Google Book Search Offers Free Downloads of Public Domain Books

August 30, 2006

Discovering Dante, Newton and Hugo just became a little easier. Starting today, readers can find new, and free, downloadable versions of some of the world’s greatest books on Google Book Search (

Working with our library partners, we’re expanding access to books that are out of copyright and have become public domain material. Users can search and read these books on Google Book Search like always, but now they can also download and print them to enjoy at their own pace.

"Public domain books include both well-known classics and less well-known books on every conceivable subject," according to Sidney Verba, Director of the Harvard University Library which is a partner in the Google Books Library Project. "Since people can search the full text of these books, they can find previously buried information about historical events or people, places of interest and matters cultural or scientific. What has been tucked away in large research library collections and available only to a few, can now be discovered and read by people everywhere."

To easily find books to download, readers can select the "Full view" button when searching on Google Book Search, and then click on the "Download" button shown on public domain books. They can then download a PDF file to their computers to read when they are offline, save for later, or print a paper version. (We do not enable downloading of any books under copyright. Unless we have the publisher’s permission to show more, we display only basic bibliographic information, and, in many cases, small snippets of text – at most, a few lines of text surrounding a search term.)

Our commitment to our users and to our library partners – Harvard, New York Public Library, Oxford, Stanford, Unversity of Michigan and most recently University of California – is to promote the discovery of the world’s books, whether rare, common, popular or obscure. Give it a try:

And keep reading.