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Extended essays - a research resources guide for English undergraduates: eBooks

Subjects: English

Introduction to eBooks

eBooks are an extremely valuable and often underused resource. Key reference works are available online and provide you with full search facilities so it is much easier and quicker to search for specific themes than it would be to search indexes in the print copy. There is also the obvious advantage of being able to use eBooks when libraries are closed and when the titles you require are out on loan and in heavy demand.

eBooks on SOLO: just search for the title you require and, if an electronic version is available, a link will be provided.


You can conduct a simple search on SOLO from here:


As a result of Oxford's partnership with Google (which involved scanning the Bodleian Libraries' out-of-copyright holdings, in particular those from the 19th century), links to the PDF versions of these books are now being added to SOLO. Please go to the Oxford Google Books Project webpage for more information about what has been included and how you can access them.

Oxford Reference Online

Oxford Reference brings together over 2 million entries from across Oxford's Dictionaries, Encyclopedias, and Companions. 

It allows you to search across hundreds of different language dictionaries including American, Australian, British, Canadian and New Zealand English.  You can also browse or search many subject specific dictionaries such as Dictionary of Literary Terms, Dictionary of critical theory, Dictionary of Drama.


Cambridge Collections Online

Cambridge Collections Online provides fully searchable online editions of all the Cambridge Companions series in Literature, Classics, Philosophy, Religion and Culture.  You can search by specific title and also by keyword within the text. Individual chapters can be viewed as pdf files, which replicate the print version of the book, or in html for onscreen viewing.

If you want to learn more about Cambridge Collections Online, look at the Introduction to Cambridge Companions Online, produced by Cambridge University Press

Blackwell Reference Online

Blackwell Reference Online provides full text access to key reference works. The texts are fully searchable and chapters can be read online in html format.

You can view an online tutorial for Blackwell Reference Online, produced by Wiley.
(N.B. the tutorial is free to view, you just need to enter your details in a simple form to register and the 7 minute video tutorial will then start automatically)

Oxford Scholarship Online

Oxford Scholarship Online contains a growing collection of humanities and social science ebooks published by Oxford University Press. Over 600 literature titles are available and the collection can be browsed by subject. Book chapters can be read online or downloaded as PDFs.

EBL - the E-Book Library

The E Book Library (EBL) is a growing collection of ebooks from major academic publishers worldwide in humanities, science and medicine and social studies, including titles from Taylor and Francis, Oxford University Press, Cambridge University Press, deGruyter, Springer, World Scientific and others.

"Owned" books may be browsed online or downloaded and read off-line for 24 hours on laptops and mobile devices, including i- and android phones, iPads and some ereaders (not Kindles).