Illinois State University
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Electronic Books

It is now possible to access electronic books and/or electronic book citations through multiple methods, each having advantages and complexities. This page will highlight some of our current and future options.

Currently available ebooks:

To find ISU ebooks you can search the default (Milner/I-Share) Catalog interface and limit your search to Version: Electronic AND Format: Book.

Alternative: In the Classic interface you would use the Set Limits option and select Location: Electronic Resources AND Primary Format: Books.

Either of these will show the materials we already own or make available on demand. Our catalog search provides access to over one million pre-1923 fulltext scanned ebooks from the HathiTrust consortium.

NOTE1: Some electronic books are found within aggregators; this is especially true of reference/fact books. Regular book catalog searches may not discover these materials. It is better to search fact books using our Reference page for these searches. 

NOTE2: Some electronic books containing statistics and datasets are also not found in our catalog; for statistics search the materials found on our Statistics and data Sets page

Exploring the larger world of ebooks: 

Milner Library now provides access to ebooks from a variety of publishers on multiple platforms.  These interfaces may have slightly different features SUCH AS DOWNLOADING INSTRUCTIONS and options, which are outlined on our ebook overview site

While book titles and subject headings may be searched in our book catalog the online books themselves offer fulltext searching of the entire book - providing much deeper and more precise searches. You may use the federated search tool below to search across fulltext books from various publishers on a number of ebook platforms.

Search for books

View a help tutorial of the basics of fulltext searching the EBL platform (COMING SOON). Other platforms offer similar searching, highlighting and annotation options.

In addition to the ebooks described above, it is possible to search deep into the fulltext of books which we may not currently own. (In some cases we may actually have the discovered items of interest within our paper collection or as electronic books listed in our catalog.)

Two excellent resources for searching the fulltext of millions of books are Hathi Trust Digital Library and, which provide access to the fulltext of materials now available as public domain materials (published prior to 1923). For newer materials you can see snippets online, but you must obtain the complete books through traditional library methods such as our I-Share catalog of state-wide materials and/or Interlibrary Loan (ILL).

Another excellent resource for searching into new books is Title Preview by ebrary.  This tool will allow you to discover books of interest, and we are working on ways to make them immediately available on demand.

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Milner Library
Campus Box 8900
201 North School St.
Normal, Il 61790-8900
Phone: 309.438.3451

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Last Updated: 6/21/16