Internet Archive

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The Internet Archive has an open-source textbook section in which they place books that they believe count as textbooks in one area. It was created in 1996 and there are books are added on a regular basis by users. Most of the books on the Internet Archive have to be out of copyright in order to be placed online, which means that many are useless for current students. The most recent book was from 2012, and they go back as far as the 1800s. The books can be reviewed, but can be reviewed by anyone and many are not well-thought out. The website has a nice reader interface, but it will not translate well to another type of web service. It is easy to download files in multiple formats from PDF to epub to just a full text document.

While there are entire textbooks, some of which are of a decent size, there’s nothing you can do with a physics book from 1970.


Website Category Rating (1-5 Stars) Comments
Ease of Use 3stars The website is decent to use. Finding the open textbooks is a little challenging, and the website is not necessarily easy to see everything, but if one is looking you can find it.
Truly Free All of the books are free, no login or anything required.
Quality 2stars The books are hit -or-miss with quality and whether they are actually useful in a learning environment.
Offering 3stars There are many different subjects across a lot of different age ranges, but of course the lack of quality hurts this a lot.
Books Category Rating (1-5 Stars) Comments
Size Appropriate 2stars Some books are size appropriate, others only put the first chapter of an entire book online. There are also books that should be longer.
Proofreading 3stars The books are decently proofed, many come from official publications of some kind.
Reviewed 2stars Book reviews are terrible, done by anyone and have no depth, if done at all.
Supplemental Material
(answers to problems, glossary, index)
2stars Some books have answers, a glossary, etc. But this is not clear for which books do and do not.

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