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University at Buffalo Libraries

Selected Downloadable "E-Book" Collections

Material paid for by the Libraries is primarily in PDF format, although the same material may be offered in HTML or ePub as well. Non-DRM PDFs (that is, not protected by software that regulates or restricts use), native or scanned (the latter is simply a picture), can be read on most devices (from iPods to the diversity of tablets as well as e-readers, including all but the oldest Kindles). This is often accomplished either by using a device's magnification capability, darkening contrast or viewing in landscape mode. Readability will vary with an item's original formatting and the size of your device's screen. PDFs which are protected by Adobe DRM can be read on non-e-reader devices with an app (such as the many Kindle reading apps, BlueFire for Apple or Aldiko for Android ). However, PDFs protected by Adobe DRM cannot be read on a Kindle, although they will load on Sony Readers and Nooks and can be loaded on a Kindle Fire. The Fire uses an Android operating system.

For detailed downloading instructions see the guide E-Readers, Computers, and More: Downloading E-Texts (PDF). For ebrary and Ebook Library (EBL) DRM-protected titles, which display beautifully on various devices, consult our ebrary and EBL pages. Download using Adobe Digital Editions (ADE) or the acquisition of an Adobe ID is a necessary step in downloading DRM protected PDFs and in transferring them to another device, such as an e-reader. Note that formats other than PDF will load on a reader or other device; to know this and limitations and capabilities, always consult the device's detailed manual and associated Web site as well as material we provide and guidance from the content source itself. These are the best ways to ensure you will realize the most benefit from your purchase and available material!

A limited number of Kindles, pre-loaded with content (you may not download content to the borrowed device), are available for loan from the Libraries. To learn about this opportunity to experience an e-reader, visit Kindle e-Reader Pilot Project.

Selected Sources of Free E-Books beyond the University Libraries

Resource/Provider Format Downloadable? DRM Restrictions?
Buffalo and Erie County Public Library

Readable on all major e-readers and more

Yes

Yes

E-Books Multi-Searcher

.epub, .pdf, .mobi, and others

Yes

No

Google Books

.epub, .pdf

Yes; only public domain titles

Not for public domain titles

HathiTrust Digital Library

.pdf

Yes; only public domain titles

Not for public domain titles

Project Gutenberg

.html, .epub, .pdf, .mobi, Kindle, Plucker, .txt

Yes; all are public domain titles

No

Selected UB Libraries E-Book and Article Collections

Resource/Provider Format Downloadable? DRM Restrictions?

Academic Search Complete
Description applies to all EBSCO databases, with the exception of e-books.  All articles are not accompanied by text.

.pdf, some .html

Yes (only articles)

No

China Academic Journals

.pdf

Yes

No

CRC Engineering Handbooks Online

.pdf

By chapter

No

Early English Books Online (EEBO)

.pdf

Yes

No

eBook Collection on EBSCO

(formerly NetLibrary)

.pdf Yes

Yes

Limited copying and printing

Not readable on a Kindle

E-Book Library (EBL)

.pdf, some .epub

Yes

Yes
Limited copying and printing 
Not readable on a Kindle

Ebrary (Education and some health sciences)

.pdf

Yes

Yes
Limited copying and printing 
Not readable on a Kindle

Eighteenth Century Collections Online (ECCO)

.pdf

Yes

No

HeinOnline

.pdf

Yes

Yes
Not permitted to download an entire volume or issue. 
Printing limited to 200 pages.

JSTOR

.pdf

By article

No

Knovel E-Books

.pdf

Most by chapter

No

National Academies Press

.pdf

By chapter or entire book

No but registration is required

Project MUSE

.pdf, some .html

By article

No

Synthesis Digital Library

.pdf

Yes

No

Related Help Pages

Last Update: June 1, 2012