Universities house an enormous amount of information and their libraries are often the center of it all. You don’t have to be affiliated with any university to take advantage of some of what they have to offer. From digital archives, to religious studies, to national libraries, these university libraries from around the world have plenty of information for you. There are many resources for designers as well. Although this is mainly a blog that caters to designers and artists I have decided to include many other libraries for all to enjoy.
Capturing images of manuscripts, art, and artifacts, digital libraries are an excellent way of both preserving the past and sharing it with everyone.
- Harvard University Library. Browse through 24 different collections ranging from cultural images of eastern Asia to 19th century American trade cards.
- Yale University Library: Digital Collections. Find ancient manuscripts or read a classic all preserved digitally courtesy of the Yale University Library.
- Indiana University Digital Library Program. Download manuscripts from Isaac Newton or view photographs, film literature, and music from the collections at this library.
- Michigan State University Digital and Multimedia Center. Find several texts from authors such as Joseph Conrad, Aesop’s Fables, cookbooks, and texts on orchids or veterinary medicine in PDF format.
- Columbia University Libraries Digital Collections. Browse through one of over 10 different digital collections that range from medieval and early Renaissance manuscripts to architectural drawings or visit the online exhibitions for even more.
- Rutgers University Digital Library Projects. Learn about the history of alcohol, New Jersey, Italy’s people, and much more in this diverse digital library.
- Ohio State University Libraries Collections. See photos of Bird’s expedition to the South Pole, learn about the women of Burlesque, and more in these digital archives.
- Syracuse University Digital Library. Find interesting information on the history of the New York area as well as recordings of popular WWII songs.
- Ohio University Libraries Digital Exhibits. Learn about Ohio history, visits from important people, read WWII papers, and more in these archives.
- Brown University Library, Center for Digital Initiatives. This collection includes such interesting topics ranging from Abraham Lincoln, Napoleon, and African American and Yiddish sheet music.
- JSU Houston Cole Library Digital Collections. In addition to profiles of several local historical figures, there is a collection of oral histories from people who lived through historic eras of the early to mid 20th century in America.
INTERNATIONAL DIGITAL LIBRARIES
These digital libraries either have a focus on a culture other than that of the United States or are housed in another country.
- The Digital South Asia Library. Sponsored by University of Chicago, this library provides images, reference material, statistics, indexes, and more all focusing on South Asia.
- Cambridge University Library Digital Image Collections. Study ancient texts, photographs from the late 19th century through the mid 20th century, Pascal’s Treatise on the Arithmetic Triangle, and more.
- Nagoya University Library. The manuscripts in these digital databases are in Japanese, as are most of the sites (with some English and French). Whether you know any Japanese or not, if you appreciate the beauty of ancient Japanese manuscripts, you can randomly click through these sites and find some beautiful images.
- Ryukoku University Electronic Exhibition. The digital collection from this university in Kyoto, Japan offers glimpses of art and manuscripts with descriptions of each in English.
BOOKS & TEXTS
These libraries offer books or texts for you to read online and free of charge.
- Universal Digital Library. Hosted by Carnegie Mellon University, this site offers one million online texts touching on literature, the arts, and science.
- The Perseus Digital Library. Find Greek and Latin classics, English Renaissance, and more on this site. Currently, a newer, more modern version is in testing, so feel free to give that a try too.
- The Oxford Text Archive. Scroll through these digitally preserved texts for access to hundreds of classic texts. If the text is available for download, it will be designated “free” to the right of the link.
- Kelvin Smith Library eBooks. This listing ranges from links to full-text reference material to style guides to classic dramas. They also have an exclusive collection of early American and British books.
- University of Chicago Library EOS. Find image-based electronic texts available to all from the University of Chicago’s collection.
- The University of Adelaide Library e-Books. This Australian library offers free texts to all. Browse by author, title, chronology, or theme.
- Literary Resources on the Net. Hosted by Rutgers University, you can find any number of classic texts here categorized by category.
- The Internet Classics Archive. Find major classics, including some Chinese and Persian texts, on this site hosted by MIT.
- Renascence Editions. Find English language texts written between 1477 and 1799 at this site hosted by the University of Oregon. Scroll through the alphabetical listing to find texts by author.
- The Beck Center for Electronic Collections. This collection of resources hosted by Emory University offers projects such as Women’s Genre Fiction, The Belfast Group, and the W.B. Yeats Collection, all of which provide downloadable texts pertaining to each topic.
- Carrie: An Electronic Library. Hosted by the University of Kansas, this online library offers several collections with focus mainly on history and social sciences.
These libraries offer medical information for both the professional and the lay person.
- Welch Medical Library. This library, courtesy of Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, offers a search feature for articles published in medical journals and online. They also have Subject Guides under the “eResources” section that offers links to topics ranging from Alternative Medicine to Grants and Funding to Writing and Publishing.
- The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Care Center. Each page at this site provides a wealth of information explaining about specific types of cancer as well as topics related to cancer such as pain, fatigue, and genetics.
- Duke University Medical Center Library Online. Get databases, journals, tutorials, tools, and more at this medical library.
- Lamar Soutter Library. Courtesy of University of Massachusetts, this library offers plenty of information for the general public with access levels clearly labeled on most resources.
- Michigan Ear Institute Medical Library. Find several articles about diagnosis and treatment of ear issues in this online library intended for both professionals and laypersons.
- South Carolina Department of Mental Health. Geared toward both the professional and clients and their families, this site offers a wealth of information from the diagnostic stage to treatment.
- Encyclopedia of Psychology. This site run by Jacksonville State University provides links to anything related to psychology. Read about organizations, learn about the major theories, or find out about a career in the field.
- Children’s Hospital Boston Interactive Features. Click on these features to make neurons fire, see cell growth as you travel through cancer stages, create red blood cells, and more.
- Tufts Open Courseware. Tufts University medical school has put several medical courses online for anyone to access.
- Bastyr University. Focusing on natural health medicine, this university library offers a nice database with resources for natural medicine.
Whether you are studying the law or are just interested in it, these libraries have information for you.
- UCLA Online Institute for Cyberspace Law and Policy. This archive provides a rich resource for all formative laws taking place between 1995 through 2002.
- Berkman Center for Internet & Society. A part of Harvard Law, find publications and research that pertain to Internet law.
- Emory Law Ready Reference. This site offers links to free primary and secondary research sources. Find an Internet Legal Research Guide among many other guides.
- Santa Clara Law Library. Find lots of legal resources available on the Internet as well as legal research guides here.
- Cornell University Law School Legal Information Institute. Find procedures, codes, and more at this resource for public legal information.
- New Jersey Digital Legal Library. Hosted by Rutgers University Library, you can find papers on New Jersey law and legal history here.
- Tarlton Law Library. From the University of Texas School of Law, this library offers access to plenty of information for the general public.
- USC Gould School of Law. This library provides users online access to journals, legal resources, and electronic resources.
- Wise Law Library. In addition to the databases, this site also offers links to helpful legal websites, research tools, and library tools courtesy of University of Colorado Law.
- O’Quinn Law Library. From University of Houston, this library has access to databases as well as a few special collections available online.
NATIONAL LIBRARIES OF EUROPE
The following libraries are both national libraries that offer a glimpse into the culture and history of the country they represent as well as hold affiliations with universities.
- National and University Library of Bosnia and Herzegovina. This library is open to both those affiliated with the university and general readership, but note that there is not an English version available.
- The National and University Library in Zagreb. This library in Croatia offers collections of ancient papers and manuscripts available online.
- Copenhagen University Library. In conjunction with the National Library, this site offers a wide range of materials available in both English and Danish.
- National and University Library of Iceland. Look at ancient maps of Iceland or explore the multiple databases available on this site. Some areas are restricted to those associated with the university.
- National and University Library St. Kliment Ohridski – Skopje. Available in English, this library of the former Yugolslov Republic of Macedonia offers a limited amount of information online, but you can access some databases. Members of the library have access to more sections.
- National and University Library of Slovenia. The digital library offers access to many national treasures of Slovenian history. Much of the website can be navigated in English.
WORLD RELIGION LIBRARIES
From various types of Christianity to Judaism to Buddhism, these libraries offer an opportunity for religious research.
- Hartford Seminary Library. Find books, dissertations, and more on Christian theology here. Some access is restricted to students of the seminary.
- Brigham Young University Digital Collections. Click on “Text Collections” for a wide range of available texts including children’s literature, sermons of John Donne, and a huge collection of Mormon literature.
- The Divinity Library, Vanderbilt University. Get the revised common lectionary, access their many free databases, and read guides on how to do religious research at this library.
- University of California Library Religious Studies. Use research tools, use library guides, and browse through the religious studies collection at this library.
- Flora Lamson Hewlett Library. Research with the online databases, take advantage of tutorials, and more at this site.
- The Catholic University of America Library. Research religious studies, philosophy, and canon laws at this library.
- Ostrow Library at American Jewish University. Search databases, take advantage of suggested links, and more at this library focusing on Jewish culture and civilization.
- Digital Library and Museum of Buddhist Studies. Hosted by National Taiwan University Library, this site offers scriptures, tools, and more to help your study of Buddhism.
- Al – Islam Digital Library. Discover Islam by browsing through material selected from our Library. A simple guide for those who wish to journey through material available in the Ahlul Bayt Digital Islamic Library in order to find out more about Islam as taught by the Prophet and his family.
From maps to architectural images to information on deafness, these libraries offer a very specialized collection.
- University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. Study topographical maps from around the world at this library.
- Texas Tech University Libraries 3D Animation Lab. Learn the basics and find some handy tools to get you started with creating your own 3D animation.
- United Nations University Library. Browse through this online library with the mission of solving global concerns and bringing peace worldwide.
- News and Newspapers Online. A service of the University Libraries of The University of North Carolina at Greensboro, this library will help you find current news anywhere in the world.
- SPIRO. Courtesy of University of California, Berkeley, you can find over 270,000 architectural images in both slide and photograph format.
- The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology Library. Find two online collections that offer images of ancient Chinese maps.
- Documenting the American South. Hosted by the University of North Carolina, you can find full texts by various authors that document the Southern Americana heritage.
- University of Minnesota Human Rights Library. Read more than 85,000 human rights documents at this online library.
- Gallaudet University Library. This library has an extensive section on deaf research including statistics, deaf people and animals, ways librarians can communicate, and more.
- Hargrett Library Rare Map Collection. View more than 800 maps ranging over a 500 year time span in this online collection from University of Georgia Libraries.
Whether you are researching Mark Twain or war in the 20th century, these libraries offer resources to help you.
- HighWire Press. Hosted by Stanford University, this free repository holds journals and other academic articles available to the general public.
- Mark Twain Project. Co-sponsored by the University of California, you can find texts, documents, and research available online about the life and works of Mark Twain.
- Project Euclid. Sponsored by Cornell University, this site offers online resources for math and statistics.
- NARCIS. Hosted by Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, this database provides access to scientific papers based out of the Netherlands.
- The World of Dante. Study Dante’s Inferno online courtesy of the University of Virginia. It has been tagged using SGML (Standard Generalized Markup Language) to enhance the interface and study of this poem.
- Southwestern Writers Collection. Texas State University houses a huge collection of manuscripts and information on southwestern writers. Much of the information is available online in the archives.
- Peace and War in the 20th Century. From McMaster University Library in Ontario, this library provides records, case studies, a time line, and more focusing on war and peace around the world in the 20th century.
- Internet Public Library. Founded by University of Michigan School of Information and hosted by Drexel University’s College of Information Science & Technology, this incredibly comprehensive library has plenty to offer.
These American university libraries have plenty to offer to anyone who takes the time to explore what is available.
- University of Texas Libraries. Browse through the multiple libraries and museums available on this site. Some access is restricted to those affiliated with the university, but there is plenty of information for the general public.
- Georgetown University Library. Search you databases, journals, and special collections at this combination of both the Lauinger Library and the Blommer Science Library.
- Princeton University Library . This library offers lots of information for the general public. Be sure to check out their incredible reference database too.
- LSU Libraries: Special Collections. While only parts of these special collections are available online, you can learn about the oral history of Louisiana, rare books, and the Civil War.
- University of Nevada, Reno Libraries. Find Basque books and films, information on Earth sciences and mining, and maps and history of the Nevada area at this library.
- Washington University Libraries. Ask a librarian, find journal articles, and browse through reference sources here.
- Howard University Library System. Students and non-students alike can take advantage of the databases, catalog, and faculty papers.
- University of Delaware Library. In addition to access to five libraries, you can also view a digital collection, instructional media collection, and other special collections.
- University of Virginia Library. This library offers a good selection of labs, such as the digital media lab, which the general public can access portions of online.
- J. Willard Marriott Library. From University of Utah, this library offers a good selection of special collections, digital collections, and more.
Travel around the world from your computer and learn what these international university libraries have to offer.
- The University of Edinburgh. The resources here are available to the general public; however, most licensed electronic resources are not available to non-university people.
- The Library at UCD Dublin. While much of the information is restricted to either those associated with the university or visiting scholars, the general public can access electronic resources including eBooks, online reference sources, and more.
- University of Oxford Bodleian Library e-Resources. This library offers a good selection of resources available to all ranging from digital archives to research articles written by Oxford authors.
- Bibliotheque de la Sorbonne. Check out the electronic resources for the biggest selection available to the general public at this library. The site is completely in French.
- Free University of Berlin Universitatsbibliothek. Research 700 databases and 20,000 journals in this university’s digital library. The site is available in English, but some of the pages may only be available in German.
- Roskilde University Library. Of the open-access services available at this library, there is a good mix of information in both English and Danish.
- Stockholm University Library. Search the databases, e-books, and e-journals available at this library. Not all information is accessible by the general public, but what is available is clearly marked.
- University Library Ghent. This library in Belgium offers digital databases with historic photographs and more, a section with a five-year focus on architecture, and much more. Some of the site is available in English.
- Open University of Catalonia. Search for information in English, Spanish, or Catalan in this library that offers an online collection ranging across many topics including the arts, philosophy, labor sciences, law, marketing, tourism, and more.
- University of Zurich. This university has made several libraries and online databases available for use. There is a mix of resources in both English and German.
- National University of Singapore Libraries. Get links to information about Singapore from government to statistics as well as the ability to search the university databases.