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Using eBooks at UNC

How to locate, access, and navigate ebooks through the UNC Libraries collection


eBook Content

A&AePortal is a digital ebook service providing access to ebooks that can be read on the site or downloaded to a phone, tablet, or computer by exporting the ebook through the “print” feature. eBooks can be downloaded by chapter or in full depending on the title. The A&AePortal has a well-developed collection of ebooks on Art and Architecture. Subject areas on the portal are subdivided into three types. For example, you might find Art or Architecture ebooks tags within a particular field of study like Art History and Theory; Design and Graphic Design; or Photography and Film. An ebook could also be tag with a subdiscipline subject like African American and Black Diaspora; Medieval; or Renaissance. Finally an ebook might be tagged with a geographic region like African; Asian and Southeast Asian; or Dutch and Netherlandish.



The A&AePortal is available to UNC-Chapel Hill students, faculty, and staff with their ONYEN and password.

Users can access the platform for ebooks in two ways:

All access points will require you to log in with your UNC ONYEN and password. Be aware, it is not possible to sign into the A&AePortal directly. The above URL with the Library proxy must be used, and you will be required to enter your ONYEN on the UNC Libraries gateway not at the A&AePortal before proceeding to the content.


Finding eBooks - Searching & Browsing

The A&AePortal has a profusion of ways to browse or search for ebooks. The search bar at the top of the allows for keyword searches by book title, subject, author, publishing organization, or key phrases within the ebook. Above the search bar you can also conduct a search by subject area by clicking on the “Subject Areas” tab.

Above the search bar, in the top right corner, there is a ‘Bookshelf’ tab which houses a list of book you have saved to your bookshelf along with any annotation you have made. Additionally, the bottom of the homepage features a ‘Recently Added eBooks’ gallery of books they have added to their collection.

A & A ePortal Homepage (with use case diagram)


Borrowing and Reading eBooks

In order to read ebooks available on A&AePortal, all you need to do is select the book from the search results and download the chapters you would like to read. There is no need to borrow, or check out, the material. You can usually download either by chapter or the entire ebook.  

You can also read the book online right on the A&AePortal website. Selected the chapter you would like to read from the ebook’s information page and click on the “Read” Button. This will allow you to read the ebook on your browser with special features such as highlighting and annotation

Returning eBooks

There is no need to return ebooks to the A&AePortal, once they are downloaded you can retain the copy indefinitely. There is also no need to return books saved to your bookshelf—they’re just saved, not borrowed!

Check out this tutorial on searching and using the online viewer!

Special Features


While logged in, users can use their bookshelf to save and organize the ebooks they are reading. Click the "Bookshelf" tab at the top of the homepage to access your bookshelf. You can add books to your shelf while visiting each titles information page and selecting “Save” and then “add bookmark”.   

Highlight, Annotate, and Bookmark Pages

While reading an ebook online, advanced features allow users to highlight text, create annotations, bookmark pages, and search the text. This can be done with the A&AePortal viewer.

Training & Tutorials

A&AePortal How to Use Page

Navigate to A&AePortal’s How to Use Page to review instructions for getting started with the A&AePortal! There are also tips for troubleshooting common problems and FAQs. This page covers topics like searching, downloading, reading online and the bookshelf along with other tips to maximize your use of the platform.