Freely Available E-Books

The University Libraries, public libraries, and digital repositories make thousands of e-books available to you free of charge. For more tips, watch E-books at the U Libraries: What we have, how to find them, and how to get help.
Here are some ways to access these collections:

1. U of M Library E-book Collections

We purchase e-books so you don’t have to! The U Libraries has approximately 500,000 e-books available for use by current students, faculty, and staff.

Our library e-books can be read on your iPad, other mobile device, and laptop/desktop computer.

Some of our e-books are textbooks. Many library e-books are one reader at a time.

Browse the E-book Collections page .

Or use the MNCat search box, to search for particular titles.

Search by topic or title/author, limit results to Full text online, and limit to books.

A few places to start finding U Library e-books:

Ebrary collection

  • Books can be read online, or downloaded for 1-2 weeks. Online access allows limited downloading and printing.
  • Mobile app is available for the iOS (Apple); Android app expected Fall 2012.
  • See Ebrary for more details.


  • Sage Reference Online
    Browse and find authoritative information on educational and other topics.
    Printing and downloading options are available.

    Springer E-books
    Printing and downloading options are available.


    2. Public Library E-book Collections:

  • Sign up for a library card account at your public library.
    Check the library web pages to see what software and set-up is needed.
  • Download Kindle, Overdrive, and Nook software on your iPad.
  • Search, download and read e-books -- For example, Adobe EPUB eBooks, Adobe PDF eBooks, or Kindle books, many of which are freely available for use through the public library’s agreement with Amazon.

  • Hennepin County Public Libraries

    Hennepin County residents only.

    Ramsey County Public Libraries

    Twin Cities Metro area residents are eligible.

    St. Paul Public Libraries

    Twin Cities Metro area and other Minnesota residents are eligible.

    Your home town public library.

    Many public libraries offer free e-book access to their local library users. Check your home town public library web page for details.


    3. Free E-book sites:

    Google Books

    Millions of public domain books (generally pre-1923) are freely available in Google Books. Discover other books by searching in Google Books and then checking in our library MNCAT/Books tab to see if we have the books available in print or online.

    Hathi Trust Digital Library

    U of M readers can download copies of public domain books in the Hathi Trust collections by clicking on "Full-View Only" and then "Download Full Book." Partner relationship (University of Minnesota affiliation) is necessary to download the full book.

    Internet Archive E-Books and Texts

    Internet Archives contains 2,000,000+ items, page images and some transcriptions.

    Project Gutenberg

    Project Gutenberg offers over 38,000 free e-books: choose among free epub books, free kindle books, download them or read them online.

    The Online Books Page

    Listing of more than a million free books on the web.

    For more information about E-Books in the University Libraries, contact our Ask a Librarian service.