Electronic Books

Olson Library offers more than 46,000 electronic books on a wide variety of subjects, including mathematics, computer science and technology, accounting and finance, business management, history, literature, psychology, health sciences, and more. You can browse our collections online, or search for e-books using the online catalog or OneSearch, to search for articles simultaneously.

A Philosophical Aside

As e-books continue to evolve, they’re having some interesting effects on scholarly discourse. For instance, a recent New York Times Sunday Book Review article explores how electronic format is changing where citations like footnotes appear. In particular, shifting footnotes to endnotes makes it less likely that a reader will see an explanation alongside its relevant passage. In the past, similar objections arose (unsuccessfully) in many fields against using endnotes instead of footnotes at all, because doing so makes it more difficult to find immediate conceptual threads and citations to supporting material. The argument was that while those changes can make for easier reading (along with easier editing and layout), shifting the notes and citations away from the text weakens the structure of the broader and longer scholarly conversation. So one deeper issue for e-books in academia is that if we think of the mechanism of scholarly citations as a form of hypertext in print–a set of nodes and links among the various contributors to human knowledge over time and space–then might we say that the electronic format is actually reducing one kind of hypertext activity?

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