National Geographic Virtual Library: What it includes and how to purchase it

Last week, Gale announced another expansion of its partnership with National Geographic with the launch of National Geographic: People, Animals, and the World, the third resource in its multi-media National Geographic Virtual Library package (selected by Mirela Roncevic as one of the most impactful digital resources for libraries in 2012). This new component of the Library joins National Geographic Magazine Archive, 1888-1994 and National Geographic Magazine Archive, 1995-Current, which were released in 2012. Additional NGVL products are expected in 2013.

People, Animals, and the World  includes full-text books on travel, science & technology, history, environment, animals, photography, and peoples and cultures; 325 videos; over 655 full-color maps; 600 downloadable images; and the National Geographic Traveler magazine from 2010–present, all integrated within Gale’s research platform and designed for use by students, teachers, faculty and “anyone with a curiosity for the natural world.” We contacted Gale representatives for more information on how libraries can purchase the content. Here’s the scoop.

  • People, Animals, and World contains 175 National Geographic ebooks at launch, with new titles to be added every year (see breakdown below).
  • The National Geographic Magazine Archive, 1888-1994 is sold as a purchase or a subscription (annual).  National Geographic Magazine Archive, 1995-Current and National Geographic: People, Animals, and the World are sold by subscription only.
  • Libraries must subscribe or purchase the 1888-1994 content in order to subscribe to either of the other two parts.
  • Discounts are offered for the purchase of two or more resources, and Gale encourages libraries to purchase the complete NGVL package in order to take full advantage of the cross-searchability of the resources.
  • Libraries may register for a free trial here.

Below is the breakdown of sample ebook titles now available within NGVL.

Books on Travel

  • 100 Best Affordable Vacations
  • National Geographic Guide to the State Parks of the United States
  • Secret Journeys of a Lifetime: 500 of the World’s Best Hidden Travel Gems
  • National Geographic Traveler: Australia
  • National Geographic Traveler: China
  • Walking Rome (Cities of a Lifetime)

Books on Animals

  • National Geographic Field Guide to the Birds of North America, Sixth Edition
  • Dog Tips from DogTown: A Relationship Manual for You and Your Dog
  • In the Womb: Animals
  • National Geographic Field Guide to the Water’s Edge: Beaches, Shorelines, and Riverbanks

Books on Environment

  • Tornado Hunter: Getting Inside the Most Violent Storms on Earth
  • Extreme Ice Now: Vanishing Glaciers and Changing Climate: A Progress Report
  • Written in Water: Messages of Hope for Earth’s Most Precious Resource
  • Citizens of the Sea: Wondrous Creatures from the Census of Marine Life

Books on History

  • Abraham Lincoln’s Extraordinary Era: The Man and His Times
  • 1001 Inventions: The Enduring Legacy of Muslim Civilization
  • Great Empires: An Illustrated Atlas
  • Lost Gold of the Dark Ages: War, Treasure, and the Mystery of the Saxons
  • The Untold Civil War: Exploring the Human Side of War
  • National Geographic Concise History of World Religions: An Illustrated Time Line

Books on Photography

  • Faces of Africa: Thirty Years of Photography
  • Polar Obsession
  • Ocean Soul
  • Photographing Your Family: And All the Kids and Friends and Animals Who Wander Through Too
  • National Geographic Ultimate Field Guide to Travel Photography

Books on Science

  • Sizing Up the Universe: The Cosmos in Perspective
  • Science as a Contact Sport: Inside the Battle to Save Earth’s Climate
  • Brainworks: The Mind-Bending Science of How You See, What You Think, and Who You Are
  • God Species: Saving the Planet in the Age of Humans
  • The Big Idea: How Breakthroughs of the Past Shape the Future


Mirela Roncevic is an independent content developer, writer, and editor. She contributes articles and stories to NSR on reference and digital publishing and content development. She’s also co-editor of forthcoming ALA journal, eContent Quarterly. Publishers and content aggregators may send all PR materials directly to Mirela at Follow her on Twitter @MirelaRoncevic.