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Cambridge Libraries


This message concerns a change to the arrangements for access to e-books, e-journals, and e-resources made available during the lock-down period of the COVID-19 outbreak. This will include cessation of unrestricted access to a number of titles and collections.

Publishers have provided access for different lengths of time.  Most of the access is ending on 30 June 2020, but some has been extended into July and a few into later months of 2020.  It is strongly recommended that you check the Cambridge Libraries Databases A-Z for the date access terminates for each e-resource opened up for COVID-19.

The rationale for opening content for COVID-19

Cambridge University Libraries has worked with publishers and providers to enable access to online content during this period in order to compensate for the closure of libraries and the resulting unavailability of all print content physically held in the libraries.  

Libraries and publishers worldwide have worked together and the dramatically expanded online content available to readers has been part of a global effort to support the needs of higher education at this exceptionally difficult time.  Libraries are grateful to publishers for their generosity in opening up content, particularly in the exam term and for the early summer needs of students writing dissertations.

Arrangements for providing access to content in the longer-term

Over the lock-down period in the UK, Cambridge University Libraries have purchased significant new online content to support teaching and learning in the University, recognizing the vital role of online books and textbooks especially while libraries shut.  The CUL continue to plan for provision of online content into the months ahead to meet the needs of delivering teaching online and pursuing research remotely for the new academic year 2020/2021. 

In so far as is possible CUL aims to provide access to the resources needed by students and researchers.  Over 3,000 e-books and some major new e-resources have been or soon will be purchased from contingency funding provided by the University and these titles for all subject areas will be accessible in the first instance for 12 months (unless purchased in perpetuity).  Where it is appropriate, CUL will make requests to publishers for extensions of the temporary access. 

The reality is that it will not be possible to continue to provide access to all the content opened up for COVID-19.  We expect that the re-opening of the University Library and the new zero contact services will restore access to collections and thus make a real impact benefiting the University’s provision of content for teaching, learning, and research.  When access to COVID-19 online content will terminate in the immediate future, and this affects you, please register your interest in the title or titles by using the guidance below. 

For any concerns you have about loss of access or to register your interest in longer-term access to an e-book, e-journal, or e-resource, please write to the addresses below.  Thank you.

For all enquiries related to e-books and e-textbooks please write to

For all enquiries related to e-journals and e-resources please write to

Please note the following guidelines on use of e-resources that still applies for all e-resources that continue to be available at this time:-
All online resources, including ebooks, are subject to conditions of use that restrict downloading and sharing, and are subject to copyright law.  Misuse of them may result in the resource being withdrawn by a publisher at short notice from the entire University. 

We understand that at this especially difficult period students in particular are under great pressure but all users are obliged as a mandatory requirement to respect the publishers’ licenses and copyright law.  Unless explicitly permitted by the publisher on the site this normally means downloading chapters and articles as needed for study but not entire books.  If in doubt, consult the conditions of use or equivalent on the site.