The SALIS collection is a free online digital archive of alcohol, tobacco and other drug books and documents being built by the Substance Abuse Librarians and Information Specialists (SALIS) in partnership with the Internet Archive (IA). Currently there are over 5,700 items in the SALIS collection and it is international in its scope.

All of the materials in the archive may be downloaded, or e-borrowed, for up to 2 weeks for free. Anyone, anywhere in the world has access to the collection, and may borrow up to five items at a time. Once the 2-week borrowing period has ended, the item will simply disappear from one’s device.

The collection mainly comprises key seminal texts reflecting the history of substance misuse from the past to the current day. A  leading research library  in the US, The Alcohol and Drug Institute Library, recently donated nearly 2,000 books and documents to the SALIS collection, adding much to topic areas on opiates, marijuana and other drugs.  They are currently being digitized and added to the collection. Whilst from the UK a selection of key texts from the late Dr Tom Waller’s collection (Dr Waller was a member of the SSA) were donated to the SALIS collection and were scanned by the European Digitisation Unit at the Wellcome Institute.These have been added to the collection.

There are currently some documents in the SALIS collection about addiction and COVID -19 and in the future it is hoped that more documents will added to provide researchers with key information for future research.

The IA is collating materials from across the world from the media to websites. Currently the IA has collated over 6,900 BBC news items about COVID -19 from the end of February 2020.

By Christine Goodair


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