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Hathi Trust "provides long-term preservation and access services to digitized content from a variety of sources, including Google, the Internet Archive, Microsoft, and in-house member institution initiatives. Items in the public domain are in full-view for everyone and items held in copyright are searchable."

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Free books, anyone? Google Books has well over 40,000 titles online that are free to read online (and usually free to download in .pdf format, and some in .epub format).

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Find books with e.g. Books and Culture

e.g. Hamilton Mabie or "Hamilton Wright Mabie"

e.g. O'Reilly

e.g.Medieval History or "Medieval History"

e.g. 1970 and 1972  and 

e.g. 0060930314

The Open Library is a search interface from the Internet Archive which contains records for 13.4 million books (with more coming). You can search the full text of 230,000 scanned books. Those available online can be read in your browser in "flipbook viewer" format, or downloaded in .pdf or DjVu format.

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You can find the full-text of over 1 million free books online with the U. of Pennsylvania Digital Library's The On-Line Books Page search engine. Read the complete works of Shakespeare, find out what happened to Captain Ahab, and much more.

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About 20,000 of the books indexed by the Online Books search engine are from Project Gutenberg. You might want to check for "new" books on their recent additions page. To help archive more books at Project Gutenberg, you can join Distributed Proofreaders.

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Wikisource is a free online library anyone can edit, with over 300,000 texts.

enter title, author, or keywords:

Although their user interface is not as friendly as those above, at the Digital Book Index you can browse or search through links to over 140,000 free books online.

The British Library Online Gallery lets you view images of 30,000 rare books.

Free Sheet Music: The Sheet Music Consortium, hosted by the UCLA Digital Library, provides free online and downloadable scans of old sheet music. For example, a search for "Stephen Foster" produces 333 results. browse

More links from the British Columbia Digital Library:
General Online Book Collections
Directories, Guides, Portals, Search

eBooks, particularly public domain eBooks that are simple .txt files, can be uncomfortable to read from a PC display. BookReader is a comfortable freeware e-book viewer that solves this problem. BookReader reformats text documents to represent them on your screen according to your preferences. It remembers the reading position for each book from your personal library. Text and the page layout are fully customizable: you can alter fonts, colors, page dimensions, borders, textures, etc.

The FictionMags Index lists the contents of popular fiction magazines. "Particular emphases are on the “Gaslight” magazines of circa 1880-1914, the pulp magazines of the first half of the 20th century, the “Big Slick” magazines of the mid-20th century, the digest-sized magazines of the 1950s and 1960s — and any other areas of magazine publishing which have been important for fiction."

Library Journal Digital "is an electronic offshoot of Library Journal, the oldest independent national library publication" founded in 1876. Of particular interest is the excellent 'WebWatch' section, which gives good descriptions of many good websites. provides help for beginning screenwriters. Playwrights' help can be found at Playwriting 101.

iUniverse, as they put it, is 'The leading open publisher...opening publishing to everyone. We have made it easier than ever to bring your manuscript or out-of-print titles to print.' Upload your manuscript and they'll give you a website, an ISBN number, and a deal for 'instant publishing' hard copy sales through the major vendors.

The Postmodern Generator is a demonstration of software that writes essays by linking quotes and jargon.

Writer's Digest

  Free Books and Classic articles (most from the NY Times or LA Times)

  click to reload links to selected free Google Books

  Free ePub Format Reader Software:
Adobe Digital Editions
FB Reader

  Current Book Reviews

US Copyright Renewal Records
    US books published prior to 1923 are now public domain. For US books published between 1923 and 1963, the rights holder needed to submit a renewal form to the US Copyright Office 28 years after publication. Most books that were not renewed are now in the public domain, and most books weren't renewed. So most US books published from 1923 to 1963 should be freely usable.

    US Copyright Office records from 1978 onward are online but not downloadable in bulk. Carnegie Mellon scanned earlier records, and Project Gutenberg and Distributed Proofreaders corrected the OCR. Jarkko Hietaniemi gathered the records from both sources and combined them into a single XML file available for download from Google. "There are undoubtedly errors in these records, but we believe this is the best and most comprehensive set of renewal records available today."

from The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
    $4.95 at or download .pdf free

    "Really Watson, you excel yourself," said Holmes, pushing back his chair and lighting a cigarette. "I am bound to say that in all the accounts you have been so good as to give of my own small achievements you have habitually underrated your own abilities. It may be that you are not yourself luminous, but you are a conductor of light. Some people without posessing genius have a remarkable power of stimulating it..."

    "Has anything escaped me," I asked with some self-importance...

    "I am afraid, my dear Watson, that most of your conclusions were erroneous. When I said you stimulated me I meant, to be frank, that in noting your fallacies I was occasionally guided towards the truth."