Skip to Main Content

Historical E-Book/Digital Collections at the OSU Library: Home

This guide will cover how to search the early e-book collections from the OSU Library for students and researchers in English/American literature, history, and other related fields

Historical E-Book Collections—An Introduction



This guide will cover the historical e-book collections available from the OSU Library for books and other publications printed in Great Britain from 1473 to the 1900s:

It also covers collections for books and other publications printed in the Americas from 1639 to 1926:

Other Collections including Library databases for historical books, manuscripts, and newspapers, as well as free collections such as Google Books and the Hathi Trust

In addition, the guide lists other historical e-book collections from the OSU Library and on the free World Wide Web.  The texts are mostly scanned PDF files, many of them scans of microfilm images, so there could be some smudges and other imperfections.

Sources from these collections would be considered "primary sources" in researches because they are works produced in earlier historical eras and offer first-hand accounts of events or record the perspectives and ideas of people from those eras.  "Secondary sources" would be books, articles in journals, or other sources that were produced in the contemporary era and are looking back on the past or trying to reconstruct the perspectives or ideas of people in earlier eras.

These collections are useful for subjects such as British/American Literature, British, American, and European History, and other humanities fields, or fields that rely on the consultation of early published books (such as the history of science).  The texts in these collections would be primary sources, literary texts as they were first published and other publications from early time periods.  Many of these texts use different spellings because of their age, but the databases allow you to search for words with modern spellings and they will pull up texts with variant, historical spellings.

Use the tabs above to navigate to the pages on the specific historical e-book collections provided by the Library.

Guide URL: