100,000s of new ebooks : EBSCO and ProQuest

Cambridge staff and students now have full access to hundreds of thousands of academic ebooks through new annual subscriptions to EBSCO’s eBook Academic Collection and ProQuest’s Academic Complete.  This brief post provides some sample titles with a focus on the city of Beirut, following the tragic news of last week.  All links go to the relevant iDiscover record (iDiscover holds catalogue records for all ProQuest and EBSCO ebooks).  For further books about Beirut, an advanced search on iDiscover for Beirut Lebanon as the subject will provide the right start, and readers can then narrow results by online access and/or other parameters as desired.

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Access to East View eresources extended to the end of September

Good news – East View have generously extended trial access for Cambridge staff and students to the Rossiiskaia gazeta and Novaia gazeta ejournal backfiles and to the Essential Russian Classics eBook Collection until 30 September 2020.

For more information about these resources, please see this blog post which dates from when they first became available to us: https://europeancollections.wordpress.com/2020/06/05/extra-russian-eresources-now-available/

A&AePortal from Yale University Press: new ebook resource for Art & Architecture

The ebooks@cambridge team is pleased to announce that members of the University of Cambridge will have access to A&AePortal for the next year, thanks to funding from the Art and Architecture Library. The platform proved very popular with users during the recent free trial offered to us by the publisher, Yale University Press.

The A&AePortal is an authoritative eBook resource that features important works of scholarship in the history of art, architecture, decorative arts, photography, and design. Many out-of-print titles, key backlist, and recent releases from the world’s finest academic and museum publishers are available as eBooks exclusively on this site. Additional features – such as image searches, the ability to jump from images to their location within texts and supplemental audio and video – help students and researchers to make the most of the content.

Below is a small selection of titles available on the platform:

A&AePortal can be accessed on and off campus (Raven required for off-campus access). Records for individual books within the collection will be available in iDiscover from 10am on July 29th 2020.

If you have any questions about this resource, please contact ebooks@lib.cam.ac.uk.

Some ebooks on colonialism and racism in Scandinavia

Among the worldwide reactions to the killing of George Floyd, protests have taken place across Scandinavia. Much of the local media coverage of these events assumed a display of solidarity with the United States and perpetuated the misconception that racism was something belonging to other countries. However, the participants were also highlighting current problems of systemic racism in their own countries along with the need to face up to their colonial past.

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Dutch titles on race and decolonisation

Last week’s blog post Black Lives Matter : some ebooks looked at a selection of anti-racism English-language titles.  Today’s post will be the first of a series looking at titles in other languages, with a focus today on Dutch material.

Netherlands and Belgium share with the UK a history of colonisation and slavery and are addressing uncomfortable issues of ongoing racism.  Dutch ebooks available to Cambridge staff and students are very few, so the suggestions below include translations into English and books published in English by Dutch-language authors.

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Black Lives Matter : some ebooks

The killing of George Floyd and others in the US and the protests that have followed there and around the world have seen, among many other positive actions, advice being shared about reading material to aid understanding of modern-day and historical Black experience.  Olivette Otele, Professor of History of Slavery at the University of Bristol, published a list of “12 classics from the anti-racist canon” in the Sunday Times yesterday.  Through her Twitter profile, Professor Otele provided a snapshot of the list here.

This post looks at the availability (where possible) of these titles electronically for Cambridge staff and students, and then ends with a brief list of some further ebooks we have recently purchased.

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Some books are not available as ebooks for Cambridge University Libraries to purchase. Why?

With closure of our physical libraries comes dependence on electronic resources. Despite the best efforts and intentions of the ebooks team (and faculty and departmental libraries) however, it is not always possible to purchase an ebook. We have put together the various possible reasons for this below (this information is also available on the ebooks LibGuide):

Some titles simply don’t exist as ebooks.  Generally, ebook versions are most commonly available for publications printed in the last decade or two.  Digitised books scanned by institutions are usually significantly older, to be safely out of copyright.  This means that a great deal of 20th-century books in particular are not available except in print.

Some publishers provide ebooks for individual private purchase only because that model is the most effective for them financially.  An ebook being available for you to purchase via Amazon, say, does not automatically mean that the library can buy a copy.  We will always do our best to try to find an institutional copy to buy, but sometimes there simply will not be one.

Some publishers have not licensed their ebooks for sale in the UK market. In some cases it might be possible to purchase an institutional ebook in, say, North America, but not here (and the reverse is likely to be true too).

Cambridge University Libraries use approved suppliers and platforms for ebook supply, to ensure ongoing and secure access.  Sometimes an ebook will only be available on an insecure platform, which we cannot use.

Similarly, some ebooks are not hosted on a secure platform but must be downloaded and hosted locally.  Like most universities, we do not have a local repository for bought ebooks (the Apollo repository is for Cambridge research output only), so this is not an option for us.

Sometimes an ebook is available but its price makes its purchase impractical for us.  We will always try to find a solution, negotiating with providers and sometimes bringing multiple library budgets together to afford a book, but we might have to turn a request down.  Your faculty/departmental library staff should be able to help you try to find alternatives.

On a similar note, sometimes a specific title is only available through the purchase of (or subscription to) a much bigger ebook package.  Library staff then need to work with academic staff and students to ascertain whether the larger package would be useful and provide value for money, and whether relevant budgets can support the costs.

Finally, sometimes an ebook which Cambridge has got access to might not be available to you because it is already in use (you will normally see the message “all available copies currently in use”).  Huge numbers of ebooks can be used by unlimited numbers of readers at the same time, but some are more restricted and might, for example, have a single-user access model.  You will need to wait until the ebook is “free” again before you can access it.

As usual, if you have any questions about ebook provision or access at the University, please contact the ebooks team.

Russian ebook platforms from MIPP – temporary access

The University of Cambridge has trial access to three Russian ebook platforms through MIPP International until the 1st of June 2020: BiblioPlanet, BiblioRossica, and Non-Fiction Library (Biblioteka Non-fikshn). Together, these give Cambridge staff and students access to over 160,000 ebook titles.

A brief summary of the three platforms can be found on the ejournals blog, in this post, and a slightly fuller exploration is on the European languages across borders blog in this post.

Please tell us what you think of these collections using the feedback form.

From the UL’s Catherine Cooke collection

Perlego – temporary access

The University of Cambridge now has extended trial access to Perlego until the 31st of August 2020. Perlego provides access to over 300,000 titles, including trade publications, across a wide range of subjects: Architecture & Design, Business & Management, Economics, History, IT & Computer Science, Law, Literature & Linguistics, Mathematics, Medicine, Philosophy & Theology, Politics & International Relations, Psychology, Science, Social Sciences, Technology & Engineering, The Arts. The trial allows unlimited and simultaneous access.

All content is available on Perlego’s platform. University of Cambridge registered readers need to sign up to use Perlego using these instructions:

– click on this link
– in the Registration Code box, enter the University’s unique Perlego code: 1BDCC3

If you click on the Search bar you can browse by topics, reading lists, publishers, and most popular titles.

Perlego provide guidance in their Students tutorial and Faculty tutorial.

Please tell us what you think of this collection using the feedback form.