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Ebook collections available at the Brown University Library

Brown University Libraries have an extensive collection of ebooks in a variety of disciplines. This guide will assist you in searching for, accessing, and downloading digital content.

Printing and Downloading ebook content

Ready to use our ebook collection? Here's what you should know:

  • ebook formats and device compatibility will vary by publisher.
  • ebooks can be downloaded for offline reading and can also be read in-browser
  • There is no limit on the amount of ebooks you can use 
  • ebooks do not have to be returned like other library items. They will disappear from your device or ebook library when the loan period expires
  • You will need to download free software- either Adobe Digital Editions or Bluefire- to read our ebooks.
  • You will need to create a free account with the ebook provider
  • Some publishers may allow downloading titles for offline access and may  place restrictions on the amount of an item that can be copied or printed. Limits are set by the publisher and will vary by publisher and item. Limits will be listed on the ebook record.
  • We purchase ebooks with unlimited user access when available. For items with a single-user license, we purchase multiple copies. If all copies of an item are in use, please try accessing the title again later.

  • Kindle devices and the Kindle app are not supported at this time and we do not purchase Kindle ebooks.
  • Adobe Digital Editions is not compatible with the Linux operating system at this time.

Please see the publisher's individual site for more information as we purchase ebooks from a variety of aggregators and publishers and use restrictions will vary.


To download one of our titles, please follow the steps below to begin enjoying your ebook:

  • Please note that the downloading process may vary by vendor. Please visit one of the pages on the left toolbar for further information on downloading from one of our vendors. Restrictions on downloading and use of the item are set by the publisher and will vary by publisher.

Create an account

  • Once you have found an eBook you would like to download, you will be prompted to create an account with the ebook provider.
  • Each provider requires an account and you will be unable to download an eBook for offline use without creating one. You can read an eBook in your browser without creating an account by selecting the "Read online" or "full text" option.
  • The account you create will be separate from your Brown account. You can create a new ID and password.
  • Look for a link to "sign in" to create a new account or log into one you may have already created (these links are usually near the top of the page)

Download your eBook reader

Log-in and download your ebook

  • Sign into your new account with the ebook provider.
  • Click on the Download button.
  • Select the number of days that you want to check the book out for (usually 1-7 or  7-14 days).
  • Select Checkout & Download and the book should download and open in either Adobe Digital Editions or the Bluefire reader that you downloaded.

Create and log-in to your Adobe Digital Editions or Bluefire account

  • The first time you open Adobe Digital Editions or Bluefire, you will be prompted to enter an Adobe ID and/or authorize your device.  Authorizing your mobile device with an Adobe ID will allow you to read Adobe ebooks and sync your last page read between devices.
  • Follow the link provided in the reader to create your free account with Adobe. Return to your reader software and sign in with your new Adobe ID. You should only have to input this Adobe ID the first time you use the reader software.
  • You may now begin reading your ebook. Contact us at  or with your questions or to report problems with accessing your ebook or setting up your device.


Note: Options for printing will vary by eBook collection. Please see the information below on how to print from each ebook provider.


ProQuest Ebook Central ebooks

  • Printing from ProQuest Ebook Central ebooks is limited to 20% of the book. 
  • Downloads are temporary, with a loan period of 1-7 days
  • Adobe Digital Editions is required to download and print the item

 While viewing your book in-browser, at the top of the page select “print”

Next, you’ll be asked to create a loan and to select a loan period then given a summary of how many pages you are allowed to print and the option to select a single page, page ranges, or entire chapters to print:

EBRARY ebooks

The copy and print limits on most ebrary ebooks are based on the  percentage of the number of pages in the book.

  • Online Allowances (per book, per user session)
    • Copy = 15%
      • Copying multiple selections from a page counts as one copy
    • Print = 30%
      • Print to paper or print to PDF (aka chapter download)
  • Offline allowances (from ADE or Bluefire, once you’ve full-downloaded)
    • Copy = 10%
    • Print = 10%


Limits on the amount that can be printed will vary by book but will be listed with each title (image below):

Pages will print in PDF format. Select the printer icon at the top of the page if reading in-browser to begin printing:

Select to print the current page, a page range or a full chapter:

EBSCO ebooks

Depending on publisher-specified limits, up to 100 pages of an EBSCO eBook can be printed, saved or emailed as a PDF file (per user) from within the eBook viewer to be printed at a later time.


  • Some titles may not allow for printing due to individual publisher-specified limits.
  • The number of pages may vary depending on individual publisher-specified limits.
  • If you have reached your printing limit, the option to print or save eBook pages will be temporarily unavailable.

If reading in-browser, click the "PDF Full Text" button (image below) to view the book and decide which portion you want to print

From the options at the top of the page, select the "print pages" printer icon

Pages will print as a PDF. You'll be given a limit as to how many pages can be printed and prompted to select your page ranges:

Select "Print PDF". The document will open as a PDF, and you may print normally.