The 8 best digital libraries
Celebrating the proliferation of digital archives, we recommend these chambers of marvels.
Digital libraries are much more than easy access to literature and information, they are dwellings that expand our possibility to store books and read them under house arrest – or in the capricious territory that words demand. It could be said that they are a phantom hideout so that books never disappear in the fog. And although the book as an object remains unbeatable, when reading on a screen, a phone or a tablet we are simply repeating one of the most beautiful human activities: illuminating our brains with the glow of our gaze.
Thanks to the proliferation of the digitization of archives we now have hundreds of thousands of online libraries, and some of them are simply wonderful. The majority are invaluable sources of reference, but there are some, such as those listed below, that contain books, maps, films and audio-books that would be difficult to find in physical form. In no particular order, we recommend the following eight:
1. World Digital Library. A source for manuscripts, rare books, films, maps and more in multilingual format.
2. Universal Digital Library. A collection of one million books.
3. Project Gutenberg. More than 33,000 e-books to read and download.
4. Bartleby. An immense collection of books for consultation, including fiction, essay and poetry.
5. ibiblio. E-books, magazines, academic essays, software, music and radio.
6. Google Books. More than 100,000 books for consultation, download or on-line purchase.
7. Internet Archive: The largest digital library for downloading e-books and audio-books for free.
8. Open Library: More than one million e-books of classic literature to download.
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