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History 502 -- Krivulskaya

Books on the Internet

Some publishers, organizations, and universities have placed open-access books on the internet.

Google Books is one means to discover these works. There are some issues to be aware of in using this tool rather than the CSUSM Library Catalog.

  • The books may be older editions and in some cases, pirated versions. 
  • Lacks subject headings to find similar materials
  • Does not always have the complete book due to copyright restrictions
  • Text navigation features are limited in comparison to the standard e-book
  • Cannot download content
  • It may be easier to request through our Digitization on Demand service

Other book collections are found in the following: 

Books in Google

Google Books offers a range of access to book content that Google has digitized from a variety of library collections. The results may appear as: 

  • Citation only (tells you the book exists, but you cannot access content)
  • Snippet or Preview (access to some of the book, but maybe not the part you need)
  • Full text (the whole book with some search ability to focus on the part you need.) 


  • Not only books, but newspapers and magazines are included unless you apply the appropriate filter. 
  • US government documents (reports, hearings, etc.) are included.


  • The Library function allows to to bookmark titles into a collection within Google (you are giving up some privacy.) 
  • Search function within the book shows how many matches there are to your search term which is not necessarily the most useful evaluation tool.  
  • Date limiter is the publication date, not the historical period. 


  • Cannot filter for scholarly works only, meaning you might get works of fiction on your topic.
  • Search results will only highlight the first term in your search (to find the other terms, 'clear search' and type in the new term.) 
  • Anything under copyright (1924 and newer) will likely limit the amount of content. 
  • You cannot download any book.
  • You cannot print from Google Books (use screen capture to save a piece you need.)