free resources

updated nov 23 2020 - 179 places to read free ebooks

open access to information. that's what the internet's all about, isn't it? I'm always on the lookout for public domain and creative commons resources to use and remix as an artist. as a curious human and diarist, I love exploring archives and libraries. these are some of the things I have bookmarked.

these resources range from public domain to limited creative commons licenses. please read the usage guidelines for each resource.

archives, libraries, & collections

internet archive ‒ a non-profit library of millions of free books, movies, software, music, websites, and more. the internet archive does vital work preserving the world we build on the web. they do it for free. donate if you can. (I do. even their email updates are good. I actually read them.) ‒ free educational courses, free & public domain media, and other resources available to all.

smithsonian open access – download, share, and reuse millions of the smithsonian’s images—right now, without asking (creative commons zero). access nearly 3 million 2D and 3D digital items from museums, research centers, libraries, archives, and the national zoo.

images ‒ back when I first met unsplash, they were a tumblr page posting 10 free images at a time. now, it's the internet's go-to site for freely usable images. no credit required (though crediting the photographers is one way to be a good internet citizen!)

the gender spectrum collection ‒ this stock photo library from vice features images of trans and non-binary models. you'll find real diversity, not clichés.

nappy – beautiful, hi-res & free (CC0) photos of black and brown folks. no credit required (but it's encouraged! be a good internet citizen!)

createHER stock – your destination for images featuring melanated women. their freebies collection includes 185+ images and you can join their mailing list to get free images every month.

the art institute of chicago open access images – free, unrestricted use of over 50,000 images of artwork (creative commons zero).


incompetech – maybe haven't heard of kevin mcleod, but you've heard kevin mcleod. his music, I mean. for years, he has been releasing royalty-free music for all us to use in our youtube videos and film projects. one of my favourite creators, matt guion (bandgeek8408), used a few tracks so consistently that I'm shook when I hear them elsewhere. anyway. god bless mr. mcleod. use the songs with attribution and enjoy the enormous library of music he has gifted to us. quality stuff; excellent search capabilities.

free music archive – things at the FMA have been a little rocky since it was acquired last year (sept 2019), and updates are slowly happening, but you can still find an extensive collection of creative commons music. it might take some digging, and you have to pay careful attention to the license for each artist/song, but there are gems here. check out the curators to see if you can find a collection that fits your needs. (the music for video portal is a great place to start.)

sound of picture – I discovered podington bear (chad crouch) on the free music archive. now you can browse a library of chad's music which is free to download and use for noncommercial purposes, with attribution. plus, he has inexpensive licenses available if the free license doesn't cover your needs. not only is the music outstanding (all diamonds, no rough), it's also easy to search by genre, mood, instrument and more.

blue dot sessions – a library of over 2000 acoustic and minimalist tracks, available for non-commercial use. plus, their individual and blanket licenses are relatively inexpensive. the music is composed and mixed specifically for public radio and podcasts (and they've scored shows like Invisibilia, Criminal and Heavyweight, so you know this is the good stuff).

loyalty freak music – Rrrrrose has produced more than 1000 songs available under Creative Commons licenses, many of them under CC0 (public domain). they release projects under different names; each project has its own sound and purpose.


179 places to read free ebooks ‒ this list from the Custom Writing blog links to free ebook resources on a wide range of subjects and genres, both fiction and non-fiction. classics, textbooks, stage plays, genre fiction, business resources, craft books...and just about anything else you might want to read.

project gutenberg ‒ more than 60,000 free ebooks. a great source for finding literary classics.

open library – an open, editable library catalog, building towards a web page for every book ever published. you can create a digital library card and borrow ebooks. I also encourage you to contribute to the catalogue by adding or editing information, or by donating books. an initiative of the internet archive.