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German Language and Literature: e-books

Finding e-books

There are thousands of ebooks available in the field of German Language and Literature, many of them catalogued on SOLO like any other book. Search for the subject "German Literature" and refine the library to "E-books/journals" to browse what there is on offer.

Ebooks come in a range of formats:

  • recently published ebooks, usually in the epub format used by ebook readers and apps;
  • scanned versions of printed books;
  • transcribed texts;
  • free out-of-copyright ebooks.

When you have located the book you want on SOLO, simply click the "Online access" link to be taken to the ebook provider.

Screen shot of search results

Recently published "born digital" ebooks

Recently published ebooks are usually made available in the epub format used by ebook readers and apps, or as pdfs.  These ebooks must be bought by the library, either individually or as part of a "package" from a publisher. They are available to view online or download to an ebook reader.  The providers may use ebook reading software to "loan"  the book.  The period of the loan can vary between ebook providers, but renewals and print-outs are usually possible, and as the loan expires automatically, there are no fines.  All ebooks that have been purchased for the library are catalogued on SOLO.

Screen shot showing ebook interface

Scanned versions of printed books

Some ebooks are scanned versions of printed books (for example, those available via Google Books, or Early English Books Online).  These are usually available online in pdf form, often as part of a large database.  It may be more difficult to download these to read on other devices.  Many of these are also catalogued on SOLO.

Transcribed texts

Some books have been transcribed and are available online as searchable text (for example, texts available via  These are often only available in html format, and may also be difficult to download to read on other devices.  Look for these using an internet search engine, and be careful to check the credentials of the text - is it based on a printed edition? Has it been proofread?

Free out-of-copyright ebooks

Free out-of-copyright ebooks in epub and Kindle format are available from a range of providers (for example, Project Gutenberg).  As with webpages, it is important to check the credentials of the free ebook.

What do you think about ebooks?

More and more books are now being published electronically.  Libraries have to decide whether to buy print copies or ebooks.  They cost the same.  What would you like us to do?

What do you think about ebooks?
Always buy ebooks instead of print: 6 votes (30%)
Buy ebooks if multiple copies are needed: 13 votes (65%)
Never buy ebooks: 1 votes (5%)
Total Votes: 20

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Full text databases

A number of full text databases exist where you can find free ebooks not individually catalogued on SOLO.   Here are a few: