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Bowdoin College Library

E-Books @ Bowdoin: General E-Book Information

General Information

Listed below are some of the common terms you may encounter in the descriptions of e-books:


  • "Portable Document Format" - A file format that maintains the formatting and layout of a document across different software and operating systems. A PDF file can be a purely graphical image of the original document with no actual text, or in other cases will contain the actual text embedded in the file, making it searchable.


  • A text-based file format that will allow e-reader devices or software to reformat the text in many ways - such as font size, page layout, etc.


  • An image-file format that generally allows high resolution, but requires large file sizes. Generally a good choice for printable images.


  • A file format that has built-in compression of the image, allowing for smaller file sizes at the expense of image resolution. Choose this option for an image-only representation of the text, which can then be modified with an image-editing program such as Photoshop.


  • "Digital Rights Management" is software that allows publishers to limit the use of electronic information in ways such as time restrictions, number of users, and the availability of printing and copying.

Adobe Digital Editions

  • An E-Book reader / management software application from Adobe that many e-book providers are using to implement "Digital Rights Management" (DRM) in their e-books.

E-books at the Bowdoin College Library

Welcome to our e-book help pages!  Here you will find information about e-books at Bowdoin, general and specific information about printing, downloading, etc. from the various e-book sites, and a bit about e-reader devices.  Please Ask Us for additional information.


E-Books Accessible Via CBBcat

The Bowdoin College Library purchases both individual e-books and collections of e-books, which are usually publisher or subject collections. (Note when searching CBBcat, you may access e-books only if they have a Bowdoin or CBB link.  E-books that link only to Bates or Colby are not accessible to Bowdoin users.

Individual e-books are cataloged and searchable via the Library catalog, just like printed books.  Look for the "electronic resource" phrase that indicates it is an e-book.

Links to some of our major collections are listed below.  See the tabs above for help pages specific to some of these products:

ACLS Humanities E-Books


Cambridge Histories Online

Early English Books Online (EEBO)

Eighteenth Century Books Online (ECCO)

Oxford Scholarship Online

Oxford Handbooks Online

Springer E-books

Readex/Newsbank databases


E-book Readers

The Library has a Kindle DX and a Kindle Keyboard  available to check out.  These devices are preloaded with a selection of e-books purchased by the Library.  Follow the link for a list of e-books available on the Kindle.


Maine InfoNet Download Library

Maine InfoNet Download Library provides access to downloadable e-books and audiobooks.


Free E-books Accessed via the Web and often the Bowdoin College Library

The Library often provides links to these free e-book sites.  Note, however,  that the full-text of the books is not always available.

Hathi Trust

Google Books

Project Gutenberg

Internet Archive


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