How to access library databases from off-campus.



Start from the library's list of databases. If you go directly to, for example, it won't know to prompt for authentication. If you start from the library's list, when you are off-campus and click on a link that requires authentication, you will be prompted automatically for your Amherst username and password.

Who can access library resources from off-campus?
Off-campus access is available to all current Amherst College students, faculty, and staff, plus Five-College students currently enrolled in courses at Amherst.

What about Table of Content alerts or RSS feeds?
Some vendors add our proxy server prefix which enables off-campus linking to alerts, some do not. If the links you are provided with do not start with, they will not work from off-campus. You can copy and paste this prefix to the start of each link manually to allow links to work from off-campus.

Hint:  Add the prefix to the address of any online journal or database to which the library subscribes from a bookmark in your browser or without navigating through the library website. This should work for most, but ask us if you have problems.

What about alumni access to library resources?
Some resources are available to alumni, although many are for current students only.

What about Google Scholar and AC links?
If you use Google Scholar to search for articles, it won't know to provide the AC links to our full-text subscriptions when you're off-campus.
To use Google Scholar with Amherst databases:
Go to Settings > Library links.
Type Amherst College and check AC full-text.

The use of web browser proxy settings and VPN will be retired late December 2013. If you receive an error message similar to the one below, follow our instructions below to remove the proxy setting from your web browser.


Use of this proxy server has been discontinued

Amherst College library databases can now be accessed from off campus without using the Amherst College VPN.

Remove Proxy setting from your browser


  1. In the menu go to Firefox > Preferences.
  2. From the row of icons, select Advanced.
  3. Click the Network tab, and, in the Connection section, click Settings.
  4. Click to deselect the radio button option Automatic proxy configuration URL.
  5. Click OK then OK again to exit Options.
  6. Restart Firefox to complete the process.
iOS Device / iPad
  1. Tap Settings > Wi-Fi then the blue arrow for Amherst or Amherst Secure.
  2. In the HTTP Proxy section, tap Auto.
  3. Tap and clear the URL text box.
  4. In the left Menu, look at VPN under Wi-Fi. Make sure the switch for VPN is OFF. Slide it to OFF if needed.
  5. Use Safari to go to navigate to the library website and the databases you want to access.
  1. In the menu go to Tools > Options.
  2. From the row of icons, select Advanced.
  3. Click the Network tab.
  4. In the Connection section, click Settings.
  5. Click the radio button to select Use system proxy settings.
  6. Click OK then OK again to exit Options.
  7. Restart Firefox to complete the process.

Internet Explorer (Windows only)

  1. In the menu go to Tools > Internet Options.
  2. Select the Connections tab.
  3. Click the LAN Settings button.
  4. Clear the check box next to "Use automatic configuration script" .
  5. Click OK then OK again to exit Internet Options.
  6. Restart Internet Explorer to complete the process.

Service Categories

Service Categories: 
Network & Wi-Fi


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