How to use e-books and journals
Here you will find instructions on how to use the library's e-resources.

The e-books of the library are acquired primarily for the students and staff of the University of Helsinki. For full access you need a user account for the University information system. With the user account you can also access the e-resources via remote connection. You can search e-books like any other books, from Helka-Database or you can use Booknavigator for searching.

You can search for e-books in the library's Helka-database or browse them by topic with BookNavigator.

You can read e-books acquired by Helsinki University Library easily in browser or download them to your own device.

To read e-books in your browser you'll need:

  • Internet connection
  • PDF reader (most e-books are in PDF format)
  • An updated browser, e.g. Firefox, Chrome, Safari
  • If you want to download an e-book to your computer, you'll need a reader application to read it. The most used application is Adobe Digital Editions.

You can read all e-books on mobile devices, but it is not possible to download all e-books to a mobile device.

Mo­bile Device Pro­grams

You need an app to download e-books to a mobile device, for example Aldiko or Adobe Digital Editions.

iPad and iP­ho­ne  

Download Aldiko from App Store


Download Aldiko from Google Play Store

If you want to download an e-book to your computer, you'll need a reading program to read it. The most used program is Adobe Digital Editions. You can install it for free from Adobe's website.

If you want to read a downloaded e-book with multiple devices, you'll need to authorise the reading program with your Adobe Account. After the authorisation, you can move the e-book file from one device to another and open it with your Adobe Account on different devices. The default saving location for the e-book file is the "My Digital Editions" folder. You can remove the device-specific authorisation of Adobe Digital Editions with a keyboard shortcut ctrl+shift+d on Windows or command+shift+d on Mac.

There are reading devices designed specifically for reading e-books, such as Amazon Kindle, Kobo and PocketBook. The e-readers' advantage to mobile devices is their long battery life. The battery of an e-reader can last weeks without charging. 

The e-readers are often tied to their producer's own store (Amazon), but with the newer devices you can also read books downloaded to Adobe Digital Editions. In order to do this, you'll need an Adobe Account which is used to authorise the computer that the e-book was originally downloaded to. The e-reader is connected to the computer via USB, at which time Adobe Digital Editions asks to also authorise the e-reader. After this you can move the e-book file to the e-reader, e.g. Kobo, and read it with the device's own reading software.