If you use text-to-speech software, like Read&Write by Texthelp, to read course materials, you will appreciate using a high-quality digital file of your text books and readings. Most journals publish good-quality files in Adobe PDF formats and most publishers now make high-quality PDFs available to students who prove they have purchased a copy of the publication.

If a publisher cannot provide a digital version of a publication, permission must be obtained from a publisher to digitize that publication.

Staff in the Centre for Accessible Learning will request digital versions of text books, or permission to digitize a publication, on your behalf, if you provide proof of purchase of a publication.

Once you have purchased course materials, submit your receipt to the Centre for Accessible Learning and a staff member will submit what is called a "Request for Alternate Format" to one of several sites - the AccessText Network, Bibliovault or directly on publisher's sites. We will send you the digital version of the publication. Digital versions are not stored, are to be used only by the person making the request and must not be shared.



1. Buy your textbooks and take a picture of your receipt! Send that receipt to

2. Login to MesAmis ( - click on the MyBooks tab and copy your MyBooks list into an email.

3. Send an email of your list to Dave Coyle ( who will start the search process. Dave will contact you with the digital text as soon as it arrives from the publisher.


Public Domain

When looking for digital versions of written works you should be aware of the concept of Public Domain

"The term “public domain” refers to creative materials that are not protected by intellectual property laws such as copyright, trademark, or patent laws. The public owns these works, not an individual author or artist. Anyone can use a public domain work without obtaining permission, but no one can ever own it."(

"In general, works published after 1977 will not fall into the public domain until 70 years after the death of author, or, for corporate works, anonymous works, or works for hire, 95 years from the date of publication or 120 years from the date of creation, whichever expires first." (

You should, therefore, find Greek and Roman writers (Plato, Euripides) in the Public Domain. Shakespeare's written works are all in the Public Domain. Beowulf is public Domain as are The Canterbury Tales. Many publishers have packaged Public Domain works in special volumes that contain specialist commentary or analysis; your professor may want you to purchase one of those special editions.

Tip: It's often easier to find words or terms in an online version of a text like Beowulf than it is to hunt for a term through a paper version of that text. CTRL+F will open a search box and you can then search for a term that you might be researching for a paper.


Other Digital Resources


National Network for Equitable Library Service

To use the NNELS Service you'll need a Pictou-Antigonish Regional Library card and to complete a Self Declaration Form. See the Information about NNELS link below and the Link for the Self Declaration Form on this page.


Pictou Antigonish Regional Library

Information about NNELS

Get a Library Card



This large online collection of public-domain audio files is worth a search.

Link to Libri Vox


Project Gutenburg

- Project Gutenburg CANADA -

- Project Gutenburg -