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COVID-19 Resources: Libraries & Books

Libraries & Books


Library, Books, Knowledge, Information, Bookshelves


Missing the library?  On this page you can find a wide variety of resources to tide you over until you can get books back into your hands again.

Virtual Libraries

Many library collections have materials available to explore online. The following collections include historical documents, out-of-print books, and archival photographs, beginning with YU's own collections:

Yeshiva University Libraries Digital Collections
Manuscripts, Photographs, Lectures, and more from YU's extensive collections.

Biodiversity Heritage Library
The Biodiversity Heritage Library provides open access to biodiversity literature. The archives are home to curated collections with books from Charles Darwin's personal collection to field diaries from explorations of Antarctica.

Bodleian Library
The University of Oxford’s Bodleian Library has been collecting and preserving cultural artifacts for more than four centuries, and now many of those materials are accessible for free online. Their digital collections include a Gutenberg Bible and pages from an original draft of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

The British Library
The national library of the United Kingdom, the British Library has more items cataloged than any other library in the world. Many of those holdings are available to peruse online, including thousand-year-old maps of Great Britain and original copies of the Magna Carta.

CIA Freedom of Information Act Electronic Reading Room
Looking for digital data to make you feel like a secret agent? Look no further than the Central Intelligence Agency's Freedom of Information Act Electronic Reading Room. The online collection includes more than 50 years of CIA information on UFOs and a collection dedicated to the oldest classified documents in the US.

Digital Public Library of America (DPLA)
The DPLA is an online collection of over 36 million free digital materials from libraries, archives and museums. Its digital exhibitions and primary sources cover everything from the 1918 influenza pandemic to the golden age of comic books.

Getty Publications Virtual Library
The Getty Publications Virtual Library hosts an impressive collection of art books, with more than 300 publications that can be read and downloaded for free -- including some that are out of print.

Harvard University
Harvard boasts the oldest library in the United States and the largest academic library in the world. Members of the public can discover more than six million items from their collection online — highlights include two original Mozart manuscripts and Chinese stone rubbings dating back to 200 BCE.

Internet Archive
Some books from this archive can be freely downloaded; others can be borrowed and read through their e-reader.

Library of Congress
The Library of Congress — the largest library in the world and the oldest federal cultural institution in the United States—is filled with artifacts and images from the nation’s history. More than two million items from their collection are available online, including American newspapers dating back to 1789 and thousands of musical recordings.

National Emergency Library
National Emergency Library has make 1.5 million books free to read during the pandemic.

Nautical Archaeology Digital Library
If you're fascinated by shipwrecks, the Nautical Archaeology Digital Library has you covered. The library, a collaboration of Texas A&M University and ShipLAB, contains searchable shipwreck databases and ancient ship models.

National Library of Medicine
The History of Medicine Division at the National Library of Medicine contains a vast collection of digital materials related to health and disease. Through its online resources, patrons can view the earliest anatomical drawings, read about the history of forensic medicine and explore an exhibition dedicated to the accomplishments of women physicians

New York Public Library
In addition to the 3.5 million New Yorkers served by NYPL, people all across the world can enjoy the library’s digital collections online. They currently offer more than 850,000 digital materials (including manuscripts, maps, and videos) with more added every day. Highlights include turn-of-the-century photos from Ellis Island and the first folio edition of William Shakespeare's Comedies, Histories and Tragedies. Its archives contain unique collections, like a massive database of over 17,000 historical restaurant menus.

Adapted from I Love Libraries Newsletter

More Free Ways to Access Books

A collection of sites on the Internet that offer free eBooks available to anyone with Internet access. Here are links to eBook websites on a wide variety of topics:

Amazon Kindle Free E-Books Collection
Barnes & Noble Free E-Books
Books Should Be Free
Classic Literature Library
Digital Public Library of America
Documenting the American South
Google Book Search

Internet Archive
The website is a huge repository of text, audio and video files, including public domain titles. You can browse and read online more than 5 million books and items from more than 1,500 collections. The collections include the Library of Congress, American libraries, Canadian libraries, books from Project Gutenberg and the Million Books Project, and books for children. More than 180 languages are represented.

The Literature Network
National Emergency Library
The Online Books Page
Open Culture
Open Library
Planet Publish
Project Gutenberg
UC Press E-book Collection
University of Pittsburgh Digital Editions
Victorian Women Writers Project
Wright American Fiction (1851-1875)

If you prefer to listen to books, here are sites that have free audio books:

Digital Book
A place to find free public domain audio books and eBooks. You can explore over 100,000 Kindle, ePUB, and audio books using their free bookshelves.

Loyal Books
Open Culture
Project Gutenberg
Authors and actors reading stories and poetry
Charles Bukowski
Colum McCann
David Foster Wallace
David Foster Wallace
Donald Barthelme
Don DeLillo
Dylan Thomas
Dylan Thomas
Dylan Thomas
Dylan Thomas
Dylan Thomas
E.E. Cummings
E.E. Cummings
Edgar Allan Poe
Edwidge Danticat
Ernest Hemingway
Ernest Hemingway
Ernest Hemingway
Eudora Welty
Ezra Pound
Flannery O'Conner
Harold Broadkey
Herman Melville
Isaac Bashevis Singer
Italo Cavino
Jamaica Kincaid
Jamaica Kincaid
James Joyce
John Cheever
John Updike
John Updike
José Saramago
Joyce Carol Oates
Lawrence Ferlinghetti
LeVar Burton Reads
LeVar Burton Reads (Twitter)
Lewis Carroll
Lorrie Moore
Maya Angelou
Michael Chabon
Nadine Gordimer
Oscar Wilde
Paul Auster
Penguin Books UK Author Readings
Ray Bradbury
Robert Frost
Samuel Coleridge
Sylvia Plath
Vladimir Nabokov
W.H. Auden
Wallace Stevens
Walt Whitman
Willam Carlos Williams
William Butler Yeats
William Butler Yeats
William Faulkner