Humanities E-Book
The Online Collection
Developed By Scholars

ACLS Humanities E-Book (HEB) is an online collection of over 5,400 books of high quality in the humanities, accessible through institutional or individual subscription. HEB is available to entire campus communities. Using any web browser, faculty, students, staff and library patrons of subscribing institutions can view and search the HEB collection from campus offices, libraries, dorms and remotely when off-campus. An institutional subscription to HEB includes unlimited, simultaneous multi-user access from any Internet-connected location. In addition to unlimited multi-user access, libraries have access to free, downloadable MARC records.

These titles are offered by the American Council of Learned Societies in collaboration with thirty-one learned societies, over 100 contributing publishers, and the Michigan Publishing division at the University of Michigan Library. The goals of this collaboration are to assist scholars in the electronic publication of high-quality works in the humanities, to explore the intellectual possibilities of new media, and to help assure the continued viability of scholarship in today’s changing publishing environment. 


In 1998 and 1999, forecasting that books would soon follow journals into online distribution and access, the The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation funded two electronic monograph initiatives, one being the History E-Book¹ project. By June 1999 the Mellon Foundation funded the project with a $3-million, five-year grant to be managed by the American Council of Learned Societies. Additional funding for the project came from the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation. Original partners who aided in the early development of the collection include the Organization of American Historians, the American Historical Association, the Renaissance Society of America, the Society for the History of Technology, and the Middle East Studies Association. 

The collection launched in September 2002. The first entries in the collection included some of the first scholarly monographs to be converted from print to XML, enhanced media XML titles, and original HEB XML publications—all in History/Historical Area studies. However, the primary offering of HEB transformed after evaluating the needs of libraries in the marketplace and HEB began expanding its backlist offerings and subject areas. This led to the project’s second phase, where HEB achieved self-sustainability in the spring of 2005 and would later re-brand as ACLS Humanities E-Book in January 2007. 

As of August 1, 2018, ACLS Humanities E-Book is live on the Fulcrum publishing platform at Developed by Michigan Publishing and funded through a grant by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Fulcrum is the next step in the evolution of HEB. To learn more, visit the Fulcrum page on our website. 

HEB is 501(c)(3) nonprofit and aims to further the mission of the American Council of Learned Societies: “the advancement of humanistic studies in all fields of learning in the humanities and the social sciences and the maintenance and strengthening of relations among the national societies devoted to such studies.”


  • a comprehensively reviewed collection, chosen by scholars and scholarly societies
  • titles live on the new online, EPUB publishing platform Fulcrum
  • universal and 24/7 access to all members of the campus community
  • unlimited course reserve and classroom use
  • elimination of off-site, missing, or damaged print copies
  • free, downloadable MARC records and Counter 5 compliant usage statistics
  • an interface accessible by a variety of assistive technologies designed for readers with disabilities
  • .pdf chapter downloads

Subject Areas

Fields currently covered include Area and Historical Studies in the following: African, American, Asian, Australasian/Oceanian, Byzantine, Canadian, Caribbean, Central European, Comparative/World, Eastern European/Russian, Economic, Environmental, European, Jewish Studies, Latin American, Law, LGBT/Queer Studies, Medicine, Methods/Theory, Middle East, Native Peoples of the Americas, Science/Technology, Women’s Studies. HEB also encompasses the fields of Archaeology, Art and Architectural History, Biblical Studies, Bibliographic Studies, Film and Media Studies, Folklore, Linguistics, Literature, Literary Criticism, Musicology, Performance Studies (theater, music, dance), Philosophy, Political Science, Religion, and Sociology.