Below is a long but exceptionally useful post from another ng written by
Berkeley Brett. JOAT should have a field day with this one! If you're
interested in books - this one is for you. Do as Brett suggests and then
Search for - Woodworking - you'll be pleasantly surprised.
Now take a moment and read this gentleman's post and then give it a try.
Though this message isn't about freeware in the strict sense, it is
about a trick that enables one to explore an emerging "super-library"
of online books that dates back (at least as far as) the 17th century.
If you had to download a freeware package to use it, it would be
amazing -- but you don't even have to do that.
Here is my summary on this. If you find any outstanding online books
using the following remarkable resource, would you please be so kind as
to post their titles here so that we all can enjoy them? (Thanks in
You may have read about "Google Books," a partnership including Google,
Harvard University, Oxford University, The New York Public Library,
University Complutense of Madrid, and many other universities, whose
purpose is to make a vast "super-library" of public-domain books
available (at no cost) online -- unabridged and in their entirety,
available for reading AND for free downloading (in many cases).
Google's university and library partners in this remarkable project are
Most people seem to be unaware that you can access this magnificent
resource NOW. The number of books already available is ENORMOUS, yet
very few people seem to know the TRICK to finding them. Here is that
If you go to the Google Books main page
be SURE to select "Full view books" under the search box. This is NOT
the default! If you do not select "Full view books," you will get lots
of "hits" from your searches, but few of them will be full-text
public-domain books that can be read online.
Now, if we search for "david hume" (for example), we will see a very
large list of books by or about David Hume. Let's take a look at "An
Account of the Life and Writings of David Hume By Thomas Edward
Ritchie" from the year 1804:
or, if that link doesn't work, this one should:
A scanned image of every page in the book is available in PDF format.
You can download the entire book (at no cost) in PDF format by clicking
the "Download" button in the upper right region. Or, you can simply
browse the contents of the book by scrolling or by clicking the
"Contents" portion in the rightmost window.
You can also search the text of the book using the "Search in this
book" box at the right. Very wonderful!
If you want to refine your book searches, you will want to go to the
"Advanced Book Search" page. From the main page
click the words "Advanced Book Search" just to the right of the "Search
Books" button. HERE AGAIN, you will need to select "Full view books"
instead of "All books" if you want books in the public domain!
Starting from this page, you will be able to conduct searches by
author, title, date, etc. Perhaps some of your relatives or ancestors
have published books that are online. (I've found books as far back as
the 17th century using this tool -- all in fully digitized images --
and I suspect many books even older are available.)
Both the main page ( http://books.google.com/ ) and the Advanced Book
Search page ( http://books.google.com/advanced_book_search ) are well
worth bookmarking in your browser, in my view.
As I ponder the ultimate goal of "Google Books" (as I understand it) --
nothing less that making available to anyone with internet access ALL
substantial literature in the world that is in the public domain -- I
am filled with admiration and awe! To the extent that it is successful
-- which is already a very considerable extent -- it is greatly to be
praised, in my opinion.
As Chancellor Carlos Berzosa of the University Complutense of Madrid,
Spain says (here, along with many remarks from other participants:
http://books.google.com/googlebooks/partners.html ), "Out-of-copyright
books previously only available to people with access to the University
Complutense of Madrid's Library, or the money to travel, will now be
accessible to everyone with an Internet connection, wherever they live.
We are quite literally opening our library to the world. The
opportunities for education are phenomenal and we are delighted to be
working with Google on this project."
And ONE USEFUL FACT to bear in mind: if the books you are seeking are
not there TODAY, they may well be there NEXT WEEK! The number of books
in the collection is growing at a PHENOMENAL rate!
The Google Books Help site is also worth exploring to get the most out
of this remarkable resource:
A word about books in the public domain....
In the U.S., "books that were published before January 1, 1923" are in
the public domain, along with some other kinds of publications. To
learn more, you might read http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_domain
(I wish I knew more about the public domain laws of other countries or
international laws regarding public domain works, but I simply don't.)
In my estimation, "Google Books" has now joined such other magnficent
websites as http://www.bartleby.com/ , http://www.gutenberg.org/ ,
http://vlib.org/ , and http://www.loc.gov/ as being among the very best
websites for substantial, free, full-text literature anywhere on the
internet! (In my opinion, each of these excellent websites is well
worth a browser bookmark.)
And, as always, your thoughts about this project are most welcome.
And please feel free to share this message with anyone who might find
it beneficial. (You are also most welcome to reproduce it on other
message boards, as you see fit: no attribution needed.)
"Discover freeware jewels on the World Wide Web!"