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

Goethe-Institut eLibrary

The eLibrary is the virtual library of the Goethe-Institut for the USA. This 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 and who has registered with the Goethe-Institut New York for access to the eLibrary may use the services of our eLibrary.

Disclaimer: 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.
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.
The following steps are necessary to register for the eLibrary:
  1. Complete the Application form and click on "Send application" at the bottom of the page.
  2. Access to the eLibrary requires a yearly fee of $10, which you may pay online via PayPal (the link to PayPal is on the application form).
  3. Once we've received your application and verified that payment has been received, 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 (212) 439-8688.
  4. Visit the myGoethe.de 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.
Step-by-step instructions on how to register (PDF, 378 KB)

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

If you're interested, please apply for the eLibrary:
Application Form
Not sure how our eLibrary works? Need clarification on the registration process? Pratt Institute library science student Lisa Peet answers all your eLibrary questions in the short video below.