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Online Books

Online Texts Collection

The IPL Online Texts Collection contains over 10,000 titles that can be browsed by author, by title, or by Dewey Subject Classification. They can also be searched using the form below. For questions about the online texts collection, or how to search, please see the help page.


For several years industry watchers have predicted that the Internet would become the "Library of the Future." That is, millions of books will become available online where you can read them in the privacy of your own home or even on a portable handheld electronic device. In the past few years several companies have started on projects to make books available online. This week I had a chance to use one of the biggest and apparently also one of the most successful of the new online libraries. has complete texts of more than ten thousand books available online today, and the company says it will be adding books at the rate of 200 a day before long. The nifty part is that you can quickly search the contents of these books for words or phrases. At a traditional library you can search the card catalog looking for titles, authors, or subjects. You can do all of that on, plus you can search for words in the text of each and every book. The library offers free access to about 2,800 books in the public domain. For a fee, users can also access thousands of additional volumes still under copyright, both through the site and through a growing number of academic and other libraries to which the company sells the electronic versions. The process of digitizing the books usually involves cutting the spine off each book and feeding the pages through an electronic reader.