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History: eBooks

these will help you find resources for you assignment

Searching for eBooks at Pepperdine


Currently, libraries all over the country are closed and you will have to rely on eBooks for your research. Print books at the Pepperdine libraries and via interlibrary loan will. * not* be available during May and June 2020.

If you need a book that Pepperdine doesn't own, please contact me and I will check if an eBook version of the title is available.

How to limit your search results to eBooks:

  • On the left-hand side, go to format and click "eBook" 
  • Click the link for "View eBook" to access the book. 
  • You will only be able to view titles that are "Held by Pepperdine University." Please email me (contact information is on the main infoguide homepage) to request that the library purchase an eBook.


Searching for Primary Sources in Books

By using a proper search strategy, the library catalog is an effective tool for lcoating books that are primary sources. WorldCat Local will search for items at the Pepperdine University Libraries and over 70,000 libraries worldwide.

Search by people who witnessed or participated in an event:

  • Harrry Truman
  • Jackie Robinson
  • Jesse Owens

The Library of Congress assigns subject headings that are useful for restricting your search to primary sources:

  • correspondence
  • diaries
  • interviews
  • pamphlets
  • personal narratives
  • sources
  • biography (An autobiography is a primary source.Check to see if the author's name also appears in the subject field.)
  • oral history

Please note: books with the phrase "documentary history" in the title often contain primary sources.

You can also restrict your search to books that were written at the time of the historical event to limit your results to primary sources.

Internet Archive has the full-text of1.4 million books published during the 20th century.

On March 24, 2020, the Internet Archive suspended waitlists for the 1.4 million (and growing) books in its lending library by creating a National Emergency Library to serve the nation’s displaced learners.

This suspension will run through June 30, 2020, or the end of the US national emergency. 

Follow these steps to borrow books from the National Emergency Library. Books can be borrowed for 14 days, and patrons can borrow up to 10 books at a time.
  1. Create a free account at
  2. Search the National Emergency Library at, and find a book to borrow.
  3. Click "Borrow This Book":


HathiTrust Digital Library is another resource for searching the full-text of books and obtaining the full-text of books in the public domain.

Works published in the U.S. prior to 1924 are in the public domain and much more likely to provide the full-text