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Cambridge Books Online, 2016-2018

The UC Libraries have acquired the Cambridge Books Online collection for systemwide access to Cambridge University Press eBooks published in 2016-2018.  All 10 campuses and CDL contributed toward this purchase.

The agreement represents a major systemwide adoption of ebooks, and includes unlimited user and perpetual access to the complete Cambridge Books Online (CBO) monographs and course books of approximately 1,250 titles per year (textbooks are not included.) The estimated subject breakdown is as follows: humanities 23%, social science 51%, science & engineering 27%. Not included in the systemwide package are the Cambridge Histories Online Series (CHO), Cambridge Companions Online (CCO) or content that is exclusively offered as part of a database or archive purchase such as the Cambridge Archive Editions.

The Cambridge ebooks were acquired after a number of years exploring various systemwide ebook models.  In 2013, CDL analyzed print spend across the campuses and found that Cambridge University Press had the highest combined print spend of all the university presses.  CDL worked with YBP to propose a co-investment pilot that would be based on a systemwide approval profile to acquire CUP ebooks.   At that time, it was agreed that print was still the preferred format for Cambridge titles and local purchasing continued at UC.  In 2015, the DDA Task Force began to discuss the Cambridge ebooks offered on patron-driven platforms and requested that a systemwide pilot be considered by the Shared Content Leadership Group (SCLG).  SCLG asked CDL to investigate full package options and to negotiate with Cambridge University Press.  Determining that print was still important for the UC user community, CDL  agreed to purchase two shared print copies with central one-time funds.

The two print copies will be shared and governed by the policies and standards for UC shared print monograph collections and are available for systemwide ILL at Berkeley and Irvine. We want to thank Jean McKenzie, in her earlier role as Acting AUL for Collections at Berkeley, and John Renaud, AUL for Research Resources at Irvine, for assisting with this arrangement.

The collection can be accessed at


A. Place Matters: Criminology for the Twenty-First Century
B. War and Society in Early Rome: From Warlords to Generals
C. Children’s Fantasy Literature: An Introduction