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Free e-book collections

More and more e-books are being made available for free online. This may be through the digitisation of out of copyright books, such as via Project Gutenberg, or reputable academic publishers providing 'Open Access' e-books for more recently published works. On this page you will find links to selected providers of free online books. Many providers enable you to convert their e-books into formats that can be read on e-readers.

Open Access e-books

  • ArchaeoPress
    Open access e-books published by ArchaeoPress, an Oxford-based publisher specialising in scholarly books and journals in the field of archaeology and related heritage subjects.
  • Directory of Open Access Books (DOAB)
    A service which harvests details of academic and mainly peer-reviewed books published on open access.
  • JSTOR Open Access E-books
    A collection of monographs from a selection of university press publishers.
    OAPEN is an aggregator of peer-reviewed academic books in the Humanities and Social Sciences from a number of different European publishers.
  • Open Book Publishers
    Freely available e-books to read online, and available to University of Reading members to download.
  • Project Muse Open Access E-books
    Project MUSE offers open access (OA) books and digital humanities works from several distinguished university presses, scholarly societies, and independent not-for-profit academic publishers.
  • Punctum Books
    Open access e-books published by punctum books, an open access, independent publisher.
  • University of California eScholarship Editions
    Includes over 700 readily available books from academic presses.
  • White Rose University Press
    A small open access digital publisher of peer-reviewed academic journals and books, publishing across a wide range of academic disciplines. Run jointly by the Universities of Leeds, Sheffield and York.

Digitised out of copyright books and archives

  • Biodiversity Heritage Library
    The Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL) is the world’s largest open access digital library for biodiversity literature and archives.
  • Gallica
    Over a million books, journals, manuscripts and images, mostly in French, most published before 1900, all free, digitised by the Bibliothèque nationale de France.
  • Google Books
    Can, in some cases, be used to view online either the complete text or limited extracts from books. Select ‘Full View’ in the advanced search option if you are only interested in e-books you can view in their entirety.
  • HathiTrust Digital Library
    A growing database of digitised materials from major US libraries. Many of the older items are publicly-accessible. Search the Public Collections for freely available full text items.
  • Internet Archive Text Archive
    Home to more than a million free texts.
  • Project Gutenberg
    Access to over 60,000 free books to download to your PC, e-reader or mobile device.
  • University of Pennsylvania Online
    Indexes more than 3 million free books on the internet. Also has comprehensive list of major sources and indexes of free online texts worldwide.