Skip to Main Content
  • Library AND Information Service

Education: Freely available e-resources

Open access e-books

Consult our E-book Libguide for a list of e-books that are always freely available.

Some publishers have lifted restrictions on the use of their material during this period. See the links below.

Wits University Press


Wits University Press is providing unlimited access to their digital book collection up to 1 July 2020. Accessible to SU students and staff via the JSTOR platform. Click here for a title list.

African Sun Media

African Sun Media has responded positively to the Corona Virus Crisis by making the majority of its titles available freely.

Project Muse

Project Muse has partnered with the community of not-for-profit scholarly presses providing journals and books on their platform to offer significant amounts of that content for free. More than 50 publishers have chosen to temporarily make content freely available to assist with access for the many students, faculty, and researchers now working remotely due to the global public health crisis of COVID-19. 

Content that is freely available on the Project MUSE platform during the COVID-19 crisis will display a distinctive “Free” icon.


Institutions will be able to access more than 500 key textbooks across Springer Nature’s eBook subject collections for free. These books will be available via SpringerLink until at least the end of July.

Click here for a list of 65 books on Machine Learning and Data.

American Institute of Mathematics Approved Textbooks

The American Institute of Mathematics (AIM) seeks to encourage the adoption of open source and open access mathematics textbooks. The AIM Editorial Board has developed evaluation criteria to identify the books that are suitable for use in traditional university courses. The Editorial Board maintains a list of Approved Textbooks which have been judged to meet these criteria.


The following sites can be consulted for open access textbooks. Please contact your Faculty Librarian if you need help in navigating some of these sites.

Open Textbook Library: Open textbooks are textbooks that have been funded, published, and licensed to be freely used, adapted, and distributed. These books have been reviewed to assess their quality. These books can be downloaded for no cost. All textbooks are either used at multiple higher education institutions; or affiliated with an institution, scholarly society, or professional organization
The link includes all subjects and you can select a subject of interest by highlighting Browse Subjects

OAPEN (Online library and publication platform): OAPEN promotes and supports the transition to open access for academic books by providing open infrastructure services to stakeholders in scholarly communication. The objective is to build a quality-controlled collection of open access books and provide services for publishers, libraries, and research funders in the areas of hosting, deposit, quality assurance, dissemination, and digital preservation.

OER Commons website: OER Commons is a public digital library of open educational resources. Note that textbooks are included in these resources. Open Educational Resources (OER) offer opportunities for systemic change in teaching and learning content through engaging educators in new participatory processes and effective technologies for engaging with learning.


More e-books with no restrictions during this period

  • University of Michigan Press will make all content in the University of Michigan Press Ebook Collection free-to-read until the end of August 2020. = Expired
  • ScienceDirect Textbooks: The 256 textbooks currently on ScienceDirect will be freely available until 31 August 2020. Copy a title that you are interested in from the list (Excel spreadsheet) of Textbooks available on ScienceDirect, go to ScienceDirect via the A-Z list of databases and search for the title.

  • Loeb Classical Library

  • Cambridge University Press: Free access to HTML textbooks, Cambridge Histories, Cambridge Companions and Cambridge Elements until the end of June 2020. = Expired

  • Internet Archive has created a National Emergency Library, a collection of books that supports emergency remote teaching, research activities, independent scholarship, and intellectual stimulation while universities, schools, training centers, and libraries are closed. This suspension will run through June 16, 2020. = Expired

  • Berghahn Books offers a growing number of open access book titles available for direct download from their website. In addition, many Berghahn Journals are open access. Subjects include Anthropology, Peace and Conflict Studies, History and others.

  • EBSCO and Harvard Business Publishing offer libraries free unlimited user access to the Harvard Business Review E-Book Subscription Collection until 30 May 2020. This collection contains the complete catalog of Harvard Business Review e-books.  With over 600 e-books that include 400+ monographs, newly published e-books, seminal works, and 150+ article compilations of the HBR Classics series, faculty will be available to quickly provide relevant digital materials for their students. = Expired

  • JoVE are providing a free-of-charge trial to their Science Education series of visual teaching aids until 3 August 2020. Clients will be prompted to sign in with their campus username and password, if not already signed in. 

  • GeoScience World book publishers have extended public access to all of their ebooks until 30 June 2020. = Expired

  • Oxford University Press are making a number of Online Resources freely available to help institutions during this distance learning phase:

  • JSTOR is making a collection of ebooks freely available until the end of August 2020. Click here for a list of participating publishers or download a title list here. = Expired

  • DeGruyter is making 75 000 e-books available until 31 July 2020. The list of publishers, number of available titles and highlights from each Partner is available here. To access the books, go to DeGruyter, go to Publications > Filter by User-accessible content on the right of your screen. Content covers social sciences, humanities,  science, technology and engineering. = Expired

  • Theology and Religion Online, containing a range of resources designed for students and scholars of Theology, Biblical Studies, Religious Studies and related fields, is available until the end of June. = Expired

  • Bloomsbury Popular Music, a source of scholarship and serious in-depth analysis of popular music in a global context, is available until the end of June. = Expired

  • Brepols provides read only access to the selected journal archives (content up till 2011) and to the Brepols online books collection with content up till 2017, from now on until the end of June 2020. Brepols Publishers is an international academic publisher of works in the humanities. The focus of its publications lies in "source-works" from Antiquity, the Middle Ages and the Early Modern period. = Expired