Introducing the SALIS Collection

First published: 15 November 2017 | Last updated: 19 August 2021

The SALIS Collection is a new digital archive of alcohol, tobacco and other drug books and documents being built by the Substance Abuse Librarians and Information Specialists in partnership with the Internet Archive.

A little history

In 2012 a SALIS editorial in Addiction entitled Collective Amnesia: Reversing the Global Epidemic of Addiction Library Closures alerted the field to the fact that many of the alcohol and drug specialist libraries were being closed or downsized – materials discarded and librarians dismissed. Since then many more libraries and databases have closed.

A key recommendation in the editorial was to create a digital archive to ensure that the literature of the addiction field was saved and made available to more persons throughout the world. Acting on this, SALIS signed a contract with the Internet Archive in 2014 to create this digital archive.

What’s in the archive?

To date there are over 5,700 items in The SALIS Collection, with over  366,470 views. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism awarded SALIS its library, thus alcohol titles are more prevalent. The aim is to include all the literature concerning alcohol and other drugs, both academic and popular press, history, biography, self-help, etc.

All the materials in the archive may be downloaded, or e-borrowed for up to two weeks for FREE. Anyone anywhere in the world has access to the collection, and may borrow up to 5 items at a time. Once the two weeks borrowing period has ended, the item will simply disappear from one’s device.



More recently, the Society for the Study of Addiction funded SALIS to digitize an additional 250 books for inclusion in the collection. These have now been added. Recommendations of core titles which people would like to see added to the collection and /or donations of physical copies are welcome.  This archive is viewed as a legacy to the field; it is hoped you will participate.

For more information contact: SALIS Home []


The opinions expressed in this commentary reflect the views of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the opinions or official positions of the Society for the Study of Addiction.