the digital collections of The University of Illinois Library"--digitized books

Directories of E-Book Collections

  • Electronic Books (U. of Texas at Austin)
    Directory of links for electronic books
  • Online Texts (ipl2 - Drexel University)
    Directory of links for electronic books