About the Wikipedia Library
The Wikipedia Library provides free access to research materials to improve your ability to contribute content to Wikimedia projects.
The Wikipedia Library Card Platform is our central tool for reviewing applications and providing access to our collection. Here you can see which partnerships are available, search their contents, and apply for and access the ones you’re interested in. Volunteer coordinators, who have signed non-disclosure agreements with the Wikimedia Foundation, review applications and work with publishers to get you your free access. Some content is available without an application.
Who can receive access?
Any active editor in good standing can receive access. For publishers with limited numbers of accounts, applications are reviewed based on the editor’s needs and contributions. If you think you could use access to one of our partner resources and are an active editor in any project supported by the Wikimedia Foundation, please apply.
Any editor can apply for access, but there are a few basic requirements. These are also the minimum technical requirements for access to the Library Bundle (see below):
- You have an account that is a minimum of 6 months old
- You have made a minimum of 500 edits to Wikimedia projects
- You have made at least 10 edits to Wikimedia projects in the last month
- You are not currently blocked from editing a Wikimedia project
- You do not already have access to the resources you’re applying for through another library or institution
If you don't quite meet the experience requirements but think you would still be a strong candidate for access, feel free to apply and you may still be considered.
What do I do after I get access?
Approved editors may use their access to:
- Search, view, retrieve, and display partner content
- Electronically save partner content
- Print out single copies of partner content
Approved editors should not:
- Share their account logins or passwords with others, or sell their access to other parties
- Mass scrape or mass download partner content
- Systematically make printed or electronic copies of multiple extracts of restricted content available for any purpose
- Datamine metadata without permission, in order, for instance, to use metadata for auto-created stub articles
Respecting these agreements allows us to continue growing the partnerships available to the community.
EZProxy is a proxy server used to authenticate users for many Wikipedia Library partners. Users sign into EZProxy via the Library Card platform to verify that they are authorized users, and then the server accesses requested resources using its own IP address.
You may notice that when accessing resources via EZProxy that URLs are dynamically rewritten. This is why we recommend logging in via the Library Card platform rather than going directly to the unproxied partner website. When in doubt, check the URL for ‘idm.oclc’. If it’s there, then you’re connected via EZProxy.
Typically once you’ve logged in your session will remain active in your browser for up to two hours after you’ve finished searching. Note that use of EZProxy requires you to enable cookies. If you are having problems you should also try clearing your cache and restarting your browser.
The Library Bundle is a collection of resources for which no application is required. If you meet the criteria laid out above, you will be authorized for access automatically upon logging in to the platform. Only some of our content is currently included in the Library Bundle, however we hope to expand the collection as more publishers become comfortable with participating. All Bundle content is accessed via EZProxy.
If your account is blocked on one or more Wikimedia projects, you may still be granted access to the Library Bundle. You will need to contact the Wikipedia Library team, who will review your blocks. If you have been blocked for content issues, most notably copyright violations, or have multiple long-term blocks, we may decline your request. Additionally, if your block status changes after being approved, you will need to request another review.
Citation practices vary by project and even by article. Generally, we support editors citing where they found information, in a form that allows others to check it for themselves. That often means providing both original source details as well as a link to the partner database in which the source was found.
If you have questions, need help, or want to volunteer to help, please see our contact page.