With the Goethe-Institut's free eLibrary you can download and borrow a wide range of digital media such as eBooks, ePapers, eMusic, eAudios and eVideos.

The eLibrary is the virtual library of the Goethe-Institut. This free service allows you to borrow digital media, 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 media isn’t necessary – at the end of the loan period, media automatically becomes unavailable.

With our eLibrary, borrowing media is at your fingertips 24/7.
Anyone who has a primary residence in the USA may use the services of our eLibrary.

Note: Our eLibrary is only available to users outside of Germany and nearby German-speaking areas. For use in these areas, please contact a library near you.
Registration for our eLibrary is simple:
  1. Login to your My Goethe.de account. Should you not yet have a My Goethe.de account, register for one now. Registration for My Goethe.de and use of the eLibrary are both free.
  2. In your My Goethe.de account, go to the "My eLibrary" navigation point and click on the blue "Log In" button. Now you're authorized to use our eLibrary!
Prior to registering for the eLibrary, please check that your device meets the minimum technical requirements for use (What works on which devices?). We highly recommend a broadband Internet connection (DSL, cable) for streaming video, music and audiobooks. Please make sure that your eBook reader is compatible.

The following formats are currently used in the eLibrary:
  • for eBooks: PDF-format and/or ePub-format
  • for eAudio: Streaming
  • for eVideo: Streaming
  • for ePaper: PDF-format
  • for eMagazine: PDF-format
As a technical prerequisite for using the eLibrary, your operating system must be capable of installing the following software for diverse media types:
  • Adobe Digital Editions and Adobe Reader for eBooks
  • Onleihe app for use with smartphones and tablets
In order to open files in ePub and PDF format on a tablet or mobile device, you can use the free Onleihe app and sign in with your free Adobe ID.

Streaming media can be viewed in a browser or within the Onleihe app while it is connected to the internet.  

The eLibrary is not a stand-alone piece of software, rather it requires the intertwining of many, diverse systems. Many of these are outside the scope of the eLibrary. Please understand that due to technical reasons, our offerings may not be compatible with every system and device available on the market.

Disclaimer: the use of eLibrary media on some Apple and Linux powered devices is limited. 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.