Read 700 Free eBooks Made Available by the University of California Press

mark twain uc press

The University of California Press e-books collection holds books published by UCP (and a select few printed by other academic presses) between 1982-2004. The general public currently has access to 770 books through this initiative. The collection is dynamic, with new titles being added over time.

Readers looking to see what the collection holds can browse by subject. The curators of the site have kindly provided a second browsing page that shows only the publicly accessible books, omitting any frustrating off-limits titles.

The collection’s strengths are in history (particularly American history and the history of California and the West); religion; literary studies; and international studies (with strong selections of Middle Eastern Studies, Asian Studies, and French Studies titles).

A quick browse yields a multitude of interesting possibilities for future reading: Shelley Streeby’s 2002 book about sensational literature and dime novels in the nineteenth-century United States; Luise White’s intriguing-looking Speaking with Vampires: Rumor and History in Colonial Africa (2000); and Karen Lystra’s 2004 re-examination of Mark Twain’s final years. (The image above comes from another Twain text by Randall Knoper.) Two other noteworthy texts include Roland Barthes’ Incidents and Hugh Kenner’s Chuck Jones: A Flurry of Drawings.

Sadly, you can’t download the books to an e-reader or tablet. Happily, there is a “bookbag” function that you can use to store your titles, if you need to leave the site and come back.

As always, we’d encourage you to visit our collection of 800 Free eBooks for iPad, Kindle & Other Devices, where we recently added texts by Vladimir Nabokov, Philip K. Dick and others. Also find free courses in our list of 1,700 Free Online Courses from Top Universities.

Rebecca Onion is a writer and academic living in Philadelphia. She runs’s history blog, The Vault. Follow her on Twitter:@rebeccaonion.

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Comments (19)
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  • Ferdous says:


  • de troya says:

    This is the message I get ” Access Restricted

    The book you seek in the UC Press E-Books Collection, 1982-2004 – Eating right in the Renaissance, Albala, Ken 1964- – is available only to University of California staff, faculty, and students. If you are a member of the UC community and are off campus, you must use the proxy server for your campus to access the title.

    If you are not affiliated with the University of California, please visit our public browse page, which features over 500 scholarly monographs freely available to the public.

    If you would like to purchase Eating right in the Renaissance, Albala, Ken 1964- from the publisher, click the button below.”

  • Hans says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!… very much, indeed.

  • adoan says:

    Unomatch is the easiest and most popular social network to keep in close contact with your friends/family and to socialize with new people world…

  • Sadia Ahmed says:

    Great news
    E Books

  • Rhazya says:

    “Sadly, you can’t download the books to an e-reader or tablet.”

    That should have been the first sentence or a disclaimer as soon as you got to this page-I got excited over nothing. I’m sorry I don’t read ebooks on my laptop or desktop. I use my ebook reader as an escape from the previously mentioned devices. Call it an io-book (internet only) or something more fitting…

  • Eric says:

    @ “Sadly…”:
    1.Open the page of the UC Press E-book;
    2.Press button “Print view”;
    3.Save Page As… Web Page (.htm);
    4.Calibre can convert .htm file to .epub, .mobi or other formats.

  • Engagement Ring says:

    Get Best Diamond, Gold and Sterling Silver Necklaces, Bracelets, Engagement and Wedding Rings for him and her, Bridal Sets, Pendants, Earrings online.

  • panko crums says:

    on stand by; could be last nite. **** GODSPEED ….

  • Open Culture says:

    Just curious, does anyone know who just gave our post a mention on Facebook?nCheers,nDan/editor

  • Dadhi Ram Panthi says:

    Great!Please tell the readers how to download them!

  • isilveira24 says:


  • John Bourdo says:

    Selections on Asian History Available for “Free” only to UC Faculty, Staff and students.

  • clic aqui says:

    Lamentablemente no son pocas las personas no leen por falta de tiempo o de ganas. Piensan que no tiene sentido habiendo otras opciones de entretenimiento o que los libros no están hechos para ellas. No se paran a pensar qué es lo que la lectura de libros les puede llegar a aportar

  • clic aqui says:

    Y no solamente eso, sino que la lectura de libros nos hace libres y combaten el aburrimiento, nos hace más inteligentes, fomenta el desarrollo personal y profesional, favorece la conversación y las relaciones, libera emociones, es el ejercicio para mantener un cerebro sano y animado, además de ser un antídoto contra la soledad.

  • libros electronicos says:

    En la actualidad, la revolución digital no ha dejado de lado a los libros y ya hemos dejado de acumularlos en papel y almacenarlos en grandes bibliotecas para poder contener millones de libros en sencillos dispositivos electrónicos.

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