Okay, so you can find lots of digitized texts from the libraries’ homepage, by looking under the subject lists. But we all know EVERYTHING is on the Web, so where do you find the best free texts online? Well, oddly enough, you can also start with the library here.
In many of the online research guides (“Research by Subject” on the home page), there are links to free online texts. The guides for French, German, Italian, Spanish, Jewish Studies, and Medieval and Renaissance Studies, for example, all have links to digital archives. And many other subject guides do as well. We’ve done some of the work for you!
Out on the Web, Google Books is the most ambitious, and interesting, e-texts project. Millions of books scanned, a whole lot of free content (even of recent books), plus the ability to search full-text. You can find a needle in a haystack, or combine totally unrelated things to discover new synergies.
There’s also the Internet Archive. It includes much more than books though – photographs, music, audio, video files are there as well. It’s a free multi-media library online.
Here are a few others to try:
- Online Books: from Penn
- Neotake: e-books in 20 languages
- Intratext Digital Library: a large international archive
And you can always ask a librarian to help you find online texts. We’re good at finding free stuff too!