3: Books as Information Sources:
Section 5 of 6, OTHER ONLINE BOOKS, page 1 of 1.
OTHER ONLINE BOOKS
A number of books are publicly (free/open access) available online. They tend to be older works that are not copyrighted, e.g., Beowulf, the works of Shakespeare, etc.
• There are numerous, individual electronic text archives. Two examples of prominent archives are Project Gutenberg <http://www.gutenberg.net> and Bartleby <http://www.bartleby.com>.
• A list of more than three dozen individual archives is organized by the Open Directory search engine at <http://dmoz.org/Arts/Literature/Electronic_Text_Archives>.
• An excellent comprehensive index to online texts is the On-line Books Page located at <http://digital.library.upenn.edu/books>. Another such site is <http://etext.virginia.edu/ebooks>. These indexes do not list every text at every archive, but they do cover many of the major sources.
Many of these texts can also be accessed via the NetLibrary database. Although the vast majority (90%) of the books in the NetLibrary database are modern, currently published books, it also contains the text of more than 3,000 eBooks that are in the public domain (the ones found at electronic text archives). These books are displayed in search results along with more contemporary books. NetLibrary also allows users to see a listing of just the public domain titles. On the previous page of this guide, look at the graphic taken from NetLibrary. The link to keep in mind is the one labeled "Publically-Accessible eBooks."
Although these books are openly available from online sources other than NetLibrary, it may be preferable to access them via this database for the following reasons:
- You can read, search, and make notes in them using the NetLibrary interface.
- You can provide citations to them that may be simpler, more uniform, and more reliable than citations to a Web site version of the book.
END OF SECTION: OTHER ONLINE BOOKS
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