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Library Resources for Study Abroad Students : Books

Library resources for UW-Madison students studying abroad

Access e-books from the UW-Madison Libraries collections

The UW-Madison Libraries have access to thousands of e-books.

The Library Catalog contains the most complete information about UW-Madison Libraries’ e-books and e-book collections.

When searching the Catalog, limit your search results to e-books by clicking the box next to "available online" when searching the catalog from the UW-Madison Library website or doing an advanced search.  

UW-Madison users canNOT check out e-books from other UW System libraries.

  • When searching the Catalog from the UW-Madison Library Website, make sure to check the box next to "Limit to UW-Madison"
  • When using the advanced search, make sure you are searching just UW-Madison, not UW System

Because of copyright laws and the time required, the Libraries cannot digitize books on demand.

Getting to the Catalog

There are several ways to get to the Library Catalog search

  • Easiest way to search the catalog (with fewest options for searching): Use the search box on upper left portion of the Libraries web site.
    1. Make sure the box next to "search for" is set to "catalog."
    2. Type search terms in the search box next to "keywords."

    3. Optional: click the boxes below the search box to limit results.
      • Click the box next to "available online" to limit to electronic items.
      • UW-Madison students cannot access e-books that are not owned by UW-Madison, so click the box next to "Limit to UW-Madison."
    4. Click "submit."
  • More structure/options: Advanced Search.
    1. Click "Advanced Search" under the search box on upper left portion of the Libraries web site.
    2. The default in Advanced Search is to search the UW System.  UW-Madison students cannot access e-books that are not owned by UW-Madison.  
      • In the line under the Advanced Search heading, click "UW-Madison."

General tips on searching the Library Catalog

Tutorial on searching the library catalog.

Catalog Help with hints on how to search for phrases, use wildcards, etc.

When searching for books on a particular subject...

  • Search for terms about your subject in the "keyword" boxes first.
  • In your list of results, click the titles of books that look useful.  This will bring up the "full record" with a list of "subject headings" for the book. These headings can give you ideas of other terms to use in a search.

When searching the Catalog, limit your search results to e-books by clicking the box next to "available online" when searching the catalog from the UW-Madison Library website or doing an advanced search.  

UW-Madison users canNOT checkout e-books from other UW System libraries.

  • When searching the Catalog from the UW-Madison Library Website, make sure to check the box next to "Limit to UW-Madison"
  • When using the advanced search, make sure you are searching just UW-Madisonnot UW System

Using e-books

Interfaces for e-books

There's no one standard interface for e-books.  Each publisher/vendor has its own interface.  Sometimes they use a special e-reader.  Sometimes you have to download one or more files; sometimes you can read the entire book without downloading anything.

 

Online viewing

All e-books available in full text may be viewed online. Printing e-book content while viewing online is typically restricted by the e-book provider.

 

Downloading e-books

Only a small percentage of our e-books are currently available for download. Most of this content is in PDF or EPUB file format and will only work on compatible mobile devices and e-readers.

Have chapters of print books scanned and emailed to you

You may request a pdf version of a book chapter from any library, including UW-Madison libraries, and receive an email notification when it’s ready. 

  1. Log in to your Interlibrary Loan account.
  2. Select Request an Article or Other Copy.
  3. Fill in the fields as needed The following information is required:
    1. The title of the book
    2. The year the book was published
    3. Chapter title
    4. Page numbers of chapter
  4. Click "Submit Request."

This page lists how many business days it takes for book chapters to be scanned and emailed to you.

Note: it's very difficult for the Libraries to obtain chapters of books that are in electronic format only that we do not own.

Hathi Trust

The Hathi Trust is a partnership of major research institutions and libraries with a goal of preserving and keeping accessible our rich cultural record. The UW-Madison Libraries contribute to the shared digital repository. These books may be discovered by searching Hathi Trust.

While you can search the full text of items in Hathi Trust, only a small percentage of the books in Hathi Trust can be viewed in full text.  The books that have viewable full text in Hathi Trust are mostly books in the public domain (ie, no longer covered by U.S. copyright law, generally published before 1923) or publications of the U.S. federal government or U.S. state governments.