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August 30, 2006

Download Public Domain Books From Google

BBC News reports that Google has started to allow users to download public domain books as PDF files in Google Book Search. To find books available for download like Dante's Divina Comedia, you need to restrict the search to full view books, but not all the results will have the download option.

HTML view (plain text) should follow naturally for public domain books, as the downloaded PDF contains only the scanned pages, without OCR. Google should also improve the way books are read online, by optimizing page view for any resolution. The download option for public domain books will be followed shortly by an easier way to buy books directly from Google.

Project Gutenberg offers 19,000 free ebooks, but their content is not searchable online. The books can be downloaded as text files.

Google's Digital Library of Alexandria


  1. I like the introduction placed by Google before the actual scanned book:

    "This is a digital copy of a book that was preserved for generations on library shelves before it was carefully scanned by Google as part of a project
    to make the world's books discoverable online.

    It has survived long enough for the copyright to expire and the book to enter the public domain. A public domain book is one that was never subject
    to copyright or whose legal copyright term has expired. Whether a book is in the public domain may vary country to country. Public domain books
    are our gateways to the past, representing a wealth of history, culture and knowledge that's often difficult to discover.

    Marks, notations and other marginalia present in the original volume will appear in this file - a reminder of this book's long journey from the
    publisher to a library and finally to you."

  2. hey there,

    just found the eBook Searchr, a nice ebooks search engine based on Google CSE. The index of ebook sites they search is pretty large, more than 340 as per the last update.

    The results re really good, too. You can refine your search so that you will find only public domain works, or warez as well, whatever you prefer. Finally the FireFox Search plugin is the most useful of it all...

    thumbs up!