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Open Textbooks

  • Use the ISBN of your current textbook to find free alternatives.
    In the CSU Affordable Learning Solutions site, type the ISBN into the box (on the right)

  • HathiTrust
    A collection of millions of titles digitized from libraries around the world.
  • Project Gutenberg
    Project Gutenberg offers thousands of free ebooks. Books can be searched by title or by category.
  • Ebooks Directory
    Searchable by keyword or topic.

Open Textbook Collections


  • YouTube
    • Search YouTube by key terms and try filtering by channel or “Creative Commons” license (these videos are specifically labeled for reuse).
  •  Videos through the CSUSM Library
    • Select “Books & More” tab and use these limits: Full Text Available Online and Audio Visual.
    • Library Media Reserves, including Video on Demand option (allows you to stream videos to CSUSM students). Keep in mind that you should leave at least 1 week of lead time for processing these requests.

Ebooks in the Library

The library has an extensive collection of ebooks and many relevant titles will be found in disciplinary studies other than history. To find what is available:

  • Go to the University Library homepage
  • Choose Books & More as your search option
  • Enter your keywords (default search) or subject (change the field limiter) to get a list of results
  • Use the limiters to narrow by “Full text online”
  • Limit by “Books” to filter out journals and media

History Ebooks – CSUSM Library

Journal Articles

Consider including journal articles as required or supplemental  reading to your courses. Search through our databases for articles (using either the Articles+ search option or the history-specific database collections.) Just be sure to direct students to the article by the permalink (or static URL) rather than posting the PDF directly in your Cougar Course. This will ensure two things 1) that we are complying with copyright and publisher restrictions, and 2) that our journal usage is counted (this allows us to justify maintaining our subscriptions.)

This page provides examples illustrating how to find permalinks in the Library’s databases.

Please contact your librarian if you are still unsure of how to find the permalink.

Open Courseware

  • MIT Open Courseware
    An extensive series of online courses, generally including lecture videos, assignments, exams, and more. Check the Topic: Humanities>Subtopic: History to view a large number of specialty areas.
  • OER Commons
    Searchable by discipline and academic level, this site provides a broad range of instructional materials, including texts, images, videos, primary sources and more.
  • Open Yale Courses
    These courses provide syllabi and video lectures on a variety of topics.
  • Providing online courses and guides for students to access and learn for their own enjoyment and educational purposes.
  • An overall guide for History, including various History courses such as American Civics to European History.
  • Courses via video.

Other Open Education Resources

    A good starting site that includes recommended resources in history. By Richard Jensen.
  • CSU Image Project
    Provides access to California State University image collections for teaching and research.
  • History Net
    Sponsored by Primedia History Group, the publisher of popular history magazines. Designed to reach and encourage a popular audience to make history relevant to today and to understanding events.
  • World Wide Web Virtual Library History Central Catalogue
    Recommended as a basic starting site to explore Web resources for all areas of history. Indexes history sites in a clear manner, so you can search by research method, era, historical topic, or country and region.

Other CSUSM Library Resources

More information about finding and using library and primary resources can be found on the History Research Portal.


Have a good idea for a free resource? Tell us about it! Email your subject specialist.