E-Reading Foto: Goethe-Institut/ Loredana La Rocca


The eLibrary is a digital service allowing you to borrow digital media such as eBooks, eAudio books and electronic newspapers for a limited period.


Onleihe is the eLibrary of the Goethe-Institut in Canada. This service allows you to borrow digital documents, such as eBooks, audio and video files, and electronic newspapers and magazines, for a predetermined period of time, by downloading them from our eLibrary. 

Returning the document isn't necessary - at the end of the loan period, the document automatically becomes unavailable. 

With our Onleihe, borrowing documents is at your fingertips 24/7.

You can browse the content of the Onleihe here:
Anyone who has a primary residence in Canada and who has registered with the Goethe-Institut for access to the eLibrary may use the services of our Onleihe.

Disclaimer: the use of Onleihe-documents on Apple and Linux powered devices is limited. The use of Onleihe-documents is not possible on Kindles. Why? Because Apple and Kindles have their own digital rights management system (DRM), which are not compatible with the Onleihe’s documents' DRM. We recommend you confirm that your PC or Mac operating system is compatible prior to signing up. Please read the Minimum Technical Requirements for Onleihe Use.

Prior to registering for the eLibrary, please check that your PC or Mac meets the minimum technical requirements for use. We highly recommend a broadband Internet connection (DSL, cable) for media downloads. 

The following formats are currently used in the eLibrary: 
  • for eBooks: PDF-format and/or ePub-format
  • for eAudio: WMA-format
  • for eVideo: WMV-format
  • for ePaper: PDF-format
The minimal requirements for Windows systems are: 
  • Operating system: Windows 2000 / XP / Vista / 7
  • Windows Media Player 11 or higher
  • Adobe Reader X or higher
  • Adobe Digital Editions 1.7.2 (free Adobe ID required for authentification)
  • Internet Explorer 7.0 or higher
  • Firefox 3.6.0 or higher
The minimal requirements for Mac systems (for eBook use only) are: 
  • Mac OS 10.2.8 - 10.4.2 + Adobe Reader 7.1.0
  • Mac OS 10.4.3 - 10.5.3 + Adobe Reader 8.x (9)
The minimal requirements for Linux systems for eBook use are: 
  • SuSe Linux Enterprise Desktop 10 + Adobe Reader 7.0.9 - 8.x
  • Slackware Linux 10 + Adobe Reader 7.0.9 - 8.x
  • Debian 4.0 Etch + Adobe Reader 7.0.9 - 8.x
  • Ubuntu (ab Version 8.10)
Please note that the Onleihe service is very limited to users with Apple or Linux systems. Only eBooks in the ePub format are currently available on Apple and Linux products. In order to open ePubs on an iPad or iPhone you can download the free Overdrive Media Console or Bluefire Reader apps and sign in with your free Adobe ID. ePapers are currently not available for download onto Apple products. eAudio, eMusic and eVideo are also not available, even if Windows Mediaplayer for Mac has been installed.Apple uses its own DRM, which is not compatible with the DRM of some of the documents offered in our Onleihe. For the same reason, Kindles are not compatible with our Onleihe service.

The Adobe PDF Reader is required in all cases. Other PDF readers, such as kpdf, unfortunately do not work. Adobe Reader 8.1.1 is recommended for Linux. 

We appreciate your understanding that while we currently are able to make our new range of titles available to many customers, for technical reasons, we are as yet unable to do so for all of them.
The following steps are necessary to register for the Onleihe:
  1. Complete the Application form and click on "Send application" at the bottom of the page.
  2. Once we've received your application, a staff member will contact you via email – during the work week generally within 24 hours – with a registration code. Should you have not received an email from us within a few days of applying, please check your email's spam filter. You may also call us at +1 (514) 499-0159 ext. 105.
  3. Visit the personalized web platform and create a new user account (registration and use are free of charge). Click on the navigation point "my eLibrary" and enter your registration code.

From the moment when you first enter the registration code, you will have access to the Onleihe service for one year. After one year, this access automatically expires. If you wish to continue using the Onleihe service, you will need to fill out another registration form. You will then obtain a new registration code to renew your access to the Onleihe. 

If you're interested, please apply for the eLibrary:
Application Form
Not sure how our Onleihe works? Need clarification on the registration process? Find answers to your Onleihe questions in the short video below.