Tips for locating digital resources & ebooks

[This blog post will be periodically updated. Check regularly for new updates.]

Whilst libraries are closed in amidst the COVID-19 crisis, here are some tips for finding digital resources and ebooks:

  1. Search SOLO. We have 118,000 eJournals and 1.49 million eBooks available for use 24/7. Lots of them will be for History. Many publishers have allowed free or improved access to ebooks during this emergency period. A full listing is available on the ebooks LibGuide and is being updated as new resources are added.
  2. Looking for relevant journal articles? Use bibliographical databases such as Historical Abstracts, Bibliography of British and Irish History, International Medieval Bibliography. > more
  3. Check out Databases A-Z for hundreds of databases, mostly full-text source materials, including early printed ebooks. Keep an eye on the New / Trial Databases section of the A-Z page for the most recent resources being made available. LibGuides for your subject can also be useful in highlighting key resources.
  4. Search the Internet Archive for digitised largely 19th century publications. Google Books or Gutenberg Project can also help.
  5. Search the National Emergency Library to borrow any of the 1.5 million digitised 20th century books. > more about this.
  6. Search ORA (Oxford’s institutional repository). List of UK HE institutional repositories.
  7. If you can’t find a book available as an e-book, then we may be able to purchase one, if it’s available. Complete the book recommendation form.
  8. Check out the LibGuide for details of our online newpaper resources.
  9. Digital Libraries, e.g. Digital.Bodleian with over 900,000 images of c 16,000 archival and rare books items. Also Europeana, DPLA (US), Gallica (France), DDB (Germany).
  10. Check the HFL Diigo for access to 1000+ history free web resources.
  11. Box of Broadcasts is a huge archive of off-air recordings from television and radio, which you can access via the Databases A-Z platform.

Besides the large collection of online book and article material, there are other resources you can use:

  1. Book reviews, for grasping the content of inaccessible books. You can find a selection of these on SOLO (use the Resource type facet on the left-hand menu and select Reviews), Reviews in History and scholarly sites such as H-NET.
  2. Publishers’ websites can also sometimes be helpful for more recently published material.
  3. Google a book or book chapter in case it is available in another University’s institutional repository or on the social media site of the author.
  4. Digitised theses which were later published as books. SOLO will list any digitised Oxford theses. Otherwise try ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global (SSO required) and ETHos.
  5. Google other items to find extracts, chat, reviews, etc.

This is a growing list of resources and will be updated as new information becomes available. Thanks go to the History Faculty for providing many of these tips.


This is a growing list of resources and will be update as new information becomes available. Thanks go to the History Faculty for contributing to this list of tips.

Above all, please don’t hesitate to contact library staff. We are very busy but we are here to help you in this difficult time. Here is how you can get in touch with us:

Please look after yourselves and stay safe.

While you are here…

Tips on citing eresources

… Miss the library? Listen to the Soothing Sounds of the RadCam

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