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The Internet Archive launches a National Emergency Library

Posted: 30 March 2020

With libraries, schools and universities across the globe closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, our grantee, the Internet Archive, has announced its National Emergency Library initiative. Anyone with an internet connection can register and borrow for free from the collection of more than 1.4 million digital books. This is in addition to the Internet Archive’s existing collection of 2.5 million fully downloadable public domain books. The National Emergency Library will support teaching, research and intellectual stimulation. It demonstrates how libraries and collections can adapt in unprecedented times to meet extraordinary needs worldwide.

This National Emergency Library brings all the books from Phillips Academy Andover and Marygrove College, and much of Trent University’s collections, along with more than a million books donated from other libraries. Most of these books do not have a commercially available ebook, so are unavailable to the public with schools and libraries closed. Jill Lepore, a professor of history at Harvard University, wrote about the initiative, and some of the library’s treasures, in the New Yorker.

Read more here about the National Emergency Library.

We have been supporting the Internet Archive since 2011. Read about our grants.