I used to go to the library • Lynne Garner

I've recently been enjoying carrying out a lot of research for a non-fiction work in progress and my latest collection of short stories. Now once upon a time I used to go to the library to do my research. Searching shelves for those elusive books and ordering books from other libraries. That's no longer the case. Over the last few weeks I haven't left my desk but have visited libraries all over the world and found everything I've needed. So in the spirit of sharing I've decided to share my top five online digital libraries. They are in no particular order:

This easy to use online library contains primary and secondary sources for the study of ancient Greece and Rome. Perseus is a non-profit located in the Department of the Classic, Tufts University - Medford, Massachusetts.

This non-profit library contains millions of free books, movies, software, music, website and more. It is easy to use and to support the great work it does just click on the present icon near the top right hand corner.

A fantastic resource which is provided by the HathiTrust in partnership with a huge number of academic and research institutions. If you're unsure about fair use of anything on the site click here to find out how you can ensure you don't infringe copyright.

Gutenberg Project

A huge library of free ebooks containing a wealth of knowledge. It's easy to use and many of the books I found on there are now part of my Kindle library. If you'd like to support them there is an orange 'donate' button in the left hand side bar.

Forgotten Books

Unlike those I've previously mentioned this is not free. They're a London-based publisher who specialises in the restoration of old books. For £5.99 per month you can have full access to over 600,000 books (read online or download). If you love the book you can purchase a printed version, which I've done and been pleased with the quality.

When using such libraries be aware some of the content may not be in the public domain, so always check and if needed ensure you mention where the information was obtained from.

If you've discovered any other online libraries please share below and if enough are suggested I thank you now, as I'll use for my next blog post.  



Now for a blatant plug:

My latest short story collection Coyote Tales Retold is available on Amazon in ebook format. Also available Meet The Tricksters a collection of 18 short stories featuring Anansi the Trickster Spider, Brer Rabbit and Coyote is available as a paper back and an ebook.    


JO said…
Many thanks for these links - I love sitting among real books, but it's not always possible and these open doors to so much interesting stuff!
Jan Needle said…
Thanks Lynne - extremely useful. Might I add the British Newspaper Archives as a useful source, especially for historical material. Not free, but not expensive, either.
Lynne Garner said…

Jo - my pleasure. I'm with you on being surrounded by real books. Two months ago I managed to get into the library of Westminster Abbey. The smell of old books was fantastic.

Jan - thanks for that. I'll look into and add to my list.
Fran B said…
I used www.pantheon.org for researching Druid myths for my latest novel. Thanks for all the others.
Bill Kirton said…
Terrific, Lynne. Thanks so much for the links. Research is so much easier nowadays, and yet I still enjoy having occasionally to go to the university library to look at some old play or text that I know won't be online.
Wendy H. Jones said…
Thanks, Lynne, really helpful. Although, I still love going to the library
julia jones said…
Very useful - thank you so much -- especially for "forgotten books"
AliB said…
I'm constantly amazed by how much can be unearthed - sometimes indirectly - by a visit to Mr Google. As an ex-librarian I'm often frustrated at not being able to access academic databases but can usually pick things up from sites you mention. I've also had an obscure magazine article (1980s) from scribd.com (single small payment) and have joined academia.edu
thanks for useful suggestions
Ali B

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