The Web Library: Building a World Class Personal Library with Free Web Resources

Online companion to the book. Frequently updated: last update = 5-23-06
copyright Nick Tomaiuolo 2006

Chapter Five:  Books in the Web Library



Introducing the "poor man's" -- or is it the "smart man's" -- 'WorldCat.' Search 120 million titles in RedLightGreen for library holdings; plus get a citation manager!

Adobe Digital Book Index 
The Digital Book Index provides access to more than 80,000 titles records from more than 1800 commercial and non-commercial publishers, universities, and various private sites. About 48,000 of these books, texts, and documents are available free, while many others are available at very modest cost.

Alex: A Catalogue of Electronic Texts on the Internet
"The Alex Catalogue of Electronic Texts is a collection of public domain documents from American and English literature as well as Western philosophy." Eric Lease Morgan offered many of these texts in downloadable formats for handheld devices.

Baen Free Library
Eric Flint's depository of 80 free sci-fi books; free to read or download.
Approximately 200 texts, some copyrighted, including the Harvard Classics (70 volumes) and Gray's Anatomy (over 1,200 illustrations)

Thorough index of online texts ranging from Louisa May Alcott's "Little Women" to Oscar Wilde's "The Picture of Dorian Gray". Contains fiction, non-fiction, and poetry sections, with a limited reference section.

The British Columbia Digital Library
A guide to free, primarily full-text digital collections and a content repository, started by David Mattison, MLS, in 2000. It is hosted by the BC Community Networks Association.

Christian Classics Ethereal Library
Contains complete versions in electronic format of numerous non-fiction classic Christian books including 38 volumes of the most important writings from the first 800 years of the church, writings by St. Augustine, John Calvin, George Fox, Martin Luther, and others. Fiction authors include Chesterton, Dostoevsky, MacDonald, and Tolstoy. Links to Biblical reference sites are also included.

The Complete Works of William Shakespeare
This is a server of the complete works of William Shakespeare, provided by The Tech-MIT. The HTML versions of these plays, and the links, are Copyright 1995.

Confucian Analects/ Lun Yu
The sayings of Confucius in twenty-one languages.

Digital Book Index
Indexes over 80,000 titles from commercial and non-commercial publishers, universities, and various private sites.

The English Server Drama Collection
A collection of both long and short English drama plays and criticism (complete scripts) that includes authors like: Shakespeare (complete works,) Shaw, Johnson, Gay, Moliere, Biggs and Sophocles. Also has links to other theater sites.

The English Server Fiction Collection
Collection of online fiction texts. Includes short stories and novels by authors like: Alcott, Bronte, Bulfinch, Cather, Crane, Dickens, Dreiser, Elliot, Twain, Hardy and Fielding (among others.) Also has criticism.

Folklore and Mythology Electronic Texts  
Resource providing links to mythology texts. Arranged alphabetically, users can browse everything from popular fairytales to Russian ghost stories.

Free eBooks .NET
Hundreds of free ebooks in Microsoft Reader, in PDF format, ZIP files, and self-extractable (.exe) files. Includes business books, fiction, psychology, philosophy, health and medicine.

Great Books Index
An index to the "Great Books in English Translation" with links to the sites.

Great Literature On-Line
Online versions of classic literary works.

This site takes texts from Project Gutenberg and makes them downloadable for a variety of PDAs and eBook readers. Check it for over 10,000 titles.

Online Books Page
17,000 electronic texts available at no charge.  Works included may be in e-book reader formats, PDF, page images embedded into web pages, HTML, and ASCII. Searchable.

Oxford Text Archive
The OTA works closely with members of the Arts and Humanities academic community to collect, catalogue, and preserve high-quality electronic texts for research and teaching. The OTA currently distributes more than 2500 resources in over 25 different languages, and is actively working to extend its catalogue of holdings. At present there are no charges for downloading texts.

Tufts University Perseus Project provides the text of classical books and texts.

Pink Monkey Digital Library
1,800 free classic literary works for online reading. There may not be anything new here, though (possibly) this list may complement some of the other classic public domain book sites. Lots of ads, however.

Poet's Corner
"One of the largest and oldest text resources on the web." The goal of this project is to create a user-friendly library of works that promotes browsing and exploring through a site that spans thousands of works by hundreds of authors covering thousands of years.

Project Gutenberg
Over 13,225 texts in "Plain Vanilla ASCII" readable and downloadable to most computers.

University of California Press
1400 ebooks, 400 are free. The site is strong in American Studies, Asian History, anthropology, gender Studies, history, literature, philosophy and politics, but many subject areas are represented.

University of Virginia Electronic Texts
5,000 texts publicly accessible without charge including about 1,600 electronic books for the Microsoft Reader and Palm handheld devices.

The World Wide School
Approximately 2000 full text documents. Example: Did your son forget his copy of Tale of Two Cities at school (but has an assignment due tomorrow)? Check this site!

Examples of Hypertext in Literature
Eastgate Reading Room
Offers several stories in hypertext format. An interesting group of reads.

An index to hypertext fiction.

Hyperizons - Hypertext Fiction 
Original hypertext fiction; reviews and criticism of hypertext fiction; hypertext converted from print; other Web sources.

The Little Machine
SUNY (Albany) hypertext literary magazine.

"A journal of electronic writing and art"

Additional electronic book resources

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