Ebooks: using our ebook collection

Help for Library users of ebook platforms available at the State Library

Using online resources at the State Library of Victoria

The State Library of Victoria provides free access to a large collection of online material. As well as providing digital copies of many of our pictures, maps, pamphlets and other items from our collections, we subscribe to online products from a variety of vendors. 

Ebooks and ejournal articles can be read online in the Library. Some ebooks can be downloaded to an eReader or PC for offline reading. You can download an eBook for between 1 and 7 days.

Most of our online material is available outside the Library to Victorian residents with a valid State Library of Victoria barcode. If you don't have a Library barcode, you may wish to join the Library. If you can't log in from home, you will need to contact us to renew your Library barcode or make sure your details are correct.

Ebooks complement our print collections. The State Library of Victoria collects across a wide range of subjects including social sciences, history, economics, literature, biography, sport and architecture.

Internet connection speed

Ebooks and related software will download quickly on broadband connections. However, some users in country Victoria with dialup modems should note the following:

1. Downloading a full book may take 20 minutes or longer.

2. Reading an entire book online via the Adobe reader on the website will take a long time. The alternative is to download the software (Adobe Digital Editions) required for offline reading, and this needs a faster speed. Some libraries recommend that users download the software in town and transfer it via a USB to their own PC, or take their wifi-enabled device to a location with a faster connection to acquire all the software. Once the software is installed, books can be slowly downloaded using the dialup connection and read offline during the selected loan period. 

eBook suppliers

Titles are purchased shortly after publication, and links are added to our Library catalogue. Our current suppliers of downloadable ebooks are:

Ebsco Host

Proquest Logo


Accessing ebooks from home

Our two ebook suppliers are EBSCO and ProQuest Ebook Central: 

  1. To access ebooks on your own device outside the Library you need to be a Victorian resident, registered with the Library.
  2. Once you sign in with your State Library barcode you can either read the ebook online or download the ebook to read offline.
  3. We recommend that you read the ebook online before deciding whether you wish to download the book.
  4. Some books have single user licences and are only accessible to a single user at a time. 



For a monthly update of our new ebooks, see our Ebookshelf.

You can also browse past ebookshelf recommendations on our Ebookshelf archive.