Goethe-Institut Onleihe Foto: Goethe-Institut/Loredana La Rocca

Digital library

The eLibrary allows you to borrow digital documents, such as eBooks, audio files and electronic newspapers, for a predetermined period of time.


The eLibrary is the virtual library of the Goethe-Institut. This service allows you to borrow digital media 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Digital media, such as eBooks, eAudios or electronic newspapers can be downloaded onto your computer, tablet or eReader without having to return the borrowed items. At the end of the loan period, the media automatically becomes unavailable. This service is free of charge.
  • Classic German literature
  • Contemporary & Crime fiction, also available as audio books
  • Children’s and youth literature
  • Books for learning German, e.g. Easy Readers
  • Travel guides
  • German newspapers and magazines: Süddeutsche Zeitung, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, DIE ZEIT, DER SPIEGEL, brandeins, XING
The loan period varies:
  • 14 days for books
  • 7 days for audio books
  • 2 hours for newspapers

Every person who is interested in and who lives in Ghana can use the services of the eLibrary. Users in Kenya and Nigeria can also access the eLibrary.

the use of eLibrary media on Apple and Linux powered devices is very limited (at the moment, only eBooks in the ePub format). The use of eLibrary media is not possible on Kindles. Why? Because Apple and Kindles have their own digital rights management (DRM), which are not compatible with the eLibrary's DRM. We recommend you confirm that your PC or Mac operating system is compatible prior to signing up.
Please complete the online registration form in order to register. Once we have received your registration, we will send a registration code and further instructions to you. The code is valid for one year. If you wish to continue using the eLibrary, you will need to fill out another registration form to obtain a new code
PDF-format and/or ePub-format for books
WMA-format for audio files and music
PDF-format for newspapers and magazines
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)
Please note that only eBooks in the ePub format are currently available on Apple products. In order to open ePubs on an iPad or iPhone you can download the free Overdrive Media Console or Bluefire apps and sign in with your free Adobe ID. ePapers are currently not available for download onto Apple products. eAudio, eMusic and eVideo also not available, even if Windows Mediaplayer for Mac has been installed.

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)
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.

Please make sure that your eBook reader is compatible.