Knowing your EBL from your ebrary: guide to ebooks

EBL, Ebrary and EBSCOhost e-books logos

Are you struggling to find our ebooks in SOLO? Do you want to learn how best to use ebooks?

Read here about LibGuide on Ebooks, which ebook collections are available and where you can sign up for eBooks courses.

Bodleian Libraries provide access to thousands of online books across many subjects. We have subscriptions to modern monographs as well as early printed books.

> Overview of ebook collections in Oxford.

To help our readers find the ebooks and make best of them, a new LibGuide on eBooks has now been published at

Use the guide to learn more about:

  • the different ebook providers and how their “loan” policies differ.
  • which devices are compatible with different formats. This is useful if you are thinking of buying an ebook reader.

ebook LibGuide screenshotMultidisciplinary ebook packages

eBook Collection (EBSCOhost) – Currently Oxford Libraries have over 2100 purchased e-books across all subjects (‘Our Collection’) plus more than 3000 free e-books.
Access to each e-book is normally limited to two simultaneous users.

E Book Library (EBL) – a growing collection of e-books from major academic publishers worldwide in humanities, science and medicine and social studies. The collection also provides 5 minutes free browse to over 200,000 “non-owned” books in the collection, with the option to send purchase requests to library staff.

Ebrary Academic Complete – a collection of around 110,000 e-books from over 500 academic publishers. University members may also download books for 14 day loans (loan limit of 10).

University Press Scholarship Online – 16,000+ titles in 28 subject areas, from Oxford and 17 other leading scholarly presses, e.g. British Academy, Chicago UP, Edinburgh UP, Liverpool UP, Stanford UP, Yale UP, University of California UP, etc.


Early printed books

Free online books

Google Books Millions of books digitised by Google.  Many only available in Snippet View. Be careful you know what exactly you are looking at. Describing multivolume works or different editions is not Google’s strength.

Internet Archive  ( Giant digital library of 1.8 million texts. Excellent also for digitised European books, esp. of the 19th century.

Project Gutenberg “Download over 30,000 free ebooks to read on your PC, Kindle, Sony Reader, iPhone or other device. Project Gutenberg is the first and largest single collection of free ebooks.”

Need more help? Sign up for the Bodleian iSkills course on ebooks

iSkills: e-Books

Date: 21 Nov (wk 6), 9:15-10:30

An overview of academic e-books looking at what is currently available in e-format, how to find and access e-books and how to make the most of e-book functionality. Who is this session for? All members of Oxford University and other Bodleian Libraries readers. Book now.

Location: IT Services Help Centre, 13 Banbury Road
Presenter: Hilla Wait, Jo Gardner

iSkills: e-Book Readers

Date: 21 Nov (wk 6), 10:45-12:15

How useful are e-book readers in academic work? Can they be used for accessing library materials? What are the features to look out for when considering purchase? These and similar questions will be considered with reference to the i-Pad, the Amazon Kindle and Sony Touch e-readers and smart phones. Who is this session for? All members of Oxford University and other Bodleian Libraries readers. Book now.

Location: IT Services Help Centre, 13 Banbury Road
Presenters: Hilla Wait, Ian Chilvers

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