Online Library of Liberty

March 25, 2009


Whenever the people are well-informed, they can be trusted with their own government.
–Thomas Jefferson


The Online Library of Liberty (OLL) is an excellent source of information on personal liberty, constitutional government, and the free market.  Liberty Fund, Inc., a non-profit foundation, sponsors the Web site to provide resources in these areas free of charge to the public.


The OLL site consists of two sections—The Library which contains over 1,000 classic books about liberty and The Forum which contains educational material about the books and authors. 


Most of The Library’s books are available in three formats:  a facsimile PDF version which allows users to see scans of the original text, a HTML version with a linked table of contents, and a downloadable PDF E-Book version.  Authors featured in the collection include Hippocrates, Plato, Saint Bede, Euclid, Alex de Tocqueville, Sir Francis Bacon, Immanuel Kant, Thomas Robert Malthus, Charles Darwin, and many more.  The Library offers browsing and searching options, including full-text searching.


The Forum provides information and discussion about the books included in The Library, their authors, and their ideas.  Educational material found in The Forum includes bibliographies, biographies, essays, images, user-created reading lists, timelines, and teaching resources.  Users may also download conversations on individual liberty in MP3 format and sign up for RSS feeds for alerts about new additions to The Library.


In addition to providing information online, the OLL offers users a free DVD.  Request a copy of the 2009 edition of the “Portable Library of Liberty” on the OLL Web site.  The DVD contains over 900 titles from the OLL in E-Book PDF format and 36 hours of MP3 audio.


More information on research in Political Science, Philosophy, Economics and other subjects consult H. M. Briggs Library Topic Guides pages.


Linda Kott

Information Services Librarian