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Lehigh University Libraries - Library Guides

eBooks: Other Collections

Other Lehigh eBook collections

Other Library collections

Lehigh's databases offer access to the full text of other electronically available books, primarily reference materials.

  • Oxford Reference - Includes encyclopedias and dictionaries for 100+ subject areas. 
  • Oxford English Dictionary - The definitive English dictionary, the OED includes not just contemporary definitions of words, but their history as well. 

Digitized archival/historical texts

Lehigh also has many different digitized collections of historical materials, both in terms of  early and/or rare books and of book-length materials related to Lehigh and local history. Below is a list of some of these collections.

  • Early American Imprints, 1636-1800 - Provides access to primary sources covering nearly ever aspect of early American history, literature, philosophy, religion, politics, and every day life. Coverage from 1639 to 1800. 
  • Early American Imprints, 1801-1819 - Features books, pamphlets, broadsides, state papers and other government materials, presidential letters and messages, and congressional, state and territorial resolutions.
  • Beyond Steel: An Archive of Lehigh Valley Industry and Culture - Highlights the Lehigh Valley's mid nineteenth-century book through late twentieth-century decline and the continuing community readjustment, and includes letters, maps, and oral histories in addition to books. 
  • The Problem of the Planets - Includes a digital collection of early astronomy books, such as On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres by Copernicus and Instruments for the Restoration of Astronomy by Tycho Brahe.
  • Books from The Vault at Pfaffs - Brings together art and literature from the United States' first self-described bohemians, including a digital third edition of Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass.


Free online eBook providers

Typically, purchasing eBooks is nearly as costly as buying a new copy of the print version. There are, however, quite a few resources on the open web where you can find free eBooks, particularly titles whose copyright has expired and now reside in the public domain.

HathiTrust - A partnership of academic and research institutions;  offers a collection of millions of titles, most in public domain, digitized from libraries around the world. 

Project Gutenberg - A digital library of free eBooks in the public domain. Most items are available to read online, as kindle files, and as EPUB files.

Bartleby - Publishes thousands of free online classics. - Offer over 8 million freely accessible eBooks. 

Amazon*- Many public domain titles are available for free as Kindle or online reads. Try searching "free classics." You will need to sign in to an Amazon account to access these titles. 

Google Books* - The world's most comprehensive database of digitized books, some of which have full-text access, and many of which have partial-text access.

(*While these can be great resources, please be aware that the quality of the digitized items can be poor.)