Bookish Resources

Classic Books Online
Classics Publishers
Great Libraries
Useful Sites
Reading Groups & Challenges
Reading Guides
Book Arts
Illuminated Manuscripts
Other Bookish Links
Classical Studies

Classic Books Online Top

Project Gutenberg
“The Internet’s oldest producer of FREE electronic books.” See for portable formats of PG texts.

Great Books and Classics
Links to online texts of the great books in translation and in the original languages.

Great Books Index
Links to great books online plus background materials.

The Online Books Page
“Listing over 25,000 free books on the Web”

Beautifully formatted classic literature, philosophy, science, and history.

The Open Library
Catalogue of over 1,000,000 free ebooks available online.

Free public domain audiobooks read by volunteers.

Bibliotheca Augustana
Classical texts in Latin, Greek, other European languages, plus art and music. In Latin.

Christian Classics Ethereal Library
“Classic Christian books in electronic format” including works by “Church Fathers.”

Luminarium: Anthology of English Literature
A gorgeous site with texts, essays, and resources for 14th–18th C. English writing.

A vast site including long excerpts from every modern translation of Beowulf.

Classics Publishers

Oxford World’s Classics
My choice for paperback critical editions.

The Modern Library
Nicely printed paperback and hardcover classics.

Penguin Classics
Inexpensive paperback critical editions, vast catalogue.

Everyman’s Library
Affordable, decorative hardcover classics.

W.W. Norton
Publisher of those tried and true anthologies of great English, Western, world, and women’s literature. Companions websites are available for the world and English anthologies. See also the Norton Critical Editions and the Norton Introduction to Literature.

Loeb Classical Library
Greek and Latin classics with English translation. For an introduction, try the Loeb Classical Library Reader.

Greek and Latin classics, language instruction, and books about the ancient world for adults and children.

Broadview Press
Canadian publisher of the Broadview Editions, high quality critical editions of popular classics and “valuable, lesser-known” works.

Great Libraries

British Library
150,000,000 items. Home of the Magna Carta, Lindisfarne Gospels, Gutenberg Bible, Beowulf. Worth a pilgrimage.

Online library featuring multimedia materials from EU countries.

Library of Congress
128,000,000 items. Pretty good for the colonies.

National Library and Archives of Canada
18,000,000 published works of Canadiana, among other things.

Vatican Library
Also check out the Secret Archives and online Museums.

Useful Sites

Great Books Lists
An annotated collection of canon lists, including non-Western works.

Self-Made Scholar
A compendium of resources and advice for autodidacts.

Reader-centered book cataloguing and social networking.

Library Elf
Track multiple library accounts and get reminders before your books are due. No more fines!

Shop for books and support the charity of your choice. Operated by Bookwish Foundation.

Detailed comparison book-shopping with support for non-US currency and shipping.

Reading Groups & Challenges

A Novel Challenge
An excellent collection of all the ongoing reading challenges in the litblogosphere.

Book Glutton
Innovative website that lets you upload, read, annotate, and chat about books with other readers.

Literature Reading Circle
Keeps track of all the Yahoo reading groups.

The Great Conversation
A Yahoo group following the Great Books of the Western World 10-year reading plan.

Reading Guides

Penguin Book Club Reading Guides

The Modern Library Reading Guides

Book Arts

Book Arts Web
A portal for book arts on the web and home of the Book_Arts-L listserv.

Canadian Bookbinders & Book Artists Guild
Papermaking, bookbinding, calligraphy, printing, illustration…everything that goes into making fine books.
“A website dedicated to typography and its history.”

Letter Arts Review
“Internationally recognized as the preeminent magazine for calligraphers and lettering artists…”

Unseen Hands: Women Printers, Binders, and Book Designers
“Women have been involved in printing and the making of books ever since these crafts were first developed. Even before the advent of movable type, there was a strong tradition of women producing manuscripts in western European religious houses.”

Illuminated Manuscripts

Catalogue of Digitized Medieval Manuscripts
New project to create a centralized catalogue of all digitized manuscripts available online.

Digital Scriptorium
Database of medieval and renaissance manuscripts.

Hill Museum & Manuscript Library
World’s largest collection of manuscript images.

Medieval Manuscript Manual
How manuscript books were made.

Other Bookish Links

The Great Books Foundation
Supporting great books education for children and adults.

Today in Literature
“Good books. Good stories. Every day.”

Words Without Borders
“The Online Magazine for International Literature.”

Curiosities of Literature
Literary lore.

The Republic of Pemberley
“Your haven in a world programmed to misunderstand obsession with things Austen.” Don’t miss Lady Catherine’s advice page.

Antique Writing Boxes & Lap Desks
Part of the online museum of Antique Boxes in English Society.

Eighth Day Books
A wonderful bookstore specializing in books that “shed light on ultimate questions in an excellent way.”

Open Culture
“The best free cultural and educational media on the web.” If you want to learn something for free online, this is the place to start.


Comprehensive online art reference.

The Art Renewal Center
Largest online art museum.

The Athanaeum
Up-and-coming, ad-free, wiki-esque archive of over 27,000 artworks.

Web Gallery of Art
Over 16,000 images of Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque painting and sculpture.

Gardner’s Art Through the Ages
Glossaries, maps, links to online art images, and more. Accompanies the award-winning Gardner’s Art Through the Ages.

Timeline of Art History
Timelines, maps, and art from all over the world from the Metropolitan Museum of Art.


Internet History Sourcebooks Project
Online compendium of sources for ancient, medieval, and modern history.

The History Guide
Ninety lectures in European history, from Gilgamesh to Glasnost.

The Western Tradition
Fifty-two video lectures on Western history by Eugen Weber for WGBH (PBS).


Learn a language while you translate the web.

HTLAL: How to Learn Any Language
“The website about teaching yourself languages.”

Wordchamp: The Learning Language Network
Tools to support learning of over 130 languages.

“Writing systems and languages of the world.”

Classical Studies

Perseus Digital Library
Storehouse of Classical Greek and Latin texts.

Roman Myth and Legend
Index of over 500 names from ancient Roman mythology.

Theoi Greek Mythology
“Exploring mythology in classical literature and art.”


Wheelock’s Latin
The standard text.

Wheelock’s FAQ
Chapter by chapter help with the more knotty bits of Wheelock’s Latin.

Dale Grote’s Wheelock Help Page
From the author of the Comprehensive Guide to Wheelock’s Latin.

Latin Study Links
Flash cards, exercises, grammar, and more for Wheelock’s Latin students.

Cambridge Latin Course
Standard course in UK schools.

Latin for the New Millenium
New course including post-antique Latin from Bolchazy-Carducci.

Online open-source multimedia Latin course.

Easy to use English-Latin / Latin-English dictionary.

A Latin Dictionary
Latin dictionary including literary references.

Numen – The Latin Lexicon
Fast, user-friendly Latin dictionary and grammar tool.

Textkit – Greek & Latin Learning Tools
“Free and fully downloadable Greek and Latin grammars and readers.”

Latin and Greek Study Groups
“Open, volunteer-run mailing lists.” Includes groups working with Wheelock’s Latin.

The Latin Library
Latin classics online.

Forum Romanum
Resources on ancient Rome and comprehensive directory of online Latin texts.

Latin version of Wikipedia.

Latin Phrases
My favourite: ex libris, of course.

Latin Proverb of the Day
Your daily dose of Latin wisdom.

Nuntii Latini
News in Latin from YLE Radio, Finland.

“Nuntii Latini universi.” (I believe that means something like “World News in Latin.”)

Experience Latin with Father Foster
Learn Latin online using only a Latin dictionary. Lots of Latin links too.

The Latin Lover
Archive of “The Latin Lover” with Father Reginald Foster, as heard on Vatican Radio.