How do I read or download books from the Internet Archive Open Library?


What is the Internet Archive Open Library?

In addition to the ebooks available through the SAE Library subscriptions, you can also find ebooks available from the Internet Archive Open Library. The Open Library includes books that are often not available for purchase as ebooks, and so in some cases this is the only way to access these books digitally.

Starting in 1996, the Internet Archive is a non-profit digital repository of internet sites and other cultural artefacts, including books and texts, video, audio, software, and images. The Open Library, an initiative of the Internet Archive, is a digital library that is free to the public. Book holdings are added to the Open Library through the digitisation of print originals from the Open Library partner collections and donations.

Books in the public domain can be downloaded for free by anyone. Books that are still subject to copyright can be borrowed via a framework known as controlled digital lending (CDL). For digital lending purposes operating within the legal limits of copyright fair use, CDL conceptualises a digitised copy of a print book owned by Internet Archive library partners as if it was a physical print book. If the Internet Archive owns one print copy of a book, it can lend one digitised copy. While the digital copy is lent out, the print copy is not circulated.

For more information on CDL, see Controlled Digital Lending Explained.


How do I borrow or download a book from the Open Library?

The Open Library has selected digitised books from their collections that are available to be borrowed by one patron at a time, from anywhere in the world for free. These books are in BookReader, PDF and ePub formats (and Daisy for people living with vision impairment or print disability).

BookReader editions may be read online immediately in your web browser. No special software is required. Other Open Library loans are managed through Adobe Digital Editions and will require free software installation on your device. For mobile devices, we recommend downloading Aldiko or Bluefire reader apps through your app store.

Books that are freely available for reading or download will have a "read" icon next to them. Books that have a "borrow" icon next to them can be borrowed for up to two weeks by registered users. Click here to register for a free Open Library account. Go to the borrowing FAQ section for more information on borrowing.

For additional information, see the Open Library Frequently Asked Questions.

  • Last Updated Nov 01, 2023
  • Views 6
  • Answered By Casey Howe

FAQ Actions

Was this helpful? 0 0