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COVID-19 Response FAQs

COVID-19 Response FAQs

In order to make the current situation clearer to our university end users — whether students, librarians or teachers — during these difficult times, we have provided answers to a series of FAQs. We hope you find them helpful and informative.

What is happening?

British Online Archives (BOA) has decided to provide access to our entire platform to all existing UK customers — including those who have trialled any of our products in the past — for an initial period of 30 days with effect from Monday 1st February 2021.

Why are you doing this?

We understand the detrimental effect the outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) continues to have on all areas of society, including Higher Education. Providing access to our e-resources will hopefully help students and researchers to continue learning during such unprecedented times.

Who is eligible?

From Monday 1st February 2021, all UK existing institutional customers — including those who have trialled any of our products in the past — will be granted automatic access. Over the coming weeks, we will be working to extend the same terms of access to new UK customers who are interested in taking part. We therefore encourage patience whilst this process takes place.

How do I know if my university is an existing customer?

Please contact your university library, who will be able to confirm this for you.

What if my university is not an existing customer? Are we still eligible?

Yes. We can still provide a free 30 day trial of the entire BOA platform. We would politely ask you to speak with your university Library to submit a trial request form (no obligation — it's just our tried and tested method of gaining institutional access information) if they have not done so already. Please do not do this yourself as we are not equipped to deal with high numbers of individual requests.

Can individuals request a trial?

Unfortunately no, this is for institutions engaged in Higher Education only. The reason for this is we simply are not equipped to deal with multiple individual requests, and access is created using the institution's pre-existing Student library access. Therefore any requests must come through your university library.

How can I gain access?

All access can be made available via IP address, EZProxy as well as Federated Access via Shibboleth or Open Athens. All access credentials we do not already have must be submitted to us via your university library to Once access is set up for your university, you should be able to authenticate automatically.

How will I know if I can access your collections?

If you visit our collections homepage, you should see an open green padlock icon next to the title of each collection (). If you do not see this icon, please report this to your university library.

Can access be granted beyond the 30-day period?

We are open to extending the trial beyond this initial 30-day period. Given the success of our previous COVID-19 trial campaign in 2020, this is a distinct possibility. However, a lot will be determined by how well used our resources are at each institution, so we may need to make decisions on a case-by-case basis.

What if I am experiencing problems with access?

Please speak with your university library. Any technical difficulties can be reported from there to

Are there any limitations on access?

You will see on our collections homepage that there are a small number of forthcoming collections marked 'Coming Soon'. Additionally, given the scope of access, we have been forced to limit downloads to individual pages only.

Where can I find further information on how to navigate your platform?

On our Support section.

What if my question is not covered in the above?

Please contact your university library who can in turn reach us at

Published 20/01/2021