E-books - guide: General

Welcome to e-books guide! Feedback - e-library[at]helsinki.fi

Bluefire Reader (most common program to mobile devices) has been retired. Alternatives are Aldiko and Adobe Digital Editions.

Mobile use

You can read all e-books on mobile devices, but regarding downloading of books there are differences (it's not possible to download all e-books).

The books that you can download to a mobile device, work on a tablet as well as on a phone.

Mobile Device Programs

Most common program in mobile devices is Aldiko.

You can download mobile device programs from the Apple, Android and Microsoft application shops.

Essential reading programs are free.

Examples from e-books


  • E-book services include books that aren't licensed to the Helsinki University Library. Many providers offer the option to limit your search only to the licensed material.

How to use e-books - General information

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.

If you are a walk-in customer, you can access the e-resources at the Library premises either by using the computers reserved for visitors or on your own laptop via a wireless HUPNet connection. The customer service desk can provide you with a temporary HUPNet account.

Most of the Helsinki University Library's e-books can be read via the internet without a separate device or programme. Check the Compare tab above to get an overview of how to use the e-books acquired by the Helsinki University Library.

Most of the e-books

  • Can be found in the library's Helka-database
  • Can be read as PDF-files or HTML pages or with Adobe Digital Editions
  • Can be used both through the university network as well as on a home computer by logging in with your Helsinki University username and password

Many e-book services require a username and password when downloading a book to your own device. You have to create an ID to the service - you cannot use your Helsinki University username and password.

E-books and QR Code

  • QR Code is a two-dimensional barcode which is typically used with smartphones or tablets as QR code scanner, displaying the code and converting it to URL for a website.
  • You can download the QR code scanner onto your mobile device from the Apple (Appstore), Android (Google Play) and Microsoft (Microsoft Marketplace) application shops.
  • You can find QR codes for example from the library shelves. The number of course books which are published as e-versions is constantly increasing.

Remote Access

Remote Access - General

  • University researchers, teachers, other personnel and students can access online materials acquired by the University of Helsinki libraries remotely, that is, with an off-campus computer. A valid user account for a University computer system supporting centralised user IDs permits online access to digital materials from any computer, for example, for users at home or travelling abroad on business.
  • Before accessing a resource, you have to login once or have a valid login session to another University of Helsinki service. If you are browsing from a shared computer or a public terminal, please remember to close all windows after you have finished browsing.

    The remote access service is web browser and location independent and no computer or browser settings have to be changed - only a cookie must be accepted to keep your remote access session alive.
  •  Remote Access through a VPN connection

Using a VPN connection will securely channel all of the data traffic from the user’s computer through the University network. The VPN connection should be used especially in cases where the material requires special software or when the material is not working on NELLI or SFX as it otherwise should when using a computer on campus.

VPN connections are managed by the IT Department of the University. More detailed instructions on remote access services are available on IT Department’s online helpdesk.


Alternative Access

Alternative access to Taylor & Francis journals

Mobile Device Programs

iPad and iPhone 


You can also create free Adobe-ID. You can use ID with Aldiko.



News from e-resources