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Free social science, philosophy, & religion e-books!
This is a list of websites where one can find free e-books! One can both read the text on the website itself and download it free on to one’s computer, tablet, e-reader, or smartphone. The reason these titles are free is that they are in the public domain. When a book or poem are in the public domain it means that the intellectual property rights of the original author have expired, become forfeited, or are no longer applicable. Often the author has passed away and no one in their family or estate owns the rights to the work any longer.
Books from academic presses on a range of topics, including art, science, history, music, religion, and fiction. Over 500 titles are publicly accessible.
Humanities Text Initiative
Digitized versions of books in the University of Michigan collection.
Project Gutenberg offers over 40,000 free e-books: choose among free epub books, free kindle books, download them or read them online. We carry high quality e-books: All our e-books were previously published by bona fide publishers. We digitized and diligently proofread them with the help of thousands of volunteers.
University of Pennsylvania e-books
University of Pennsylvania’s e-books. This link takes you to their online philosophy collection (though you can browse through all the subjects in their e-book collection). Towards the bottom of each page you can click on next to go to the next page of books.
The Internet Archive, a 501(c)(3) non-profit, is building a digital library of Internet sites and other cultural artifacts in digital form. Like a paper library, we provide free access to researchers, historians, scholars, the print disabled, and the general public.
Open Library is an open, editable library catalog, building towards a web page for every book ever published.
Famous Libraries & Their Digital Collections
Cambridge University Library
Over the course of six centuries the University Library’s collections have grown from a few dozen volumes on a handful of subjects into an extraordinary accumulation of several million books, maps, manuscripts and journals, augmented by an ever-increasing range of electronic resources. They cover every conceivable aspect of human endeavour, across three thousand years and in over two thousand languages.
Columbia University's Libraries
The Libraries are wonderful gathering places to pursue scholarly research, to learn about and use information technology, to write, to study, and to draw on our rich collection of print and electronic resources. At your disposal is a fully integrated research library. Columbia’s Libraries, with over 10 million volumes, over 100,000 current journals and serials, and an extensive collection of electronic resources, manuscripts, rare books, microforms, and other nonprint formats, rank as one of the top five academic library systems in the nation.
Digital Public Library of America
The Digital Public Library of America brings together the riches of America’s libraries, archives, and museums, and makes them freely available to the world. It strives to contain the full breadth of human expression, from the written word, to works of art and culture, to records of America’s heritage, to the efforts and data of science.
Harvard University Library
The Harvard Library holds the largest academic library collection in the world, and the age and vulnerability of its vast holdings vary widely. Harvard University provides open, online access to a rich selection of digital materials drawn from archives and special collections, including photographs, manuscripts, books, drawings, maps, diaries, audio recordings, musical scores and much more.
The British Library
The British Library is the national library of the United Kingdom and one of the world’s greatest libraries. Our collections include more than 150 million items, in over 400 languages, to which three million new items are added every year. We house books, magazines, manuscripts, maps, music scores, newspapers, patents, databases, philatelic items, prints and drawings and sound recordings. The British Library website contains comprehensive information about the Library, the scope of its collections, and how to use its services. There is also a range of catalogues and digital content. Here is a selection of resources.
The Indiana University Libraries
The Indiana University Libraries are engaged in a wide range of efforts to produce, maintain, deliver, and preserve high-quality networked information resources for scholars and students at Indiana University and elsewhere.
The Library of Congress
The Library of Congress is the nation's oldest federal cultural institution and serves as the research arm of Congress. It is also the largest library in the world, with millions of books, recordings, photographs, maps and manuscripts in its collections. The Library's mission is to support the Congress in fulfilling its constitutional duties and to further the progress of knowledge and creativity for the benefit of the American people.
The New Library of Alexandria
The New Library of Alexandria, the New Bibliotheca Alexandrina is dedicated to recapture the spirit of openness and scholarship of the original Bibliotheca Alexandrina. Its mission is to be a center of excellence for the production and dissemination of knowledge, and to be a place of dialogue and understanding between cultures and peoples.
The New York Public Library
Libraries are the memory of humankind, irreplaceable repositories of documents of human thought and action. The New York Public Library is such a memory bank par excellence, one of the great knowledge institutions of the world, its myriad collections ranking with those of the British Library, the Library of Congress, and the Bibliothèque nationale de France. Virtually all of the Library's many collections and services are freely available to all comers. In fact, the Library has but one criterion for admission: curiosity.
The Newberry, open to the public without charge, is an independent research library dedicated to the advancement and dissemination of knowledge, especially in the humanities. The Newberry acquires and preserves a broad array of special collections research materials relating to the civilizations of Europe and the Americas. It promotes and provides for their effective use, fostering research, teaching, publication, and life-long learning, as well as civic engagement. In service to its diverse community, the Newberry encourages intellectual pursuit in an atmosphere of free inquiry and sustains the highest standards of collection preservation, bibliographic access, and reader services.
The Vatican Library
From the fourth century onwards there is evidence of the Scrinium of the Roman Church, which was both a library and an archive. The figure of the Bibliothecarius of the Roman Church appears at the end of the eighth century: this title was given to the Librarian Theophylactus in a document dated to 784, under Pope Adrian I. At present the Vatican Library preserves over 180,000 manuscripts (including 80,000 archival units), 1,600,000 printed books, over 8,600 incunabula, over 300,000 coins and medals, 150,000 prints, drawings and engravings and over 150,000 photographs.
The Yale University Library
The Yale University Library, as one of the world's leading research libraries, collects, organizes, preserves, and provides access to and services for a rich and unique record of human thought and creativity. It fosters intellectual growth and supports the teaching and research missions of Yale University and scholarly communities worldwide. A distinctive strength is its rich spectrum of resources, including around 12.8 million volumes and information in all media, ranging from ancient papyri to early printed books to electronic databases. The Library is engaging in numerous projects to expand access to its physical and digital collections. Housed in eighteen buildings including the Sterling Memorial Library, the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, and the Bass Library, it employs a dynamic and diverse staff of approximately five hundred who offer innovative and flexible services to library readers.