In the library we have an e-first policy which means we will always try to get an eBook whenever possible.

On our guide pages there is a more in-depth guide to using eBooks.

The best place to find individual e-books is LibrarySearch Digital. This shows you only the Library’s digital resources, which include most of our e-books.

Have a look at our e-book collections as well as a few of our e-books are not included in LibrarySearch. Cambridge Histories Online, Oxford Handbooks Online and EEBO – Early English Books Online are particularly relevant and much easier to access on collection level as it allows you to search for content of chapters.

When you have found an eBook choose Read online rather than Download to make sure as many people as possible can access our books.

For some e-books, the number of people who can access them at the same time is limited. Downloading is like borrowing a book. While it’s on your device it won’t be available for anyone else to use, even while you’re not reading it.

Most e-books will only allow you to print from the ‘Read online’ view, not from a download. For copyright reasons you can usually only print 10% or one chapter, whichever is the greater.

For some e-books, the number of people who can access them at the same time is limited. When this limit is reached, you’ll be able to preview the e-book for 5 minutes or sometimes be given the option to be ‘added to a queue’. You’ll get an email when the e-book becomes available.

Don’t choose the option to buy a copy. It’s a trap!

Sometimes downloading an e-book is a bit like borrowing a physical book: only a limited number of people can download an e-book at the same time, so short download periods mean the book will be available to as many people as possible.