The creation of the web has made it possible for the first time for anyone to access a wide variety of material previously only available in print. This page contains both bibliographies of books available on the Web as well as links to those electronic texts themselves. Because of copyright considerations, the large majority of these titles are classic works in their fields. The list below is not intended to be exhaustive.
Online Books and Bibliographies
Free Books Online: 60+ Places to Find and Use Audio and Ebooks
This site, simple and easy to navigate, provides an extensive and helpful list of free books available online. Catagories include places to get free Ebooks and audio books, free fiction and nonfiction books, free education and textbooks, free reference books, and free audio books online. While you'll see some sources that are listed on this page, there are also a number of unique references that don't appear here.
18th Century E-texts
This site provides an excellent list of links to eighteenth century writings available on the Web. The author defines the period covered by the site as running from "Milton through Byron, or thereabouts."
Bartleby.com: Great Books Online
Bartleby.com publishes the classics of fiction, nonfiction, verse, as well as important reference works that are readily accessible by screen reading software for no charge. The focus is on important titles that have stood the test of time rather than contemporary works. Perhaps the best part of this site is the section permitting access to
The Harvard Classics
The Classics are arguably the most comprehensive and well-researched anthology of all time. It covers every major literary figure, philosopher, religion, folklore and historical subject through the twentieth century. This area of the site makes available texts with introductions, notes, guides to reading, and exhaustive indexes. Of additional interest may be
The World's Greatest Orations
Two millennia of Western Civilization come into focus through these 281 masterpieces by 213 rhetoricians. These brief persuasive addresses form both a window into history's turning points as well as a timeless collection for any reference shelf.
Lit2Go: MP3 Stories and Poems
A service of the University of South Florida and Florida’s Educational Technology Clearing House, this site is a free online collection of stories and poems in Mp3 (audiobook) format. You can download files to an MP3 player, listen to the files on your computer, view the text on a web page and read along as you listen, or print out the materials. You can browse by either author or title or search the collection by author, title, reading level, or key words. For grades K-12.
Free Online Literature with more than 2000 classic texts, including literature book notes, author biographies, book summaries, and reference books. You can read classic fiction, drama, poetry, short stories and contemporary Articles, and interviews. Study guides to the most read books and help for teachers are also available. You can research their reference books, dictionaries, quotations, classic nonfiction, biographies, and religious texts as well.
1,000+ Open Textbooks and Learning Resources for All Subjects
On average, undergraduate students at public universities spent about $1,298 on textbooks and supplies in the 2015-2016 school year. There are, however, hundreds of open source textbooks and educational resources available online. These are textbooks and online classes licensed under open copyright licenses (e.g., Creative Commons). Since they are freely available, you can either read them online or download them as PDFs at no cost. This site is essentially a free online textbook library. Hundreds of links to open textbooks and online courses from different websites are gathered here and sorted by subject.
This site provides links to a variety of online Christian literature including various versions of the Bible, extensive writings of early Church fathers, and numerous reference works.
Classic Works: Great Literature Online
Great Literature Online provides biographies and full text versions of the works of several dozen important Western authors. Where other sites frequently access only one or two examples of an author's works, this site attempts to be broader in its coverage of an author's corpus. You can, for example, find virtually all of Dickens's major books as well as a significant number of lesser known works.
Free Electronic Books Online
This site offers a large number of classic works for free. What sets it apart is a Java program which makes it possible for the visitor to manage the way the text is presented. You can alter the font, colors, page justification, etc. The program remembers where you left off and will automatically bookmark your place. While these are attractive visual features, unfortunately they are not screen reader friendly.
At present, this collection contains over 3,000 works of literature (including 1714 short stories) by 322 authors such as Dickens, Tolstoy, Shakespeare, and many others. The works are split into seven categories which may be either browsed or searched. All functions of the site are free although some features require free registration.
The Online Books Page
This excellent site provides over 35,000 free titles which may be searched by author, title, or subject. Major sections of the site include: An index of the thousands of online books freely readable on the Internet; links to other significant directories and archives of online texts; special exhibits of particularly interesting types of online books; and outstanding links to recent news about the availability of online materials. This is a very good catalogue in its own right, but, in addition, it is helpful in directing the visitor to other collections freely available on the Internet.
Banned Books Online
Banned Books Online is a somewhat deceptive title since it provides links to texts, now considered classics, which were once banned rather than contemporary pornography.
The Digital Book Index
Digital Book Index provides access to more than 80,000 titles records. It is the sole index that gathers both commercial and non-commercial eBooks from more than 1800 publishers and private publishing organizations. Titles range from ancient agriculture to space flight- in most major disciplines-literature, history, science and the history of science, social science, medicine, the arts, religion, and various area studies, etc. An extensive Reference section includes more than 2000 Dictionaries, Encyclopedias, Thesauri, Glossaries, Bibliographies, Timelines, Chronologies, Literary Histories, and includes, as well, a section on Writing & Style Guides that would be hard to surpass anywhere. More than 25,000 titles from public archives-all indexed here-are available free, while many others are available at very modest cost. Thousands more contemporary titles, ranging from the Nancy Drew mysteries to Star Trek, Ernest Hemingway or John Le Carré, are available from many leading publishers.
Internet Sacred Text Archive
This site is a freely available non-profit archive of electronic texts about religion, mythology, legends and folklore, and occult and esoteric topics. Texts are presented in English translation and, in some cases, in the original language. This site has no particular agenda other than promoting religious tolerance and scholarship.
These books are organized into ten categories, including national literatures of America, England, Russia, and France, world literature, World War I, sciences, children's literature and Radicals round out the collection. It is searchable. Its great strength is that it contains numerous important, although second tier authors, and their works.
Electronic Texts in Philosophy
epistemelinks.com Provides an electronic database of 900 works in philosophy, searchable by title, philosopher, and topic.
The EServer is an e-publishing co-op based at Iowa State University where hundreds of writers, editors and scholars gather to publish over 35,000 works free of charge." Quite accessible, topics range from antislavery literature and art/architecture to drama and early modern culture to Thoreau and web design. Searchable. Of special interest may be the sections of the site devoted to
18th Century Studies
Government, Law, and Society
History and Historiography
Languages and Linguistics
Music Theory, Composition, and Performance
Rhetoric and Composition
The Labyrinth, from Georgetown University, offers a staggering profusion of information, primary as well as secondary, on medieval studies. Information may be found in French, Iberian, Italian, Latin, and Middle English and Old English. Monographs, journals, and bibliographies are also available. Topics range from archaeology to science. The site may be browsed or searched. It is a high-quality one-stop shop on the subject.
Alex Catalogue of Electronic Texts
ALEX Catalogue of Electronic Texts is a database of American and British literary and philosophical documents which may be searched by author, title, or date. In addition, a unique feature of this site is the ability to search multiple documents simultaneously, making it possible to create more carefully targeted searches. This makes the site especially helpful, for example, when trying to trace themes in an author's works.
The Online Collection of the Internet Public Library
The Internet Public Library Books Collection (formerly known as Online Texts) contains over 20,000 works that can be browsed by author or by title. They can also be searched by author, title, key word, or subject. The collection provides access to a number of works not readily available in other online collections.
Country Studies - Federal Research Division, Library of Congress
This site contains the online versions of books that were originally published in hard copy by the Library of Congress to analyze the history, culture, and government of approximately 100 foreign countries. While there are some important omissions, if you are looking for information about most countries, especially if it is not a major country, this is a good place to begin.
Online Text Collections in Western European Literature
The Online Text Collections in Western European Literature concentrates on providing Internet sources for literary texts in the western European languages other than English. You can, therefore, find Catalan and Galician works as well as French and German. Some material, otherwise under copyright, may be available to visually disabled visitors.
Online Literature Library
The Online Literature Library Provides links to a variety of authors, most nineteenth century, and their works. Selections range from Charles Darwin's Origin of Species to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's "The Hound of the Baskervilles." Where many other sites only feature a single work by an author, this site makes an effort to feature several important titles in the author's corpus.
World Public Library Association
This is the "free page" of the site where you can get 200 free audio books. If you like what you hear, you can then become a member and get an additional 500,000 files.
Perseus Digital Library
The Perseus Project, housed in the Classics Department at Tufts University, makes available primary and secondary sources, encyclopedias, and bibliographies dealing primarily with ancient Greek and Latin writings. The corpus may be searched in a variety of ways. Of special interest is the ability to search for the origins and occurrences of Greek and Latin terms. This site is outstanding for the specialist but is definitely not for the novice.
Fourteenth to seventeenth century English literature, Aesop's fables, Project Gutenberg, the Electronic Text Center in the arts in humanities, great books of Western civilization, E-text Archives, and much more are catalogued here for reading online.
East of the Web
The purpose of East of the Web is to make short stories more accessible to users of the internet. You can browse its library by category or search it for a title, author or keyword. Clicking on an author's name lists all his/her stories along with further information and links. Stories can be read online, printed, or downloaded for reading offline. Categories include crime, horror, detective, humor, romance, and children's short stories. The text versions of the stories are screen reader friendly.
Libraries With Electronic Books
In addition to presenting links to original texts, the Libraries with Electronic Books also provides lists of books, reviews, autobiographies, bibliographies, and much more.
The Avalon Project at the Yale Law School: Documents in Law, History and Diplomacy
The Avalon Project has as its purpose to make available electronic versions of documents in law, economics, history, and diplomacy. The collection is extensive, accessible, and searchable. Not only are hard to find texts made available, but links to supporting documents explicitly mentioned in the texts are featured. This is an excellent and convenient reference for primary source material.
Page By Page Books.
This site has hundreds of free classic books that are in the public domain, including United States historical documents and presidential inaugural addresses. Books can be read online one page at a time.
Questia - The Online Library of Books and Journals
Questia bills itself as "the first online library that provides 24/7 access to the world's largest online collection of books and journal articles in the humanities and social sciences, plus magazine and newspaper articles." You can search each and every word of all of the books and journal articles in the collection. You can read every title cover to cover. The site provides exclusive access to more than 67,000 books and 1.5 million articles. Some portions of the site are accessible for free, but it is essentially offered by subscription.
Electronic Text Collections
Dartmouth University hosts this outstanding and extensive site of electronic collections covering Africa, Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and the United States. The site itself is quite accessible, although much of the material referenced may not be. Nonetheless, this is an excellent reference for serious study of the topics treated.
The Emory Women Writers Resource Project
The Emory Women Writers Resource Project is a collection of edited and unedited texts by women writing in English from the seventeenth century through the nineteenth century. The Project is a teaching tool, designed to offer graduate and undergraduate students in various disciplines the opportunity to edit their own texts. Examples of graduate student work are available under the heading "Edited Texts." A complete list of unedited texts, the pedagogic introduction, suggestions for assignments, and bibliographies are provided. Searchable, browsable, and very accessible.
One of the best aspects of libraries is that you can check things out free, which means anyone can have access to the wonders that books hold. In the twenty-first century, the Internet has taken that concept to a new level with Read Print. Read Print has an archive of dozens of classic books that you can read online for free. Shakespeare gets his own page, and there are informative articles elsewhere on the site about writing, reading, and understanding literature. You can search within a given text. What separates this site, however, from other online book sites is that you don't have to download anything. Just click the link to the book and enjoy.
The Internet Classics Archive
The English translations of 441 classic works, mostly Greek and Roman, are available and searchable by author or title at the Internet Classics Archive. You can also perform a key word search of the entire database. User commentaries are also available.
King James Version of the Bible
Browse individual books or the entire Bible. You can search for a single word or phrase throughout the entire Bible, make proximity searches for several words or phrases, or conduct Boolean or citation searches.
Juvenile Series and Sequels
At present, a database of over 28,000 books in series titles for children and young adults. Browse by series title, book title, author, or series subject (such as dinosaurs, dragons, horses, and spies), or use the main search link. Offerings are also divided by age. From Mid-Continent Public Library, Missouri.
Bibliographies on South Asian Topics
Collection of links to bibliographies about South Asia in general and countries in South Asia, covering topics such as religion (including Hinduism and Sikhism), women's rights, politics, languages, arts, literature, and history. From Columbia University Libraries.
20 Best Websites to Download Free E-books
"Annotated list of websites where you can download books for free. Some sites listed focus on computer programming, Shakespeare, government texts, technology, and other subjects. Reader comments provide suggestions of additional sources. From a blog with tips for tech users, designers, and bloggers." Some of the sites referenced provide material that is not accessible for a screen-reader, however, there is still much of value here.
"Wikibooks is a Wikimedia community for creating a free library of educational textbooks that anyone can edit." Searchable, or brows by topic, featured book, or other factors. Also includes links to Wikijunior (non-fiction books for children from birth to age 12), textbooks in "simple English," and books in languages other than English. Topic areas range from science, computers, and humanities to social sciences, language, and mathematics.
Beyond Books, Beyond Barriers
> The digital talking book library of the Association for the Blind of
> Western Australia offers an RSS feed of its production
> releases, books that have been converted to digital format and can be
> downloaded. Proof a print disability is required.
300+ Places for Free Books Online
Compiled by an enthusiast with the assistance of contributors, the site ranges from light reading to substantive works of academic value. Probably most efficiently used by browsing by genre. While there are many links to excellent collections of children's works and short stories, of special interest may be the following subject-related sites:
- American Mathematical Society Books Online by Subject
- Arthur's Classic Novels
- Book Glutton
- Bookyard: Library to the World
- Christian Classics Ethereal Library
- Computer Books.US
- Cranky Librarian
- Digital Book Index
- Free Books from Samizdat Press [Science and Math]
- Free Nonfiction Books: Free Business Books, Free Memoirs, Free How-to Books, Free Travel Books, Free Spiritual Books, and More
- free business books on accounting, economics, finance, management, mathematics, and statistics
- Free E-books online
- free books on Natural Science, Social Science, Programming, and Mathematics
- Free Computer, Programming, Mathematics, Technical Books, Lecture Notes and Tutorials
- FullBooks: Textbooks
- Great Books and Classics
- Islam Is for All Mankind
- The Literature Network
- MIT Internet Classics Archive
- Online Books for Free
- Online Books, Poems, Short Stories
- Online Christian Library
- Online Library
- Online Novels
- The Oxford Text Archive
- Psych. Classics
- Religion Online
- Shakespeare's Plays
- Charles Dickens Online: The Works and Life of Dickens
- The Complete Works of Mark Twain
- The Complete Works of William Shakespeare
- Classic Books by Famous Authors
- University of Oregon Electronic Text Library
- University of Pennsylvania Libraries
- University of Virginia Electronic Text Center
- World Public Library
American Rhetoric: The Power of Oratory in the United States
Although the site is cluttered for use with a screen-reader and takes some getting used to, it is worth the effort. The visitor can find an extensive catalog of speeches, ranging from important addresses of state to movie speeches. You can hear the actual speech along with the associated text. In addition, the site features some links to material of use in understanding and evaluating oratory.
The Online Books Page
Sponsored by the University of Pennsylvania, this site "facilitates access to books that are freely readable over the Internet. It also aims to encourage the development of such online books, for the benefit and edification of all. Listing over 25,000 free books on the Web."
Free Books: & Streaming : Ebook and Texts Archive
"Download free books and texts. The Internet Archive Text Archive contains a wide range of fiction, popular books, children's books, historical texts and academic books." Searchable.
Online Textbooks and eBooks
"With the rising prices in textbooks, especially those purchased through campus bookstores, it can be no surprise that more and more students and professors are turning to online resources. Digital textbooks exist in a variety of forms, including open-source documents, interactive eBooks, and as digital versions of regular texts." This section of the site contains "a list of these online sources, organized by subject, to help you find the information necessary for your class, and the best part is that all of these books are freely available online. You won’t have to pay a cent."
90 Places for Free Audio Books Online
446 Places for Free Books Online
are highly accessible sites that do what they promise -- provide free books online.
British Women Romantic Poets, 1789-1832
The British Women Romantic Poet's Project at the University of California, Davis "is producing an online scholarly archive consisting of E-text editions of poetry by British and Irish women written between 1789 and 1832, a period traditionally known in English literary history as the Romantic period." Many poets are little known or previously unpublished.
The Poetry Archive
The Poetry Archives make available a large number of poems which are out of copyright. This extensive collection may be either searched or browsed by author.
The Academy of American Poets
This is the site of the American Academy of Poets. It includes a searchable data base of poets and poetry as well as the opportunity to listen to many poems read. The site also includes the ability to access links enlarged text.
Representative Poetry Online
This outstanding site, hosted by the English Department of the University of Toronto, is a treasure trove of information about English poetry from Old English to the modern. It is possible to search the 400 poets by name, their 2,500 poems by title or first line, or a key word search of the database. Also, the site provides a glossary of poetic terms as well as a time line of the poetry.
This part of the University of Washington’s excellent site gives the visitor an easy to navigate and extensive list of poetry from Maya Angelou and Robert Browning to Walt Whitman and William Wordsworth. Browsable and very accessible.
"Created by Benetech (formerly Arkenstone), Bookshare.org is an online community that enables people with visual and other print disabilities to legally share scanned books. It is designed exclusively for the use of the blind and other individuals with print related disabilities. The primary source for Bookshare.org documents is print-disabled users of adaptive computer technology. There are many people who routinely use a computer to scan a book or other text into machine-readable form. Converting a book in this way can take up to several hours. Bookshare.org takes advantage of a special exemption in the U.S. copyright law that permits the reproduction of publications into specialized formats for the disabled. Bookshare.org believes that disabled people all across the United States wanting to read the same text needlessly repeat many hours of work. The Bookshare.org initiative seeks to maximize the efficiency of this process by making a work scanned by only one or a few people available to thousands of people instantly. Users must be able to submit proof of a print-related disability. Numerous books featured are still under copyright." Facebook and an accessible Twitter are also available.
Web-Braille is an Internet, web-based service that provides, in an electronic format, many Braille books and all Braille magazines produced by the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS) of the Library of Congress. The Web-Braille site is password-protected and all files are in an electronic form of grade 2 Braille, a format requiring the use of special equipment for access. Web-Braille contains the full text of thousands of NLS-produced Braille books and all Braille magazines currently produced by NLS. Copyright laws require that access to Web-Braille be limited to NLS patrons and eligible institutions. Access outside the United States, except to eligible American citizens, is not permitted. Note that selecting this link will not permit you to access the web Braille catalogue, only read about the program and receive instructions on how to apply.
One of the best known sites for online texts is Project Gutenberg. Its extensive list of free books may be either browsed or searched by author or title. Like some other sites, you may have to download text as zip files, so, if you are not familiar with the process, you should read the FAQ page.
LibriVox provides free audio books from the public domain. There are several options for listening, including MP3 files or from pod casting. LibriVox plans to read all the books in the public domain. There are also many links to other sites where you can hear free books.
WRBH Reading Radio
This station, funded by foundations, underwriting, and private contributions, has served the New Orleanes area for the last 25 years and is now providing a streaming webcast 24 hours a day to the world. The station features reading from both fiction and nonfiction works as well as interviews with authors. Most programs are rebroadcast for convenience of listening.
Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic: Accessible Audiobooks for students with visual impairment, dyslexia or learning disabilities
For the past 60 years RFB&D has used trained volunteer readers to record books for people who are unable to read standard print. Currently, approximately 240,000 members receive more than 500,000 files a year. The focus of RFB&D is recording textbooks or works that are designed to assist people in their work. All that is necessary to join is a documented "print disability" (visual impairment, dyslexia, or learning disability). Most files are available for digital download. Searchable.
Free Audio Books - Download an audio book in mp3 or iPod format today!
While there are a number of sites that offer books that are out of copyright, you must be tethered to your computer to read them. Books Should Be Free collects and distributes public domain audio books. There is a vast selection, including many classics and children's books. You can search by book title or category. Each book has a short preview. The books are available for download in MP3 format. You can also load them as
ITunes podcasts. Either option allows them to be used on a portable MP3 player. Take them anywhere you want to go. Cost: Free.
The National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped
"Through a national network of cooperating libraries, NLS administers a free library program of Braille and audio materials circulated to eligible borrowers in the United States by postage-free mail." While some titles may be of use for the student or professional, the primary focus of this branch of The Library of Congress is making available a wide cross-section of works. As a result, you’ll find romance, mystery and detective, and horror as well as science and biography. The NLS is in the process of converting from CDs to
available for download. Regardless of the format used, patrons must have a documented print disability (visual impairment, dyslexia, or learning disability). Students and professionals may want to consult
The Wise Guide
which introduces "the many fascinating, educational and useful resources available from the nation's library and one of the most popular Web sites of the federal government. The 'Wise Guide' will be refreshed monthly, much like a magazine, offering links to the best of the Library's online materials. Each of these 'articles' is based on items contained in a collection, database, reading room or other area" of the site. Includes an archive.
DailyLit: Read books online by daily email and RSS feed
"DailyLit sends books in installments via e-mail. DailyLit currently offers over 400 classic public domain titles that can be subscribed to and read in their entirety for free." Includes some in French, Italian, and Spanish. Search, or browse by title, author, or category. The entry for each work includes a preview of the first installment and the number of installments (such as 675 for War and Peace and 149 for Pride and Prejudice).
Accessible Media Production
The Association for the Blind of Western Australia produces books and other materials in a wide range of accessible formats. It is able to convert into Braille or the DAISY digital talking book format, items that you provide as either computer files, printed books and other materials, or existing recordings including analogue tapes. Charges for this service apply to any non-client of the Association. Prices are in U.S. Dollars, are based on the number of print pages, the format in which it receives the materials and whether the complexity of the content requires special handling for example, technical materials such as maths and chemistry or whether the item is in a language other than English. You may also be interested in an
about this service and a related program for recording books.
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