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Rutgers University Libraries

Finding Archival Collections and Primary Documents: Finding Digitized Books

What's Available Online?

For a book to be legally digitized and available online, either the holder of the copyright has to give permission for the digitization, or the book needs to be in the public domain. In the U.S., books in the public domain are usually those that were published prior to 1923, although under certain limited conditions later works may also be in the public domain. Books that are freely available online will be those that are in the public domain.

Online Books

Hathi Trust
The HathiTrust Digital Library includes millions of books, government publications, dissertations, journals, and other published and unpublished materials. Created by a partnership of academic and research institutions, the Library offers materials digitized from collections in libraries around the world. Titles published prior to 1923 and those that are open access or Creative Commons-licensed are available full-text. Other materials include limited-access searching.
Google Books
The Google Books database now includes over 25 million scanned books. In addtion to the full-text of the books in the public domain, for many titles Google allows you to view snippets or selected pages from books still under copyright.
Internet Archive
Search the "Texts" files for specific titles or books on particular subjects.