National Emergency Library – temporary free access to 1.5m ebooks

[Since posting this blog post, concerns regarding the copyright relating to the National Emergency Library have been expressed. The Internet Archive has published their response at Copyright laws vary across countries. Readers using the US-based Internet Archive and its National Emergency Library are therefore reminded that some digital ebooks may not comply with UK law and that they should use care and judgement when selecting books from NEL.]
I am delighted to share the news that the Internet Archive has created the
National Emergency Library stop support research and learning during the COVID-19 crisis.

In short, just under 1.5m books (but growing) are being made available, drawing on collections from selected US libraries. They are US-heavy (publishers and subjects) but tens of thousand of digitised books from the 20th century can be accessed. Many subjects are covered, including history.

NEL will be made available until 30 June or the end of the US national emergence, whichever is later.


For more background, see

Enormous thanks must go to US librarians and the Internet Archive for making this possible so quickly.

How to use it?
We are working on ways of making NEL titles easily discoverable in SOLO. Watch this space.
The digitised book can be viewed online or downloaded as pdfs to Adobe-compliant software.
Any questions? Check their FAQ.

One thought on “National Emergency Library – temporary free access to 1.5m ebooks

  1. Pingback: Tips for locating digital resources & ebooks | Bodleian History Faculty Library at Oxford

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