September 7 – September 14, 2006 Edition

Public Domain

Books Now Online

At Google Search

9/5/06—As of August 30, users can now go to Google Book Search and download and print full copies of out-of-copyright books to read­for free. Users can choose from a diverse collection of public domain titles, ranging from well-known classics to obscure gems, according to Adam Mathes, associate product manager for Google Book Search.

The company is quick to note that “we do not enable downloading of any book currently under copyright. Unless we have the publisher’s permission to show more, we display only small snippets of text—at most, two or three sentences surrounding a search term—to help the user determine if they’ve found what they are looking for.”

Mathes said on the blog site that “Before the rise of the public library —a story chronicled in this 1897 edition of The Free Library—access to large collections of books was the privilege of a wealthy minority. Now, with the help of our wonderful library partners, we’re able to offer you the ability to download and read PDF versions of out-of-copyright books from some of the world’s greatest collections.” Google’s official blog is located at .

Using Google Book Search, you can find The Free Library and many other extraordinary old books, such as:

Ferriar’s The Bibliomania A futurist from 1881’s 1931: A Glance at the Twentieth Century Aesop’s Fables Shakespeare’s Hamlet Abbott’s Flatland Hugo’s Marion De Lorme

Dunant’s Eine Erinnerung an Solferino Bolívar’s Proclamas Dante’s Inferno

To find out-of-copyright books available for download, a user can simply select the "Full view" radio button when searching on

“Of course, this is just the beginning,” said Mathes. “As we digitize more of the world’s books—whether rare, common, popular or obscure—people everywhere will be able to discover them on Google Book Search.”

Google has encountered stiff resistance from the publishing industry for its aggressive book digitizing program.