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Finding Free Literary Resources: Sources of Free Online Books and Journals

This guide is intended to acquaint you with how to access literary resources free of charge.

Basic Library Information

Check the easy-to-use interactive  Library Basics Tutorial to find out what we have, where to find it, how to access it, and what services we offer you.


There are several options for accessing reference services:

  • Come to the Reference Desk or call at 516-463-5962.
  • Use the popout chat window that appears on the Library's homepage during the hours that reference services are available.
  • At any time, you may type a question to be answered by a librarian.  Type your question directly under Need Help? on the Library's homepage  
  • Make a personal one-on-one research appointment with a librarian.
  • Or use the buttons below to quickly type us a question or chat with a librarian

Sources of Free Online Books

  • Project Gutenberg: The first project of its kind, Project Gutenberg is the largest single collection of free online books.
  • Open Library: Part of the Internet Archive, Open Library is a lending library of over 200,000 ebooks and a source of over 1,000,000 free ebooks. Some books, which are not protected by copyright, can be read online or downloaded for free.
  • Freely Downloadable Google Books: A collection of freely accessible, downloadable Google Books available on the Internet Archive.
  • The Online Books Page (University of Pennsylvania Library): Founded in 1993, this website that facilitates access to books that are freely readable over the Internet.
  • HathiTrust: A partnership among research libraries to archive and preserve books. Books that are no longer subject to copyright can be read online in their entirety. In most cases only the users of libraries which are members of partnership (which does not include Hofstra) can download and print books, although there are some books that can be downloaded as pdfs and printed by anyone.

Sources of Free Online Journal Aritlces

  • Open Library of Humanities: a collection of pen access, peer-reviewed journals that is funded by a partnership of member libraries. The journals cover a broad array of topic in the humanities as well as the social sciences.
  • Kairos: A Journal of Rhetoric, Technology, and Pedagogyan open-access refereed journal focusing on scholarly work that examines innovative composing practices in new media.
  • The Evergreen Review: Originally founded in 1957, and publishing for sixteen years, The Evergreen Review was dedicated to publishing controversial writing that challenged prevailing American literary, sexual and social mores. Re-launched as an online publication in 1998, it seeks to build on the magazine's founding legacy. Evergreen is a free publication. It is international in scope and that includes fiction, nonfiction and poetry,

Contact Information

Ann Grafstein, M.L.S, Ph.D.
Professor of Library Services
902H Axinn Library

Contact me by phone or email. Click on the button below to arrange an appointment during a scheduled time slot.

Hofstra University

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