How to Search for and Read the Free Ebooks of Project Gutenberg


Project Gutenberg was the first project focused on creating and distributing ebooks for free. It was founded in 1971 by Michael S. Hart as a volunteer effort. Long before the existence of today’s version of the internet, Mr. Hart decided that the knowledge contained in classical works is too important and valuable not to be available freely without any strings attached to the public.

Currently, there are almost 50,000 ebooks available at Project Gutenberg.

Online Search

It is possible to search the Project Gutenberg catalog online in a number of ways:

Most ebooks are published in English, but there are quite a few other languages in which ebooks are published, too. There are currently 16 languages listed in which more than 50 ebooks are published.

You can also search Project Gutenberg’s content full-text using Google Search.

Offline Search

You can download the full listing of all published and available ebooks at Project Gutenberg in plain-text or zipped format.

You can then search for a book within this offline catalog.

For example, if you search for The Complete Works of William Shakespeare published in English, you get the following result:

The number next to the title is the publication number at Project Gutenberg.

This is a handy system, because to read the ebook online or to download the plain-text, HTML or PDF version of the ebook, all you need to do is to go to:

Important Note

Instead of the word number, put the actual publication number of the ebook into the URL address. So for the above listed Complete Works of William Shakespeare, the actual link is:

And here is the link to Mr. Hart’s vision of Project Gutenberg.

Read on!

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