On the 19th June Bertram Books filed for administration.  The company, which operated as Bertram Trading, entered administration alongside two subsidiary brands: Education Umbrella Limited and Dawson Books Limited.

The University Library has been a longstanding customer of Dawson Books Limited for over a decade, being our principal supplier of both printed academic textbooks and digital e-books through the Dawsonera platform.

We appreciate that this has caused concern over the long-term availability of the e-books we’ve purchased. A recent update to the situation has been made which we wish to share with you.

Askews and Holts VLeBooks, who already host our e-books purchased through Askews, announced on the 9th July that an agreement has been reached with the administrators to purchase the assets only for Dawson Books Dawsonera current catalogue. This will allow them, in most instances, to import the Dawsonera catalogue to VLeBooks for the University’s owned library content. VLeBooks cannot guarantee a 100% match but the majority of the content we currently hold on Dawsonera will become available through VLeBooks.

The Dawsonera platform will be unavailable after the 30 July. We will try and make the transition as seamless as possible for you all but please bear with us as we make the e-books accessible through VLeBooks instead of Dawsonera. There will be some unavoidable interruption to service.

What titles might not be transferred?

There may be some withdrawn, corrupt or very old content that VLeBooks will be unable to access, however their eBook and technical teams are already working to find solutions to give access to as much content as possible from the Dawsonera platform.

Will my annotations, notes or comments be saved?

If you use annotations, notes comments or enhanced content in Dawsonera this cannot be transferred for technical reasons and will be unavailable after the 30th July. We highly recommend that you download any notes that you wish to keep as soon as possible prior to the Dawsonera service being terminated.

Why am I getting a security certificate error when I try and access an e-book from Dawsonera?

Whilst under administration the Dawsonera security certificate has lapsed. If you get a security certificate error when you try and access a Dawsonera e-book, rest assured it is still safe to click through and access the resource.

I’m having difficulty accessing an e-book, how can I get help?

Please email library.canterbury@canterbury.ac.uk with as much detail as possible about the title you’re trying to access, including the link you’re trying to use to access it. We’ll then investigate and get back to you with details on how to access the e-book or advise you if it’s temporarily unavailable.


We’d like to thank all the dedicated staff at Dawson Books Limited who have helped us over our many years as a customer. We wish them well and our thoughts are with them at this difficult time.