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Downloading e-books

Downloading an e-book allows you to check it out and read it on your computer or portable device (smartphone, tablet, etc.) when you are not connected to the Internet, usually for a limited period of time.

You should think of a download like a traditional library loan that is available to you for a fixed period of time.

Most of our e-books can be downloaded to your computer/device.

On the e-book platforms, you will see a ’Download’ link that allows you to check-out and download an e-book and read it on your device when you are offline.


Various restrictions apply when you download e-books:

  • On many platforms, you must download Adobe Digital Editions (ADE) or an app identified by the supplier before you download your e-book.
  • Adobe Digital Editions is not available on student desktop computers. Many of these apps need to be authorised and this process generally requires you to have an Adobe ID.
  • If you are using a computer in one of the computer clusters, please do not download e-books. You should download your e-book to your own computer/device.
  • The print and copy functions will normally be disabled on downloads whereas they will be available for online use.
  • Once the download period expires, you will no longer have access to the downloaded e-book. You will need to download the e-book again, or read it online.
  • Restrictions as to the amount you can download and the length of time you can download for vary between e-book providers: some allow only a percentage of the text to be downloaded, others allow chapter downloads and some allow download of the whole text.

Platform-specific download instructions are available on the following help-pages.

DRM-Free e-books

Some e-books do not have Digital Rights Management (DRM) restrictions.

DRM-Free e-books do not require you to have an Adobe ID or special software (such as Adobe Digital Editions) installed in your device or PC to download them.