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Internet Sites that Offer e-Text

Non-profit or Free Websites

Project Gutenberg: The first producer of free electronic books (ebooks), Project Gutenberg offers 20,000 books that are in the public domain (that is, no longer under copyright). This is a great source for classic literature, such as Shakespeare's plays, and public documents such as the U.S. Constitution. is a membership-based online community that enables people with visual and other print disabilities to legally share scanned books.

The Blind Bookworm: The blind wookworm icon is named Milton, which is an acronym for the developer's pet project, Media Integrating Literature and Technoloy On the Net. MILTON's purpose is to offer resources for visually-impaired readers and digital bookworms. Pages on this site include links to Accessible Audiobooks, e-Texts and eBooks, and notes about Accessible eBook Formats.

The Internet Public Library: Originally developed at the Universtiy of Michigan and now hosted by Drexel University, the Internet Public Library Project is a public service organization that seeks to redefine the roles and significance of libraries in an increasingly distributed and digital world. Its searchable database includes books, stories, essays, poems, articles, dramas, letters and speeches.

The Electronic Text Center at the University of Virginia: Holdings include approximately 70,000 on-and off-line humanities texts in twelve languages. 1,600 of these are available for the Microsoft Reader and Palm devices, including classic British and American fiction, children’s literature, American history, Shakespeare, the Bible, and more.

The Online Books Page: This site is hosted by the University of Pennsylvania and contains an index of thousands of online books freely readable on the internet. The Online Books Page is always looking for volunteers to help put books online, and includes a helpful beginners' guide called How To Put Books Online. Provides free access to classical literature, reference works, non-fiction and verse.

Tiflolibros: Provides eTexts books in Spanish and other languages. An e-publishing co-op based at Iowa State University that provides an alternative niche for quality work, particularly writings in the arts and humanities. More than 35,000 works are available free of charge to readers.

Commercial Websites After you download and install Audible's software to manage audio on your PC (or use iTunes 3.0 and above), you can purchase audiobooks, download them to your computer, and transfer them to your MP3 player for convenient, portable listening. Or, you can burn the files to a CD and listen in your car. Calling itself the "Digital Bookstore," sells whole books, chapters and pages of books online from the world’s leading publishers. Offers eBooks in MultiFormat, which are encrypted eBooks that are available in 10 different formats for PDA's and computers; and "Secure eBooks" in four formats: Mobipocket, eReader, Microsoft Reader, and Adobe Reader. A Secure eBook is encrypted and can only be read in the format that you purchase.

Websites for the Blind/Visually Impaired

Louis Database of Accessible Materials for People Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired: Produced and maintained by the American Printing House for the Blind (APH), this database contains complete bibliographic and location information for more than 163,000 titles of accessible materials from over 200 agencies throughout the United States. These materials include books in braille, large print, sound recording, and computer files; braille music; and American Printing House for the Blind (APH) products.

The International Electronic Braille Library: Offers downloadable braille books.

Web-Braille: A service of the Library of Congress, Web-Braille provides electronic versions of braille books, music scores, and all braille magazines produced by the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS). The book catalog provides free public access to classic works of literature, serials, bibliographies, dictionaries, encyclopedias and other reference works in a number of languages and countries around the world.

The Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired: This site provides educational and fiction books for children and links to many other sites providing e-Text.

Searching on Google and Microsoft

Both Google and Microsoft provide digitized copies of books from various library collections. To search the Google site (, simply type the title, author, or key words into the “search” box. Next to the choices that appear is an indicator that the book is available in full view, limited view or snippet view. Choosing the “about the book” link provides information about the title, author, publication date, source, and length. Also provided are the details for purchasing and/or downloading the book. Most recently, Princeton University announced that they will share close to one million books from their public domain library with Google. These books are out of their copyright period and will be available online in full text.

The Microsoft book search feature is called Live Search Books. It can be accessed at ( The Microsoft book search includes full text of books that can be downloaded as PDF files. Currently, most of the books come from university library collections and the British Library.



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