Accessing the collection

To access the books, visit the E-library and enter your Institution website login details as usual.

Once you have selected the book, you can: 

  • Read it online for up to 24 hours. 

  • Download to your device for 24-48 hours.

You will be able to read the book on your pc or laptop without installing any software but to download a book or transfer it to your mobile device you will need to install Adobe Digital Editions and will also need an Adobe ID. For mobile devices you will require the free Bluefire Reader app from the App Store or Google Play and an Adobe ID.

Please note: We’ve made every effort to upload as many key titles as possible to the e-library. However, some are not currently available in E-book format. Please check back periodically to see when new titles have been added.


What is the E-library?

Think of it as the electronic equivalent of borrowing a paper copy. The Library is giving you temporary online access to a selection of over 250 titles, which will build up over time, in the same way that you would borrow the paper copy of a library book for a period of time. You are not able to download an entire book and keep it forever.

Which E-book provider have you used?

ProQuest Ebook Central.

Where do I find the E-library?

They are linked to from the Library page at http://www.istructe.org/resources-centre/library, or the direct URL is http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/istructe/home.action.

Do I need any particular software to view the E-library?

Not if you simply want to read the book on your PC or laptop but you will need the free Adobe Digital Editions and will also need an Adobe ID if you wish to download the book and/or transfer the book to your mobile device. If you do not have Adobe Digital Editions installed or have an Adobe ID registered already, you will be directed to them the first time you attempt to download a full book or chapter. When you open a book in Adobe Digital Editions for the first time you will be prompted to authorise your computer – to do this you need to select Adobe ID as your “eBook Vendor” then either enter your Adobe ID and Password or “Create an Adobe ID” if you do not have one already.


If you are using a mobile device you will need the Bluefire Reader app and an Adobe ID – again, you will be directed to where you can install the Bluefire Reader app from the App Store or Google Play and an Adobe ID from and sign in to or register for an Adobe ID.

Can all grades of membership use the service?

The service is free to all grades except non-feepaying Student members.

Can I use my phone or tablet to access the E-library?

The service works best on PCs, laptops and tablets but does also work on mobile phones. Due to the size of a mobile screen you have to select the chapter you wish to view then select “X” to close the chapter headings and view the page you require. The first time you try to use the service with any mobile device you will be prompted to download the Bluefire Reader app and to sign in to or register for an Adobe ID when you try to either read or download the book.

Does the service work on Kindle/Kindle Fire?

Unfortunately not.

Can I see a list of all the books?

Yes. Without entering a search term, just click on the search button and all titles will be displayed – you can select how many you wish to see and which order they are sorted in.

How do I search for books?

When you first arrive at the service you will see a large, simple rectangular search box in the top, centre of the screen – below that is an option for Advanced Search and Browse Subjects.

Does the search facility search within the text of all the books?

No. It searches for author, words in the title, subject keywords and publication year. Once you have selected a book though you can do a full word search within that book.

Do you have instructions for the advanced features of the service – such as Bookshelf, making annotations, etc.?

ProQuest has produced a series of guides (LibGuides) at http://proquest.libguides.com/ebookcentral.

I keep getting asked “Please select a loan length to continue” and to “Check out Ebook” – why is this and what does it mean?

The Institution has purchased a set number of accesses per year for each book. You will be able to view the book for 5 minutes before a 24 hour access to that book is triggered. You will be prompted after 5 minutes – or if you select print, copy or download – to see whether you want to trigger a 24 hour access. Please do not use up the access unless you are sure you need to do so.

When I try to download a book, the service asks me to open it first – why is this?

When you want to download a book in full or a chapter from it you will be notified that the Institution has asked you to open the book before you download it – this is to help ensure that the book contains the information you require before you download it and doesn’t use up a daily access unnecessarily.

Why are there no technical reports or standards?

This is purely a collection of books – it does not include technical report type publications by such publishers as BRE, CIRIA, Concrete Society or SCI and does not include British or other national standards.

How long can I keep the book for?

You can either read the book for 24 hours from the moment you chose to read the book online or download the book for either 24 or 48 hours. With a small number of titles, where the Institution has purchased unlimited access, it is possible to download for up to 21 days.

How much can I copy, print or download?

This varies from title to title. When you select the title you wish to see you will see how many pages you can either copy, print or download. The books are DRM (Digital Rights Management) encoded so will block you from exceeding the limit set.

We welcome requests and suggestions for titles not currently held and will consider purchasing them within our available budget.

Be aware that some publishers choose not to make certain titles available as E-books for commercial reasons and some publishers, eg. ICE Publishing or McGraw-Hill only make their books available through their own E-book platform. This will apply, for example to Tomlinson’s Foundation design and construction, Neville’s Properties of concrete and Roark’s formulas for stress and strain.

Who do I contact if I have a problem or question?

For matters to do with content or your Institution login details, or if you want to provide us with feedback, please email library@istructe.org; for technical issues email ebooksupport@proquest.com.

Find out more...

All of the pages on this website are the copyright © of The Institution of Structural Engineers.

The Institution of Structural Engineers, International HQ, 47-58 Bastwick Street, London, EC1V 3PS, United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0)20 7235 4535 Fax: +44 (0)20 7235 4294
Registered with the Charity Commission for England and Wales No. 233392 and in Scotland No. SC038263
Follow us on: Twitter Facebook LinkedIn Youtube The Structural Engineer Jobs