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Finding E-books: A Guide

Library of Congress E-books


Woman at Main Reading Room card catalog in the Library of Congress
The online catalog is structured like a card catalog, but doesn't take as much time to search.
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Though a small percentage of the Library's collections are in digital form, the number of digitally available items grows every day. Most e-books from the Library of Congress can be found in the in the catalog, which allows browsing by topic or alphabetically. Library of Congress publications such as annual reports, illustrated collection guides, Federal Research Division country studies, and a history of the Library of Congress are available as e-books. An overview of how best to search for e-books on the Library's website is available through Library and Information Science: A Guide to Online Resources. Specific sources for locating Library of Congress e-books are listed below.

American Memory Books

There are more than 1,200 digitized books available through the Library's American Memory collections. American Memory is a Library initiative that digitizes American multimedia collections, including books, audiovisual materials, maps and manuscripts dating from 1400 to the present day.

Hathitrust Digital Library

Registered readers can access Hathitrust, an inter-institutional repository consisting for digitized books and academic journals. With focus on preservation services and collection building, Hathitrust pulls from various resources such as Google Books, the Internet Archive, and partnerships with international universities, Hathitrust aims to provide exhaustive access to electronic texts. More information can be found here.

Digital Interlibrary Loan Books

The Library's Digital Interlibrary Loan Program, designed to provide access to books too fragile to circulate on interlibrary loan, and was discontinued in early 2008.  However, there are more than 1,500 full-text books available in its collection, including rare and brittle books. 

Global Gateway Books

The Library’s Global Gateway holds more than 600 digitized books. Global Gateway contains links to bilingual, multimedia digital collections built with international partners, and a listing of individual digital collections that focus on history and cultures around the world.

Sloan Foundation Digitized Books

The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation awarded a grant to the Library of Congress in 2007. The program, "Digitizing American Imprints at the Library of Congress," scans and digitizes public domain works, with a major focus on at-risk brittle books and U.S. history volumes. The full text of all Library of Congress e-books in cooperation with the Sloan Foundation (more than 80,000 titles as of March 16, 2011) can be found in the Internet Archive External Link.

 

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  July 25, 2017
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