Free eBooks on the Web

In addition to the electronic book collections that are available for the use of current ORU students, faculty, and staff only, thousands of eBooks are open access, which means that they are available free of charge at various Internet locations. The following are links to some major Web sites that provide free eBooks:

  • Alex Catalogue of Electronic Texts: American and English literature as well as Western philosophy. See also Alex 2.
  • American Verse Project: An electronic archive of volumes of American poetry made up of mostly 19th century poetry.

  • The ARTFL Project: The Project for American and French Research on the Treasury of the French Language.

  • The Avalon Project at Yale Law School: Documents in law, history and diplomacy.

  • Bartleby: Great books online: fiction, nonfiction, verse, and reference.

  • Bible Gateway: The Bible in various versions and languages.

  • Bible Hub:Online study suite of topical, Greek and Hebrew study tools, plus concordances, commentaries, dictionaries, sermons and devotionals.
  • Bible Study Tools: Multiple versions of the Bible, an interlinear Bible, a parallel Bible, and other Bible study helps provided by Crosswalk.com.

  • Bibliomania: Includes more than 2000 free texts, study guides and reference resources.

  • Biblos.com: Originally created in 2004 as the Online Parallel Bible with many versions of the Bible in English as well as in multiple other languages, this site was developed to integrate the parallel Bible with various Bible study tools.

  • Biodiversity Heritage Library: "A consortium of natural history and botanical libraries that cooperate to digitize and make accessible the legacy literature of biodiversity held in their collections and to make that literature available for open access and responsible use as a part of a global 'biodiversity commons.'"

  • Bitpipe.com: "The enterprise IT professional's guide to information technology resources. Browse this free online library for the latest technical white papers, webcasts and product information to help you make intelligent IT product purchasing decisions." Requires registration.

  • A Celebration of Women Writers: A collection of works by women writers gathered from over the centuries and from many countries.

  • Christian Classics Ethereal Library: Works from various Christian traditions.

  • Complete Works of Shakespeare: Drama and poetry.

  • Core Documents of U.S. Democracy: Documents which contain "information which is vital to the democratic process and critical to an informed electorate."

  • Digital Book Index: "Provides links to more than 165,000 full-text digital books from more than 1,800 commercial and non-commercial publishers, universities, and various private sites. More than 140,000 of these books, texts, and documents are available free."

  • Directory of Open Access Books (DOAB): A collection of academic, peer-reviewed books from various publishers, with harvestable metadata "in order to maximize dissemination, visibility and impact."

  • Documenta Catholica Omnia: A massive database of historical church documents including Migne's Patrologia Latina & Patrologiae Graecae. The majority of the items are in Latin, many are in Greek, some are in English and Italian, and a few are in French.

  • Documenting the American South: A collection of sources on Southern history, literature and culture from the colonial period through the early 20th century.

  • Duke Papyrus Archive: "The Duke Papyrus Archive provides electronic access to texts about and images of nearly 1400 papyri from ancient Egypt."

  • Early Canadiana Online: "These collections contain over 80,000 rare books, magazines and government publications from the 1600s to the 1940s."

  • Early Church Fathers - Additional Texts: Edited by Roger Pearse, "these English translations are all out of copyright, but were not included in the 38-volume collection of Ante-Nicene, Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers.... The texts are listed in chronological order."

  • Early Modern Philosophy: English versions of key texts by such early modern philosophers as Bacon, Berkeley, Descartes, Hobbes, Hume, Kant, Leibniz, Locke, Malebranche, Mill, Reid, and Spinoza, "prepared with a view to making them easier to read while leaving intact the main arguments, doctrines, and lines of thought." Created by Jonathan Bennett.

  • ebrary: Free "Open Access" Collections: A small set of free eBook collections provided via ebrary.
  • The EServer: Also known as the English Server. "A growing online community where hundreds of writers, artists, editors and scholars gather to publish and discuss their works."

  • The Evangelical Christian Library: A collection of some 150 online books written by contemporary Christian authors.
  • The Franciscan Archive: "A WWW Resource on St. Francis and Franciscanism."

  • FreeTechBooks.com: "This site lists free online computer science and engineering books and lecture notes , all of which are legally and freely available over the Internet."

  • Gallica: la bibliothèque numérique: The Bibliothèque nationale de France provides this library of French and francophone culture. It includes over a million electronic texts, documents, images, animations, maps, and sound files, and covers such subject areas as economics, history, law, literature, philosophy, political science, and science.

  • The Gnostic Society Library: "Includes over a thousand documents related to the Gnostic tradition, including all major Gnostic writings and anti-Gnostic patristic texts." The collection is searchable here.

  • Google Books Search: Allows searching of digitized books. If a book is under copyright, a search result will provide basic bibliographic information about it, and "in many cases, a few snippets – a few sentences showing your search term in context. If the book is out of copyright, you'll be able to view and download the entire book. In all cases, you'll see links directing you to online bookstores where you can buy the book and libraries where you can borrow it."

  • HathiTrust Digital Library: Includes some 2,887,976 digitized volumes in the public domain, of over 10 million total.

  • HebrewBooks.org : 15,000 Classical Hebrew Books for Free Download. Tutorial.

  • The Hebrew Text of the Tanach

  • The Holy Father: Access to papal encyclicals, homilies, letters, and other documents from Leo XIII to Benedict XVI provided by the Vatican website.

  • Humanities Text Initiative: Electronic resources provided by the University of Michigan.

  • Hypertexts @ the University of Virginia: American Studies.

  • InTechOpen: Open Science|Open Minds: "A pioneer and world's largest multidisciplinary open access publisher of books covering the fields of Science, Technology and Medicine." Includes the full text of more than 2,350 books and 6 journals
  • Internet Archive: Open-Access Text Archive: An archive of "a wide range of fiction, popular books, children's books, historical texts and academic books."

  • Internet Ancient History Sourcebook : "A ' classroom usable' sourcebook of copy-permitted material for ancient history and civilization courses."

  • Internet Classics Archive: "Bringing the wisdom of the classics to the Internet since 1994."

  • Internet Modern History Sourcebook: "A sourcebook of copy-permitted material for Modern European history and Modern Civilization courses." Includes North American and Latin American documents.

  • Internet Medieval Sourcebook: "An online source book of copy-permitted, although not necessarily copyright-free, source material for Medieval Studies. It is the largest online resource of medieval and Byzantine textual sources."

  • The Internet Public Library Books Collection: A list of online books browsable by title.

  • Internet Sacred Text Archive: Click one of the topics in the left menu. Try, for example, Bible, Christianity, and Judaism.

  • The Labyrinth: Resources for Medieval Studies.

  • Literary Resources on the Net: "A collection of links to sites on the Internet dealing especially with English and American literature."

  • Making of America Books: Primary sources in American social history from the antebellum period through reconstruction.

  • NASA Technical Reports: "Allows users to search the many different abstract and technical report servers maintained by various NASA centers and programs."

  • National Academies Press: "The National Academies Press is now offering many of its titles in digital PDF format. Hundreds of these books can be downloaded for free by the chapter or by the entire book, while others are available for purchase."

  • New Advent: Includes Catholic texts including the Catholic Encyclopedia, Thomas Aquinas' Summa Theologica, the Fathers of the Church, the Bible, and other documents.

  • The Online Books Page: More than 35,000 English works in various formats.

  • Online Library of Liberty: Includes 1,631 titles, 453 authors, and 1,147 essays in 23 categories.
  • Online Literature Library: Classics.

  • Open Library: Over 1 million free ebooks available.
  • The Orange Grove: Florida's Digital Repository: "Florida's digital repository for instructional resources. The repository provides an environment for educators to search for, use, remix, share, and contribute educational resources."

  • The Oxford Text Archives: Distributes more than 2,500 resources in over 25 different languages.

  • Perseus Digital Library: Sources for the study of the humanities.

  • Project Gutenberg: Public domain e-texts.

  • Project Wittenberg: A collection of e-texts by Luther and other Lutherans.

  • Religion-online.org: Over 200 electronic books by recognized religious scholars.

  • Schoenberg Center for Electronic Text & Image: "SCETI, a fully integrated digital library, was created in 1996 to publish virtual facsimiles of rare books and manuscripts in the Penn Library's collections."

  • Shakespeare in Quarto: View and compare the British Library's ninety-three copies of the twenty-one Shakespeare plays.

  • Theological Commons: "A digital library of 78,924 books and periodicals on theology and religion, including 29,322 volumes from the Princeton Theological Seminary Library."
  • Thomas A. Edison Papers: "Over five million pages of documents . . . chronicle one of the most creative technical innovators in the history of the world—Thomas Alva Edison."

  • Thomas Aquinas' Works in English: Read English translations of many, if not most, of St. Thomas's theological and philosophical works including both of his Summas and his commentary on Lombard's Sentences as well as his Quaestiones Disputatae, his Opuscula, and his commentaries on Aristotle and on the Bible. Available from Joseph Kenny, O.P., of the Dominican Institute associated with the University of Ibadan in Nigeria.

  • Tyndale Seminary's Virtual Reading Rooms: Organized links to texts related to biblical studies, missional church, spiritual formation, theology, Christian ethics, and history of Christianity. See, e.g., the Karl Barth Reading Room.

  • The Unbound Bible: A collection of downloadable Bibles.

  • Universal Digital Library: "A free-to-read, searchable collection of one million books, available to everyone over the Internet."

  • University of California Press: "The eScholarship Editions collection includes almost 2000 books from academic presses on a range of topics, including art, science, history, music, religion, and fiction. Access to the electronic books is open to all University of California faculty, staff, and students, while select books are available to the public. Print versions of many of the electronic books can be purchased directly from the publishers."

  • University of Michigan Digital Library Texts: Contains 101 collections with 186,770 texts, some of which are restricted to use by authorized users only, i.e. University of Michigan faculty, staff, and students.

Updated August 11, 2014.