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Tips for Finding Full Text Literary Works

Your best bets for finding full text classics and literary works in print or online.

Print Books & eBooks


OneSearch searches our print books and eBooks.

  1. To search for works by an author, choose Advanced Search by the search box.
  2. Use the Any field pull down menu to select Author/creator, add your author's name  and hit SEARCH.

Example: Try William Shakespeare

  1. After you've done your search, look under Source Type on the result list, select Books and hit APPLY FILTERS.
  2. You'll have a list of books and eBooks. You can narrow down by looking under Availability on the result list:
    • If you want print only,  select Available in...
    • If you want eBooks, select Full Text Online

Want more on OneSearch? Try the How to Use OneSearch guide.

Ebook Central


There are lots of great classics that you can find in Ebook Central that you can read online or check to download to your device. Must access on campus or login with your COM account for off campus access.

Want more on Ebook Central ? Try the How to Use Ebook Central Guide.

Here's how:

  1. Under the Ebook Central search box, click on Advanced Search.
  2. Use the AUTHOR field to type in the author's name with last name first: Poe, Edgar Allan
  3. Scroll all the way down the page and hit Search to get your results. 

Example search: Poe, Edgar Allan

On the result list you'll notice there are Spanish language as well as English language eBooks. You can limit to either under the Language option.

You should also see the eBook Works of Edgar Allan Poe. Now you can read stories like The Tell-Tale Heart, The Masque of the Read Death, and The Pit and the Pendulum.

Use the links below to see lists of many classics available from these large collections:

OverDrive eBooks


There is a large collection of literature with an emphasis on 20th and 21st century authors that are not available through our other eBook providers. Must have a COM account to check out eBooks. Use the inks to below to go to our literature collections OverDrive.

Want more on OverDrive? Try How to Use OverDrive.

Use the links below to access our collections of eBooks by 20th and 21st century authors:

See the most popular books in our American collection, below:

Go to the American Literature Collection

Twentieth Century Poetry


A full text collection of more than 600 volumes of poetry by 283 poets from 1900 to the present day, including W.B. Yeats, Rudyard Kipling, Thomas Hardy, Wilfred Owen, Thom Gunn, Fleur Adcock, Paul Muldoon, Tony Harrison, Benjamin Zephaniah and Carol Ann Duffy, and incorporating the poets in The Faber Poetry Library. Must access on campus or login with your COM account for off campus access.

Literary Works in EBSCO Literary Reference Center

Search Literary Reference Center to access full text classics such as Aesop's Fables or A Study in Scarlet by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle by  browsing the list. Must access on campus or login with your COM account for off campus access. You can browse by:

    • Title
    • Genre
    • Locale

    1. To get started click the Full Text Classics link in the Browse box.

    full text classics

    2. Browse by title, genre or locale by selecting the tab and either typing in what you want, or if you are not yet sure, just scroll down the list to see what is available.

    browse full text classics

    3. Click below the title on Full Text Classic to get the actual work (may be divided into chapters); click on the title to get information about the work such as plot summaries. 


    Download Classics & Primary Sources

    Using Google Play Books you can find, read and download free classic works of literature and other primary sources like first hand accounts of historical events, autobiographies, correspondence, diaries, are more.

    Good to Know

    A work will be free if it is out of copyright or the author or publisher choose to make it free. This brief explanation of length of copyright & publications can help you determine if an author's work might be available for free, full text online.  

    Works Published After 1978
    Life of the author + 70 years.

    Works Published 1923-1978
    95 years from date of publication.

    Works Published Before 1923
    All in the public domain.

    Here's how to get started:

    1. Enter your author or work title in the search box.
    2. At the top of your result list, select the All prices pull down menu and select free.
    3. Click on the free eBook you want, click on the Free button and start reading or download to your Google Play app. Some free Google Play eBooks will require an existing account with a payment method, but will charge $0.00 to your account.

    Google Play

    Free Downloadable Classics