Skip to main content
UMass Amherst Libraries

Electronic materials temporarily available during COVID-19

Access to resources made available to researchers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Please see individual resources for specific time periods covered, if specified.

What's On This Guide

Several publishers and vendors of textbooks, ebooks, and journals have lifted access restrictions on some or all of their content for a limited time during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

This site lists available resources with dates of access and instructions for how to access the materials.

See below for the resources to find electronic versions of books. We have been very successful using these resources to find ebooks for patrons.

See the tabs on left for more free resources for ebook and journal collections, and in the humanities and social sciences, plus science and engineering.

HathiTrust Emergency Temporary Access Service

Temporary service - HathiTrust will monitor the situation, and emergency access will end when they decide to do so. 

The HathiTrust Emergency Temporary Access Service makes it possible for you to obtain lawful access to specific digital materials in HathiTrust that correspond to physical books held by the UMass Amherst Libraries during the pandemic. Books can be checked out for one hour at a time, and are unavailable for download.

To access books using HathiTrust:

  1. For access through the UMass Libraries' online catalog, start at the catalog link below and search for the book.
  2. From the search results, click the title for the item you want to read to get to the record.
  3. If HathiTrust has a digitized copy of this item, you will see a link for Item record at HathiTrust. Click on that link.
  4. You will be taken to the HathiTrust page for the item, where you can click on the yellow Log In button at the top right.
  5. You will be prompted to select University of Massachusetts Amherst on a dropdown menu, then to log in with your UMass NetID and password.
  6. To read the book, click on the Temporary Access button at the bottom left of the HathiTrust record.

Internet Archive National Emergency Library

Waitlists suspended through June 30, 2020, or the end of the US national emergency, whichever is later.

The Internet Archive’s Open Library is a large collection of digitized books available to borrow for free, but each item goes out for two weeks, and there are large waitlists for items. In response to the school and library closures, the Internet Archive has suspended waitlists and you can borrow items immediately. 

To borrow an item, you will need to log-in and create a free account with your email address.

Cambridge Core

Available through the end of May 2020

Cambridge Core has a limited number of Cambridge textbooks that the publisher has offered as free access to students for the remainder of the semester due to the COVID-19 situation.

To see if they have a book that you need:

  1. You can search for titles in the search box on the top right.
  2. Once you get to the search results screen, you will need to click on the box under Access: Only show content I have access to in the grey box on the left.
  3. This will then show you what titles have free access (shown by a green check mark followed by Access in green letters).
  4. Click on the book title to find the table of contents.


  • You can only view the book online. It is not available for download.
  • If you find a book that has “Get Access” hyperlinked, there is no access to that book available to us.