Use EBSCO E-Books

What is the EBSCO eBook Academic Collection?

The EBSCO eBook Academic Collection contains over 130,000 titles from university presses and academic publishers across many disciplines. Cowles Library subscribes to this collection, which means we do not own the titles, but most titles allow unlimited simultaneous use.

Find EBSCO e-books

You can search for EBSCO e-books in SuperSearch or directly in the EBSCO interface. When you have found a title you’re interested in, you can click the title to get more information about the book. From that page, you can view the e-book online or download it to your computer or mobile device.

View EBSCO e-books

To view the e-book from SuperSearch, click “PDF Full Text” or “EPUB Full Text” (view screenshot). To view the e-book from the catalog, click “View this E-Book” (view screenshot).The EBSCO eBook Viewer will load in your browser. The Viewer allows you to page through the book, jump to a specific page (either by page number or table of contents), view details about how many pages you are allowed to copy/print, search within the e-book text, and download the e-book, among other things.

Recommended browser settings for the EBSCO eBook Viewer.

Download EBSCO e-books to a desktop computer

You will need either Adobe Digital Editions (Windows / Mac) or Bluefire Reader for Windows to read downloaded EBL e-books on your desktop computer. Once you install one of these free software programs, you will need to create an Adobe ID and authorize your computer to use it.

You will also need to create a free My EBSCOhost account if you don’t already have one.

  1. From the results list or Book Details page, click the Download link to reveal your options (view screenshot). Some titles offer both ePub and PDF formats, others only offer PDF. Choose a checkout period between 1 and 7 days, select your format, and click the Checkout & Download button.
  2. You will be prompted to save a file called URLLink.acsm (view screenshot). This is *not* the e-book itself, but a license file that Adobe Digital Editions or Blufire uses to retrieve the e-book. You can either save the file and open it with one of these programs, or select the Open with… option and use the dropdown to navigate to one of these programs. If you are using a public computer or otherwise do not have access to either program, you can save the ACSM file to a USB drive and open it on a computer that has one of the programs installed.

Note: Chrome will not prompt you to save the ACSM file; instead, the downloaded file appears as URLLink.acsm in the download bar at the bottom of the browser. Click the download and select Open, or select Always open files of this type to automatically open future ACSM downloads.

Once the checkout period you selected in Step 1 has elapsed, you will need to download the e-book again (there is no Renew option for e-books).

Download EBSCO e-books to mobile device (iOS, Android)

  1. Install the free Bluefire Reader app on your device and authorize the app with an Adobe ID.
  2. Open a web browser on your device and find an e-book, as indicated in the Find section. View the e-book and select the Read Online button. Bluefire Reader will open automatically and download the e-book.

Download to an eReader (Nook, Sony, etc.)

    1. Complete the steps outline in the Download to computer section.
    2. Connect your eReader to your computer and open Adobe Digital Editions.
    3. Make sure you’re in the Library view. In the left pane, you should see your eReader listed under Devices. In the right pane, you’ll see your e-books. Drag the e-book from the right pane onto your device in the left pane. Note: Transferring an e-book to your eReader will authorize it with the same Adobe ID that your computer uses.
    4. Once the transfer is complete, you can disconnect your eReader and start reading.


EBSCO offers a number of helpful documents related to downloading and using EBSCO eBooks on their eBooks & Audiobooks Support Center, including this QuickStart Guide.