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Off-Campus Study: Get Books and Articles While Away

Tips and tricks for finding books and articles, cultural information, news, and library materials while off-campus or studying abroad.

Need Help Finding Stuff?

Need help? Colby librarians have developed or subscribed to many researces that can help you research while abroad, including: 

Find a Library Near You!


Wherever you're going, they probably have libraries. Check your campus first, and then see IFLA's list of national libraries on Wikipedia, or the list of library catalogs at Libdex: The Library Index.

How do I access Colby Databases when I'm away?

1. Go to

2. Login with your Colby username and password. 

3. Select Colby Libraries. You should now be able to browse research guides, search databases, and download ebooks and articles. 

Questions? View IT's help page on this topic, or contact (for students) or (for faculty) for more technical assistance. 

Learn the local library culture

Cultures: Different libraries have different cultures. Some European libraries are "closed-stack" -- meaning you need to request books in advance, and can't just browse them on a shelf. Ask a local friend or mentor to show you around. 

Limits: Libraries in other countries may have limited hours, close on school breaks, or charge fees. Plan ahead, especially if you want to use local book and articles for a research project! 

Formalities: In some countries, you may need a formal letter from Colby or your study-abroad program in order to use research libraries. Contact your study abroad program for help getting this letter. 

What if it's not in a database?

If you've used the VPN to search databases, but don't see a full-text article or ebook, don't despair. 

Just set up an interlibrary loan account to get PDFs of articles or book chapters that are not available in databases.

Unfortunately, we can't scan whole books, due to copyright law

Login to ILLIAD to request or retrieve PDFs!

Help with Off-Campus Study

If you haven't already, check out the useful tips, tricks, and advice on Colby's Off-Campus Study webpage.

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