Free eBooks, Images, Music, and Videos
This guide is a starting point for finding and using free eBooks, images, music, and video for class projects and other educational uses. It is not intended to be a complete list of all available sources for these items.
When you use an image, a piece of music, or a video, you are responsible for learning the exact restrictions and permissions on that specific image.
Creative Commons: Many of the resources in this guide use the Creative Commons copyright licenses and tools to grant permission to others to use their works. Since there are several different categories of Creative Commons licenses, be sure to understand what permissions have been granted for each Creative Commons image, piece of music, or video before you use it. For a list of licenses and what kind of use each one allows, see Creative Commons, About the Licenses.
Free eBooks and Articles Online
Project Gutenberg offers over 42,000 free ebooks: download them or read them online.
Open Book Project offers free textbooks and educational materials on a wide range of topics.
Hathi Trust offers a collection of millions of titles digitized from libraries around the world (Moraine Valley Community College is not a partner, so not all books are available full text).
Google Books Search millions of books. Most are not available free.
Open Library is an Internet Archive project to provide access to than 2.5 million e-books, though not all are available as full text.
ManyBooks.net provides thousands of public domain and free original titles in a variety of formats.
The Library of Congress provides full text access to a small percentage of the books in their collections.
MetPublications provides access to almost 700 books that the Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art has published online. Features titles published from 1964-present. Also includes some free streaming videos.
University of California Press E-Books collection 1982-2004 provides access to more than 500 books to the public. Books cannot be downloaded, but can be read online.
LibriVox provides free audiobooks from public domain works. Recordings are done by volunteers.
Apps for Reading Free eBooks on Your Devices
There are many apps and other software out there for reading eBooks from sources like the ones linked above. Here are just a few:
iBooks is Apple's free eReader app. Allows highlighting, searching, adding bookmarks and notes.
Adobe Digital Editions is free software from Adobe which works for Windows and Macs. Ebooks can be read on computers or transferred to supported devices by connecting them to your computer and following the instructions provided by Adobe. Requires creating free Adobe ID.
Open Access Journals (Academic Articles)
Directory of Open Access Journals search or browse for links to free online, peer-reviewed journals.
Search Creative Commons content on a variety of search services like Google, Flickr, and Wikimedia Commons. Be sure to check results for what uses are allowed for each image you want to use.
Content Curators lists sites that grant permissions for use of their content through Creative Commons licenses.
The British Library has recently uploaded over 1 million public domain photos from the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries onto Flickr.
Getty Images, one of the largest sources for stock images, now allows embedding (with a credit and link to the image) of many of its images free. Search for images that are marked Royalty-Free (RF). These images can be embedded using the code they provide into other web pages without paying a them a fee.
The Getty Museum has digitized over 4,000 pieces of art in their collection and made them available for use for any purpose as long as they are attributed to the museum.
The Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Online Catalog contains many digitized images. Each collection and most images have copyright information and permissions information included. Look for the "Rights and Restrictions" link or heading.
U.S. Government Photos and Images on USA.gov provides links to collections of government images. Check the information on each site or image for information about using them.
Wikimedia Commons is a large collection of freely usable media.
In the advanced search in Flickr, check “Only search within Creative Commons-licensed content” to find work with Creative Commons licenses.
Microsoft offers images, clip art, and animations.
Haiku Deck is a presentation creating app for the iPad with access to millions of free, high-quality photos. Presentations are compatible with PowerPoint, KeyNote, and PDF.
Creative Commons Music for Videos offers links to various music sites that provide creative commons licensed music.
Vimeo searchable database of user-created music, some are available free and have Creative Commons licenses.
Snagfilms provides free streaming of many documentaries and indie films. Available on most devices.
OpenCulture has a list of links to 575 movies available free online through streaming or download.
Vimeo searchable database of user-created videos, some are available free and have Creative Commons licenses.
Internet Archive Stock Footage Collection Rights to this collection are held by Internet Archive. You may download and reuse material under the Creative Commons Attribution License.
Flickr Creative Commons Search videos on Flickr that are available using Creative Commons licenses.
National Park Service B-Roll Video provides links to public domain video sites, including national parks, monuments, battlefields, historic sites and related areas.
Open Video Project collect and make available a repository of digitized video content for research communities on a variety of subjects.
The information in this guide is not legal advice. The librarians who compiled this guide are not lawyers and can not answer questions about what is legal or illegal. If you have questions about what is legal, you should consult an attorney.