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English 299: Finding Books

Do a Quick LEXICAT Search

Do a Quick WorldCat Search

Search for an item in libraries near you: >>

Do a Quick Search for Google Books

Search here for Google Books. Most are available for purchase, but some are free. There are previews for all books. Sometimes you can get a fair amount of information from the previews.

Google Book Search

Library Catalogs


Use LEXICAT, Hofstra's online library catalog to find both print and electronic books at Hofstra. Find LEXICAT on the Library's homepage. Select Search the Catalog on the lefthand side of the homepage.You can search any field (keyword), Author, Title or Subject:


As you pursue graduate studies you may find that you need to use books that are not at Hofstra.Here are some other catalogs you can use to identify books:

Nearby University Libraries

You do not have borrowing privileges at other universities. Use their catalogs to identify books and then go to  Interlibrary Loan to borrow books you want.

Nearby Public Libraries

Public libraries have a very different mandate and mission from academic libraries. For the purposes of your research, your focus will be on academic libraries. However, don't overlook the possibility that a specific book you are looking for may be available in a public library. The New York Public Library in particular has a very extensive and wide-ranging collection.


Free Online Books

The first project of its kind, Project Gutenberg is the largest single collection of free online books. Project Gutenberg books can be downloaded in a variety    of file formats, including html, kindle and epub.

A project of the Internet Archive, Open Library is a lending library of over 200,000 ebooks and a source of over 1,000,000 free ebooks.

This is a free digital collection of the Folger Editions plays by Shakespeare taken from the Folger Shakespeare Library.  The texts are very easy to read   and there are line numbers to assist teaching or quoting. This is a usable and reliable resource if you are looking for a definitive version of a Shakespearean play. Plays can be read online or downloaded in XML or PDF format. The plays can also be read online. Alongside each text is a sidebar   which allows the reader to choose from a synopsis, a list of characters or a table of contents.

Contains over 30,000 important historical manuscripts that have been digitized by the British Public Library. These digitized manuscripts, on a wide variety   of topics, can be read using special "Turning the Page" software which allows the reader to come close to the actual experience of browsing through   these rare volumes. Each page has notes that can be either read or listened to and a zoom capability allows the reader to magnfiy pages.

Contains over 35,000 free books and articles on the web. Search by Author, Title or Subject.

  • VIRGO: The University of Virginia's Library Catalog

Access the University of Viriginia's collection of thousands of electronic books.

Provides free access bo books that are in the public domain or out of copyright in some cases. For other books you may only get "previews" (part of the    book). It will always invite you to purchase the book, but remember you can always get what Hofstra does not own through Interlibrary Loan.





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