135 Top Digital Libraries for Your Reading and Research Needs
Digital libraries can vary immensely in size and scope, and can be maintained by individuals, organizations, or affiliated with established physical library buildings or institutions, or with academic institutions. The electronic content may be stored locally, or accessed remotely via computer networks. An electronic library is a type of information retrieval system.
In this list, we’ve covered 135 of the top digital libraries on the Internet today. It covers various categories and geographically based information, which a majority of them comprises of freely available and downloadable information. Some may require you to register or to be a member / student of the specific institution or organization. Regardless, we hope that this list be beneficial and fruitful in any research or reading you’re currently undertaking.
135 Top Digital Libraries for Your Reading and Research Needs
- GetFreeEbooks (General)
Free legal ebooks, tools, softwares, writing, tips, videos, infographics and many more.
- Access to Insight (Theravada Buddhism)
Provides translated texts from the Tipitaka, and contemporary materials published by the Buddhist Publication Society and many teachers from the Thai Forest Tradition.
- Ahlul Bayt Digital Islamic Library Project (Ahlul Bayt DILP) (Shia Islam)
Digitizes and presents resources related to history, law, and society of the Islamic religion and its personalities with particular emphasis on the Twelver Shi’ah Islamic school of thought.
- Aozora Bunko (Japanese language)
Digitized Japanese language texts.
- Arnetminer (Computer science and information science)
A free online service used to index and search academic social networks, hosted at Department of Computer Science and Technology of Tsinghua University.
- ArXiv (Science)
Preprints in mathematics, physics, computer science, quantitative biology and statistics.
- Avalon Project (Legal studies and history)
Documents in law, history and diplomacy.
- Avalon Project (Law, history and diplomacy)
The Avalon Project is a digital library of documents relating to law, history and diplomacy. The project is part of the Yale Law School Lillian Goldman Law Library.
- Baen Free Library (Science fiction and fantasy)
Science fiction and fantasy from publishing house Baen Books.
- Bartleby.com (Literature, reference and verse)
Literature, reference and verse.
- Biodiversity Heritage Library (natural history, botany, zoology)
An open access digital library for biodiversity literature. BHL operates as a consortium of natural history and botanical institutions around the world that cooperate to digitize the natural history literature in their collections and make it openly available through their website at www.biodiversitylibrary.org.
- Bookshare (General)
A library serving accessible books (DAISY and BRF) to people with print disabilities. Currently over 42,000 popular and educational books in the collection.
- British History Online (History)
Core printed primary and secondary sources for the medieval and modern history of the British Isles.
- California Digital Library (General)
Partners with campuses to bring the treasures of our libraries, museums, and cultural heritage organizations to the world.
- Canadiana Online (History of Canada)
Canadian historical primary sources, including books, newspapers, periodicals, and nationally significant archival material.
- Carrie (History)
An early full text electronic library.
- Center for Research Libraries (General)
Edward Hunter (1902-1978) collection.
- Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts (New Testament Manuscripts)
Preserve and study New Testament manuscripts.
- Centre Virtuel de la Connaissance sur l’Europe (European integration studies)
An interdisciplinary research and documentation centre dedicated to European integration studies. It develops a digital library of multimedia resources related to European unification efforts since World War II, including the development of related international bodies such as the European Union. The library is available in English and French, though some documents are available in other languages.
- Chinese Text Project (Chinese classic texts)
Electronic library of early Chinese texts.
- Choral Public Domain Library (Music)
Free choral/vocal scores, texts, translations, and other useful information.
- Christian Classics Ethereal Library (Hebrew, Greek, Latin, Catholic, and Protestant Scholarship.)
The Christian Classics Ethereal Library is a digital library of hundreds of classic Christian books selected for edification and education, including some Greek and Roman classics. CCEL texts are stored in the library’s own Theological Markup Language, which is an XML application. Texts are converted into other formats as well, such as HTML or PDF.
- CiteSeerX (Computer science and information science)
A scientific literature digital library and search engine hosted at Information Sciences and Technology at the Pennsylvania State University.
- Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse (Civil rights)
The Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse collects documents and information from civil rights cases across the United States.
- Cornell University Library Windows on the Past (General)
Cornell University Library promotes a culture of broad inquiry and supports the University’s mission to discover, preserve, and disseminate knowledge and creative expression.
- CSS Resources. Previously the International Relations and Security Network (ISN), Digital Library (International relations, security)
Open-source Digital Library service for material related to international relations (IR) and security. Available content includes PDF-documents (journal articles, books, papers, reports), a directory of IR- and security-centered organizations, and multimedia material (podcasts, videos).
- D-Scribe Digital Publishing (Various academic)
Over 100 thematic collections that together contain over 100,000 digital objects of various academic interests, including almost 800 out-of-print titles from the University of Pittsburgh Press.
- Digital Bibliography and Library Project (Computer Science Bibliographies)
The dblp computer science bibliography provides open bibliographic information on major computer science journals and proceedings.
- Digital Comic Museum (Comic books)
Thousands of freely downloadable public domain Golden Age Comics which are not under copyright.
- Digital Himalaya (Himalayas)
The Digital Himalaya project was designed by Alan Macfarlane and Mark Turin as a strategy for archiving and making available ethnographic materials from the Himalayan region.
- Digital Public Library of America (General)
Discover images, texts, videos, and sounds from across the United States.
- Digital South Asia Library (South Asia)
Materials for reference and research on South Asia.
- Directory of Open Access Journals (General)
Over 16 500 peer-reviewed open access journals covering all areas of science, technology, medicine, social sciences, arts and humanities.
- Discus (South Carolina, United States)
Provides several reliable sources exclusively for school and state libraries in South Carolina.
- Distributed Proofreaders Canada (Toronto, Ontario, Canada)
Volunteer initiative to convert books in the Canadian public domain to readable electronic formats.
- Domínio Público (General)
Broad access to literary, artistic and scientific works (in the form of texts, sounds, images and videos), already in the public domain or that have their dissemination properly authorized, that constitute the Brazilian and universal cultural heritage.
- EBBA (English Broadside Ballad Archive) (English literature, English broadside ballads)
Online digital archive of primarily 17th century English broadside ballads, digitized into multiple accessible formats for scholars and members of the general public.
- eGranary Digital Library (Educational resources from over 3,000 Web sites and hundreds of CD-ROMs.)
Over 35 million resources in every format: books, journals, Web sites, video, audio, software, multimedia. Includes tools for patrons to create, upload, share, and archive their own content. Has built-in search tools and Web 2.0 services like Moodle, WordPress and Drupal.
- EuroDocs: Online Sources for European History (European history for over 50 countries)
Facsimiles, transcriptions and translations of primary European historical documents.
- Europeana (General)
Linking archives, libraries, museums and audio-visual material from across Europe.
- FRASER (Economics)
A digital library of economic, financial and banking materials covering the economic history of the United States.
- Gallica (General)
French digital library.
- Google Books (General)
Search the world’s most comprehensive index of full-text books.
- Greenstone (Software)
A suite of software for building and distributing digital library collections.
- Harvard University Library digital collections (General)
Links to digitized collections from the University’s libraries, museums, archives and special collections, covering subjects such as art, architecture, religion, history, culture, botany, biology, landscape design, music, politics, law, and advertising. Projects involved digitizing of analog collections (including images, text, audio files, and music scores), georeferencing maps, or harvesting web resources.
- HathiTrust (General)
HathiTrust is a partnership of academic and research institutions, offering a collection of millions of titles digitized from libraries around the world.
- Heidelberg University Digital Library (General)
More than 143,000 full-text journals and 3,900 databases (bibliographies, full texts, encyclopedias, dictionaries, etc.).
- Hungarian Electronic Library (Hungarian literature)
Hungarian Electronic Library became one of the most popular and most significant text-archives of the Hungarian webspace.
- Ibiblio (General)
Visitors can browse through our eclectic collections catalog and contributors can host and share their unique collections with millions worldwide.
- INSPIRE-HEP (High energy physics)
Scientific documents in the field of high energy physics.
- International Dunhuang Project (Manuscripts)
International collaborative effort to conserve, catalogue and digitise manuscripts, printed texts, paintings, textiles and artifacts from Dunhuang and other archaeological sites at the eastern end of the Silk Road.
- International Music Score Library Project (Music)
Sharing the world’s public domain music.
- Internet Archive (General)
A non-profit library of millions of free books, movies, software, music, websites, and more.
- Internet History Sourcebooks Project (History)
A collection of public domain and copy-permitted historical texts presented cleanly for educational use. Primary sources are available here primarily for use in high-school and university/college courses.
- Internet library sub-saharan Africa (ilissAfrica) (African Studies)
Find literature, internet resources, contacts and further information concerning African Studies.
- Internet Sacred Text Archive (Religion)
Archive of public domain texts from spiritual or religious customs and traditions.
- Invenio (Science)
Invenio is an open source software framework for large-scale digital repositories that provides the tools for management of digital assets in an institutional repository and research data management systems. The software is typically used for open access repositories for scholarly and/or published digital content and as a digital library.
- JSTOR (General)
Subscription required. Page image archive of important scholarly journals, with searchable OCR text.
- Kujawsko-Pomorska Digital Library (General)
A regional digital library to support the development of an intellectual and innovative potential of the society, to make a quick access to information and knowledge content possible, and to protect valuable documents of the region and national literature works.
- L’Association des Bibliophiles Universels (French literature)
Digitizes French texts in the public domain.
- LacusCurtius (Classical studies)
Ancient Rome texts and Archaeology.
- Learning Ally (General)
A digital library serving accessible audio textbooks and general titles to people with print disabilities. Currently over 75,000 popular and educational books in the collection.
- Library of Economics and Liberty (General)
A private educational foundation established to foster thought and encourage discussion of enduring issues pertaining to liberty.
- Librivox (Public domain books in the United States)
An online digital library of free public domain audiobooks, read by volunteers. Around ninety percent of the collection is in English.
- Literary Kicks (General)
About fiction, poetry, philosophy, imagination, music, art, politics, history and pop culture.
- Ludwig von Mises Institute: Literature (Libertarianism and economics)
Libertarian and Austrian School economics resources.
- Marefa (Arabic literature)
Digitizes Arabic classics and classics of other languages that are written in Arabic script.
- Marxists Internet Archive ()
A multilingual digital library of works by Marxist, communist, socialist, and anarchist writers.
- Maryland Digital Cultural Heritage (General)
This collection features their newsletter, The Phoenix, from the 1970s through 2009, as well as a selection of photographs and documents that detail their importance in saving the history and places of Maryland.
- Metropolitan Museum of Art (General)
Librarians and interns at the Thomas J. Watson Library have digitized over 250 early Museum Publications.
- Michigan Digitization Project (General)
The Michigan Digitization Project is a project in partnership with Google Books to digitize the entire print collection of the University of Michigan Library.
- Miguel de Cervantes Virtual Library (General)
The Miguel de Cervantes Virtual Library Foundation is an organization dedicated to the dissemination of culture in Spanish.
- Mutopia project (Music Sheets)
Free to download, modify, print, copy, distribute, perform, and record – all in the Public Domain or under Creative Commons licenses, in PDF, MIDI, and editable LilyPond file formats.
- National Academies Press (General)
Publishes the reports of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The NAP publishes more than 200 books a year on a wide range of topics in science, engineering, and medicine, providing authoritative, independently-researched information on important matters in science and health policy.
- National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program (General)
A digital library of reproductions of primary source materials to support the study of the history and culture of the United States.
- National Digital Library Program (General)
Multilingual, multimedia digital libraries, built together with international partners.
- National electronic library (General)
Books, newspapers and magazines in Russian libraries.
- National Institute of Technology Calicut (Engineering)
A public technical university and an institute of national importance governed by the NIT Act passed by the Parliament of India.
- National Library for the Blind (General)
The National Library for the Blind (NLB) was a public library in the United Kingdom, founded 1882, which aimed to ensure that people with sight problems have the same access to library services as sighted people.
- Neliti (General)
Collection of Indonesian books, reports and academic journals.
- New Advent (Catholic)
Includes the Catholic Encyclopedia, Summa Theologica, Church Fathers, papal encyclicals, and similar documents. All documents are in English except the Bible.
- New Zealand Electronic Text Centre (General)
The New Zealand Electronic Text Collection comprises significant New Zealand and Pacific Island texts and materials held by Victoria University of Wellington Library. This encompasses both digitised heritage material and born-digital resources.
- Online Books Page (General)
Provides an extensive list of digital book available online.
- Online Text Library of the University of Texas at Austin (General)
Access to the latest digital journals, databases and web resources, the Libraries collects and preserves the finest achievements of human knowledge.
- Open Library (General)
Open Library is an open, editable library catalog, building towards a web page for every book ever published.
- Open University Library (General)
The online library from the Open University is a gateway to a wide range of online information resources. The library website provides access to a world-class collection of resources that enhance the learning experience of students and support the learning, teaching, research and personal development of members of staff.
- Oxford Text Archive (AHDS Literature, Languages and Linguistics)
A repository of full-text literary and linguistic resources. Thousands of texts in more than 25 languages.
- Pandora Archive (General)
A rich and diverse collection of web content about all aspects of Australian life and society, including landmark events like election campaigns.
- Panjab Digital Library (Panjabi Literature)
A NGO digitizing and preserving cultural heritage of Punjab. There are many historically significant documents stored and made available online at www.PanjabDigiLib.org. Its scope covers Punjabi culture. The library funded by the Nanakshahi Trust was launched online in August 2009. It is located at Chandigarh.
- Paperity (General)
An aggregator of open access scholarly journals. Contains full-text articles from all academic disciplines, from different countries and languages. Provides multifaceted full-text search, browse by journal, RSS feeds, mobile application to access the literature.
- Perseus Project (General)
Covers the history, literature and culture of the Greco-Roman world.
- Project Gutenberg (General)
Founded in 1971, was the first project to create a library of freely available online texts.
- Project Gutenberg Australia (General)
Providing texts under Australian copyright law.
- Project Gutenberg Canada (General)
Provides texts under Canadian copyright law.
- Project Laurens Janszoon Coster (Dutch literature)
A collection of Dutch high literature; no longer maintained since 2001.
- Project Madurai (Tamil literature)
A collection of Tamil literature.
- Project Noolaham (General)
A Digital Archive and a Digital Library undertaking the critical work of documenting, digitally preserving and providing free and open access to knowledge bases and cultural heritage of Sri Lankan Tamil speaking communities.
- Project Runeberg (Nordic literature)
A volunteer effort to create free electronic editions of classic Nordic (Scandinavian) literature.
- Rare Book Room (General)
Constructed as an educational site intended to allow the visitor to examine and read some of the great books of the world.
- Readme.cc (General)
Books translated into 10 languages.
- Russian State Library (Russian literature, art, foreign countries books)
Provides bibliographic records on all types of items, including articles, published in Russian and other languages in various media at different periods of times.
- Sardegna Digital Library (Sardinian culture)
Multimedia materials designed to represent Sardinia.
- SciElo (Science)
A multidisciplinary repository for deposition, preservation and dissemination of research data from articles submitted and approved for publication, already published in SciELO Network journals or deposited in SciELO Preprints.
- Scriptorium (Swiss newspapers)
Digitized and full text searchable Swiss newspapers published in canton of Vaud in the last 250 years.
- Sefaria (Jewish religious texts)
Free-content digital library of Jewish texts.
- Sophie Project (German women’s literature)
Digitizes and distributed German-speaking women’s writing in the public domain.
- South Asian American Digital Archive (South Asian Americans)
Documents, preserves and provides access to the material history of the South Asian American community.
- Standard Ebooks (General)
A volunteer-driven effort to produce a collection of high quality, carefully formatted, accessible, open source, and free public domain ebooks that meet or exceed the quality of commercially produced ebooks.
- Text Creation Partnership (General)
Three collections (EEBO/TCP, ECCO/TCP, Evans/TCP).
- Text Creation Partnership (TCP) (Humanities)
The Text Creation Partnership (TCP) is a not-for-profit organization based in the library of the University of Michigan since 2000. Its purpose is to produce large-scale full-text electronic resources (especially in the humanities) on behalf of both member institutions (particularly academic libraries) and scholarly publishers.
- Textos.info – biblioteca digital abierta (Spanish literature)
Open virtual library for public domain and Creative Common books written in Spanish. All content can be read online or downloaded in major ebook formats (PDF, ePUB, MobiPocket) for free. Registered users can add new texts.
- The Collection of Computer Science Bibliographies (Computer Science Bibliographies)
This is a collection of bibliographies of scientific literature in computer science from various sources, covering most aspects of computer science.
- The Complete Works of Charles Darwin Online (Biology)
The world’s largest and most widely used resource on Charles Darwin.
- The Cuneiform Digital Library Initiative (Assyriology, history, archaeology)
Safekeeping and curating information about and images of over 320 000 objects inscribed with cuneiform text.
- The Electronic Text Corpus of Sumerian Literature (Sumeriology, history, archaeology)
Making accessible over 400 literary works composed in the Sumerian language in ancient Mesopotamia during the late third and early second millennia BC.
- The Kurdish Digital Library (General)
The Digital Library consists of writings about the Kurds and Kurdistan. Its aim is to make the Kurdish cultural heritage available as digital data. Page image archive of important scholarly journals, with searchable OCR text.
- The Latin Library (Latin)
Many were originally scanned and formatted from texts in the Public Domain. Others have been downloaded from various sites on the Internet. Most of the recent texts have been submitted by contributors around the world.
- TITUS – Thesaurus of Indo-European Texts and Language Materials database (Indo-European Studies)
Aims to prepare all textual material relevant for Indo-European Studies (including Middle Iranian, Tocharian etc.) in electronic form for analysis.
- Traditional Knowledge Digital Library (Indian literature)
Repository of the traditional knowledge of India, setup to protect the ancient and traditional knowledge of the country from exploitation such as Unethical patents and monopolization.
- UK Web Archive (General)
The UK Web Archive is a partnership of the six UK legal deposit libraries which aims to collect all UK websites at least once each year.
- United States National Agricultural Library (Agriculture)
One of five national libraries of the United States. It houses one of the world’s largest collections devoted to agriculture and its related sciences.
- Universal Digital Library (General)
A book digitization project, led by Carnegie Mellon University School of Computer Science and University Libraries. Working with government and research partners in India (Digital Library of India) and China, the project is scanning books in many languages, using OCR to enable full text searching, and providing free-to-read access to the books on the web.
- University of Michigan Library Digital Library Production Service (General)
University of Michigan Library makes available an extraordinary array of resources and services.
- University of Wisconsin Digital Collections (General)
Images, texts, and more from libraries and museums across campus.
- US National Library of Medicine (Medicine)
Literature, sequence, and clinical studies information.
- Victoria University in the University of Toronto (General)
Digital collections from the university’s library, archives and special collections. Areas of strength: William Blake, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Northrop Frye, E. J. Pratt, John Wesley, Virginia Woolf / Bloomsbury Group.
- Vilnius University Library Digital Collections (General)
Digital collections from Vilnius University Library’s special archives: rare books, manuscripts, graphic art and photography collections dedicated for studies, research and cultural education.
- Virtually Missouri (General)
Digital collections from Missouri libraries, museums, and cultural institutions.
- Wikibooks (General)
A digital library of new books edited in a similar way to Wikipedia.
- Wikisource (General)
A digital library of out-of-copyright or freely licensed books.
- Wisconsin Heritage Online (History)
A collaborative statewide portal to Wisconsin’s history.
- Wisconsin Historical Society Digital Collection (History)
Wisconsin state, regional, and local history books, journals, and museum collections.
- World Digital Library (General)
A project of the U.S. Library of Congress, with the support of UNESCO, and contributions from libraries, archives, museums, educational institutions, and international organizations around the world.
- World Wide Web Virtual Library (General)
The WWW Virtual Library (VL) is the oldest catalogue of the Web, started by Tim Berners-Lee, the creator of HTML and of the Web itself, in 1991 at CERN in Geneva.
- Zeno.org (General)
Digital Hausa Library covering various topics.