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Reed Lowrie
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E-Books and Other Available Resources

In response to the COVID-19 outbreak many publishers and vendors are making some or all of their content freely available. This guide lists some of these offers; it does not include material that is normally available through regular Harvard Library subscriptions. Please note that availability now will not guarantee availability in the future, and that these free items won't necessarily be found in HOLLIS. As always, if there's something you think the library should own, please fill out a purchase request form.

And if you need help finding something, email me directly, or Ask a Librarian!

This guide highlights the major offers that we're aware of as of March 25, 2020. Please see this list designed for librarians for a more comprehensive list of offers. Also, the Harvard-based Open Access Tracking Project has an extensive, tagged library of information on OA. Offers related to the pandemic are tagged oa.humanitarian; follow that feed here.


Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) Thousands of books, including literary classics, children's books and non-English language titles

HathiTrust Emergency temporary online access to books that Harvard owns in print. Be sure to log in by choosing Harvard as the partner institution Details

National Archives (United Kingdom) will allow users to digitally borrow up to 50 items for 30 days until their site at Kew reopens. Individual registration is required. Details

Oxford University Press (textbooks and other teaching & learning materials) Details

Project Muse (many university presses are making their e-books available for free on Project Muse; see list here) Details

Public Books Database (curated list of university presses offering free e-books during the pandemic)

ScienceDirect (expanded access to e-book content) Details

Springer (access to over 400 e-books on variety of subjects)

University of Michigan Press (free access to scholarly e-books) Details

Streaming Video

(access our regular streaming subscriptions here)

ArtFilms Digital will be available through September 30, 2020

Docuseek (Documentary films for Bullfrog Films and Icarus Films; library must own physical copy, contact Ask a Librarian for help)

IDFA  Several hundred documentaries that have screened at the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam

Many film distributors are offering to stream films previously purchased on DVD/Blu-Ray. Contact me if there's a film you're interested in, or make a purchase request.


Archaeopress books and journals are available through July 31, 2020.

The Bar Review will provide online access until they are able to resume printing. 

Eastview Publishing is making the library's print subscriptions available online until they are able to resume shipping the print copies.

Ebsco is offering access to the following historical collections through the end of the academic year : Arte Público Hispanic Historical Collection: Series 2, African American Historical Serials Collection, The Atlantic Magazine Archive, Ebony Magazine Archive, & The Nation Archive. Details

JSTOR has opened up additional archives, including: 26 journal archives in Public Health, Arts & Sciences XV Collection, Sustainability, Business IV Collection, Mathematics & Statistics Collection, Security Studies, & Lives of Literature ; available through December 31, 2020

Al Manhal, authoritative Arabic scholarly content will be available through July 31, 2020

Proquest Digital Microfilm for: American Banker, Barron's, The Boston Globe, The Guardian, & The Wall Street Journal through the remote learning period.

SIAM is offering its epidemiology database for free through March 2021

Streaming Music

Boston Symphony Orchestra Great performances from the BSO archives 

Detroit Symphony Orchestra Entire archive of past performances, as well as virtual watch parties hosted by an orchestra member

Digital Concert Hall (Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra) Details

The Metropolitan Opera Nightly streams of a different past performance from The Met (also see Met Opera On Demand (Harvard only))

Paris Opera (Recent performances offered free of charge) Details

Seattle Symphony Orchestra Live performances screened on YouTube or Facebook

Seventh Inning Stretch Our very own Josh Kantor, organist for the Boston Red Sox, performs live every afternoon. Details


Paris Art Museums (100K images of works held at 14 museums in Paris)


Shakespeare's Globe (free performances from famed London theater)

COVID-19 Resources

Some top publishers are taking the paywalls off their content related to coronaviruses and COVID-19. For a list of these, see this guide by librarians at Countway Library.