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What is the Internet Archive?

It is a non-profit, public digital library founded in 1996. Their stated mission is to provide "universal access to all knowledge." In addition to its archiving function, the Archive is an activist organization, advocating for a free and open Internet.

Books published prior to 1927 are available for download, while modern books can be borrowed through their Open Library site. It also gives access to billions of web pages via the Wayback Machine plus audio recordings, videos, images and software programmes.

How Do Get an Account?

You will need to sign up for an account if you wish to borrow books from the collection. There are some instructions on how to do this here.

How Do I Borrow Books?

Books in their collection are available for 1 hour, or a longer 14-day loan. If they only have 1 copy of that edition of a book, it is only available for 1 hour loan. If they have more than one copy of a book, it can be checked out for either 1 hour or 14 days, depending on availability.  If there are no copies available for 14-day loans, you can join a waitlist. There is no waitlist available for books that only offer 1-hour loans.

There are instructions of how to do this on the Internet Archive website here.

Steps are:

  1. Sign up for an account
  2. Find a book to borrow

    There are a number of ways to find a book.

    Click on the text icon text_icon.png on the top left-hand corner of the black bar, or you can click on Books to Borrow, Open Library (which has suggested books and categories), or any of the featured texts at the top of the page.

    You can also enter the title of the book or the author into the Search bar.

  3. Borrow the book
    Click on the book you would like to borrow. You will be taken to the item page and will be given the option to Borrow This book. Click on Borrow this Book. (If the book is on loan, you will be given an option to Join Waitlist)
  4. If a BookReader edition is available, you can read it instantly online in your web browser. Other formats will require that you download a file and open it in Adobe Digital EditionsYou will be able to read in full screen by clicking on the expand icon.
    How many books can I check out at once?

    You can borrow 10 books at a time from

    Each loan will expire after 2 weeks and will automatically “return” at the end of that time period.

    What happens if the book I want is on loan?

    If you try to borrow a book that is currently on 14 day loan you will be offered a link to be put on a waiting list.

    When you click on Join waitlist you will receive confirmation that you are on the list. You will also be given the option to leave the waitlist. You will be notified via email when your loan is ready.

    Can I return a library book early?

    Yes, usually.

    If you borrowed a BookReader edition, simply return it from your Loans page.

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