May 31, 2017

Internet Archive - Free Learning

There is a lot of stuff for sale on the internet. Actually, is there anything NOT for sale on the internet? However, there is also a lot available for free. I prefer free, like library free. That is my favourite.

I have written previously about sites that give one free access to books online. Since then I have also found free audio books online, listened to several, and bookmarked more.

Books like:

Analects of Confucious

Once and Future King - T. H. White

Treasure Island - Robert Louis Stevenson

Island - Aldous Huxley

The site I am referring to is Internet Archive, a place unique to me in all my internet wanderings. It is my new favourite place to go instead of reading the news (although you can find news items there).

The Internet Archive is a San Francisco–based nonprofit digital library founded in 1996. It's stated mission is "universal access to all knowledge." It offers "permanent access for researchers, historians, and scholars to historical collections that exist in digital format." As a life long learner and chronically curious person, I can get behind that.

This treasure trove provides free public access to collections of digitized materials, including websites, software applications/games, music, movies/videos, moving images, and nearly three million public-domain books.

In addition to listening to audiobooks, I have also used this site to do things like research early rock and roll, including listening to a recording of "Rocket 88", a 1951 song some believe was the first recorded number that rocked and rolled in the way that it did.

A search for Henry David Thoreau returns 1,109 items. So many items, so little time.

They also have an archive called the Wayback Machine that stores information so that inconvenient truths can't disappear down the memory hole. Not Buying Anything is even archived there, giving this blog an air of semi-kinda-sort-of-quasi-permanence, as long as there is electricity and an open internet. 

With links to collections from major libraries, the possibilities are endless. And free. 

Fill your mind. It's a giant digital library you can access from the comfort of your own home.


  1. What an awesome resource! I love audiobooks, concerts, etc. Woohoo, it's free!

    1. Terri,

      For those that can't get to the library, it is nice to be able to access it from an internet connection at home. Since Linda and I don't like driving, this is perfect for us as we live a few kilometres from our public library, and there's no public transportation available. I can ride my bike to the library, but this option is not available to Linda.

  2. Anonymous6/01/2017

    So many resources on the internet. Seen the bad side with the effect of social media on the young, although YouTube is good for well-being. Veganism is certainly spreading due to the Internet and it allows for wider thought than the traditional media.
    Personally I like Khan Academy and the Linux community. YouTube also has some interesting things to watch.
    The best thing is making knowledge available to all.

    1. Alex,

      I have heard of the Khan Academy, and will be checking it out today. Spread the knowledge far and wide. And freely, for the betterment of all.

  3. Brilliant. Thank you for the information and love and kindness. Your friend, Michael

    1. Michael,

      You are welcome. Information, love and kindness are all free here. Let's spread it all over. The world needs more of all of it. Happy spring.

  4. Anonymous6/04/2017

    It's a fantastic website, one of my favourite things about the internet and the sort of thing that our digital society sorely needs!

    1. Rob,

      Yes, stuff like this gives the Internet a good name. Hopefully the powers that be don't wreck it in another ruthless power grab. Keep the net open and free (and reasonably priced so everyone can access it).


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