An electronic document delivery system and methods of its use are provided. A document, preferably in a portable format, is forwarded to a remote server (e.g. using HTTP to "push" the document to the server). The server sends a generic notification of the document to an intended recipient, and the recipient can download the document from the server using local protocols. In preferred embodiments, the invention is used for the controlled delivery of portable documents from a sender to a large number of recipients, using a network of servers that route the documents and notifications in a store and forward manner, while providing routing and accounting information back to the sender.