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2006 Edition (3rd)


A subset of the OLL is also available for off-line browsing. It contains 750 of our titles in a searchable E-Book PDF format.

Request a complimentary copy of the Portable Library of Liberty DVD which contains 750 titles from the OLL in EBook PDF format.

Please include your snail mail (i.e. postal) address.

The Portable Library of Liberty (PLL) consists of "EBooks" which are self-contained PDF versions of 750 titles in the Online Library of Liberty (OLL) and is available free of charge upon request for educational purposes (please send us your snail mail address for shipping). The current edition of the PLL is based upon the holdings of the old OLL website from the Summer of 2006. We plan to offer a new edition in the summer of 2008 based upon the new OLL website.

For a listing of the 2006 edition contents see this page


What is the PLL | Copyright and Fair Use | Guide to Finding Materialcomplete list of EBooks

Historical Periods: Ancient Asia | Ancient Greece | Ancient Rome | the Medieval period | the Renaissance and Reformation | the Early Modern period |18th century | 19th century | 20th century
Disciplines: Economics | History | Law | Literature | Music | Philosophy | Political Theory | Religion | Science | Sociology | War and Peace

The June 2006 edition of the Portable Library of Liberty has 750 titles

What is the Portable Library of Liberty?

The Portable Library of Liberty is a sub-set of a larger EBook collection of the Online Library of Liberty (with over 1,500 books, essays, and articles).

The Portable Library of Liberty consists of "EBooks" which are self-contained PDF versions of 750 titles in the Online Library of Liberty (OLL). Most are PDF files which have been created from the HTML versions of the books; others are the PDFs used to print Liberty Fund's published books. These PDFs can be read within a web browser by using a plugin such as Adobe's PDF Reader or they can be opened and read in a stand-alone PDF reader such as Adobe's Acrobat Reader (a free download) or Apple's Preview. You can then do powerful key word searches to find passages of interest, cut and paste these passages for the purposes of academic quotation, and then cite the reference by using the fixed page number of the PDF (unlike the pagination of HTML files which is different in each browser) and the title's URL which is given at the foot of each page. Liberty Fund encourages the use of these texts for academic and educational purposes as long as due regard is given to the copyright and fair use conditions stated below as well as on the front page of each PDF title, and as long as proper attribution is given to Liberty Fund's website as the source of this material when it is cited.

For centuries it has been a dream to be able to have readily at hand, or even to hold in the palm of one's own hand, the knowledge which one needs to understand the world or to solve one's problems. Diderot, the editor of the French Encyclopedia, attempted to do this in the mid-18th century during the French Enlightenment but he required many scores of expensive volumes to achieve his goal. Voltaire had more modest aims with his Philosophic Dictionary in 1764. He wanted to put into one "pocket sized" volume (designed literally to fit into one's trouser pocket) all the arguments one might need to refute the religious bigotry of the state church. The writers of the American state and federal constitutions and bills of rights wanted to be able to articulate the rights and duties of citizens vis-à-vis their state in a concise and easily readable format. So did Napoleon in 1804. He wanted to simplfy and codify French law in a new Civil Code which citizens could carry around with them, in their pockets perhaps, so that if faced with some rude and difficult state functionary they could whip out their copy of the Code and remind their civil "servant" of their obligations and duties under the law. The Cato Institute in Washington, D.C has a similar goal in publishing their pocket-sized editon of the U.S. Constitution and Amendments (the "Bill of Rights"). It is in this intellectual spirit and historical tradition that Liberty Fund makes available to the public its Portable Library of Liberty on a single DVD. Without any of the constraints of having access to the internet, relying upon the availability of a computer server, or the vagaries of a slow dial-up connection, the holder of this DVD can still have access to over 500 classic texts which have helped mold our understanding of the idea of individual liberty.

Copyright and Fair Use Statement

There are four different types of texts which Liberty Fund has put online as part of the Online Library of Liberty:

  1. public domain texts published before 1923. These texts are no longer under copyright and are in the public domain. We have put them online in order to further the educational aims of Liberty Fund.
  2. texts to which the Liberty Fund has electronic rights, such as the books published by Liberty Fund in both print and online formats
  3. other texts to which Liberty Fund has acquired the electronic rights from third parties, such as the journal Literature of Liberty (from the Institute for Humane Studies)
  4. titles which are put online under license from third parties, such as the Glasgow Edition of the Works of Adam Smith (from Oxford University Press).

For titles in the first three categories listed above, no special permission from Liberty Fund is required for quoting material in papers and essays, or for limited photocopying and distribution for academic or other educational or non-profit purposes. The only requirements are that you include proper attribution on the first page of the document being distributed - e.g. " This material originally appeared on the Online Library of Liberty [http://app/] hosted by Liberty Fund, Inc." - and that you include the document title, URL, and date on the pages printed off by your browser.

For titles in category two and three, any reprint of material "for profit", such as a chapter or a substantial section of an online book for inclusion in a book or other publication for sale, requires written permission from Liberty Fund.

For titles in the fourth category you must follow the specific requirements of the copyright holder whose work we publish online under license. In the case of the Glasgow Edition of the Works of Adam Smith published under license from Oxford University Press, for reprint or copying permission you need to contact OUP directly. Under our contractual obligations with OUP we have placed the following declaration on the front page of every book and section of the online version of the Glasgow Edition of the Works of Adam Smith:

The Glasgow Edition of the Works and Correspondence of Adam Smith and the associated volumes are published in hardcover by Oxford University Press. The six titles of the Glasgow Edition, but not the associated volumes, are being published in softcover by Liberty Fund. The online edition is published by Liberty Fund under license from Oxford University Press.

© Oxford University Press 1976. All rights reserved. No part of this material may be stored transmitted retransmitted lent or reproduced in any form or medium without the permission of Oxford University Press.

Thus, for reprint or copying permission you need to contact OUP directly. Liberty Fund cannot grant you this permission because it is not the copyright holder.

Finding Material in the Portable Library of Liberty

Clicking on the linked author's name will take you to the author's bio page on the OLL website; clicking on the linked title name will take you to the title's table of contents page on the OLL webiste; clicking on the link to the "Original HTML at OLL" will take you to the HTML file at the OLL website from which the EBook was created; clicking on the link to the "HTML at another site" will take you to the HTML file at the Library of Economics and Liberty (Econlib) website from which the EBook was made; clicking on the link to "in stock" will take you to the page of the Liberty Fund's online book catalog where you can purchase a hard copy of the book.

On the OLL authors are categorized by nationality, historical period, and school of thought; titles are categorized by discipline and topic. Please consult the OLL for more details. To give you a sense of what is available in the Portable Library of Liberty here are some of its highlights:

Historical Periods

Clicking on the link will take you a separate list on this DVD of all EBooks from this historical period.

  • Ancient Greece - Plato, Aristotle, Thucydides, Homer, Sophocles
  • Ancient Rome - Cicero, Tacitus, St. Paul, St. Augustine,
  • the Medieval period - Beowulf
  • the Renaissance and Reformation - Dante, Petrarch, Machiavelli, Martin Luther, Erasmus
  • the early modern period - Sir Edward Coke, Hugo Grotius, Samuel von Pufendorf, John Milton, Thomas Hobbes, John Locke
  • 18th century - Thomas Gordon, John Trenchard, Edward Gibbon, David Hume, Adam Smith, Joseph Addison, Immanuel Kant, Edmund Burke, Thomas Paine, Earl of Shaftesbury, Mary Wollstonecraft, Vicesimus Knox, Montesquieu, Voltaire, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Turgot, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Alexander Hamilton, Wilhelm von Humboldt
  • 19th century - Jeremy Bentham, Frederic Bastiat, David Ricardo, Hippolyte Taine, Lord Acton, James Mill, Frederic William Maitland, John Stuart Mill, Herbert Spencer, Richard Cobden, Eugen Richter, Gustave de Molinari, Auberon Herbert, Thomas Hodgskin, Thomas Mackay
  • 20th century - Franz Oppenheimer, Bruno Leoni, Ludwig von Mises, James Buchanan


Clicking on the link will take you a separate list on this DVD of all EBooks from this discipline.

  • Economics - James Buchanan, Ludwig von Mises, Frederic Bastiat, David Ricardo, Adam Smith
  • History - Thucydides, Hippolyte Taine, Lord Acton, Edward Gibbon, David Hume, James Mill
  • Law - Tacitus, Sir Edward Coke, Hugo Grotius, Bruno Leoni, Frederic William Maitland, Samuel von Pufendorf
  • Literature - Homer, Sophocles, Tale of Beowulf, Dante, Petrarch, John Milton, Joseph Addison
  • Music - The Hymns of Martin Luther
  • Philosophy - Plato, Aristotle, Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, David Hume, Immanuel Kant, John Stuart Mill
  • Political Theory - Plato, Aristotle, Cicero, Machiavelli, Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, Edmund Burke, Thomas Paine, John Stuart Mill, Earl of Shaftesbury, Mary Wollstonecraft
  • Religion - St. Paul, St. Augustine, Martin Luther, Erasmus
  • Science - Kant, Spencer
  • Sociology - Franz Oppenheimer, Herbert Spencer
  • War and Peace - Erasmus, Hugo Grotius, Vicesimus Knox, Richard Cobden

Schools of Thought

For more information about the members of these schools of thought and their works refer to the OLL website.

  • 17th century Natural Law Theorists - Hugo Grotius, Samuel von Pufendorf
  • 18th Century Commonwealthmen - Thomas Gordon, John Trenchard
  • French Enlightenment - Montesquieu, Voltaire, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Turgot
  • Scottish Enlightenment - David Hume, Adam Smith
  • Founding Fathers of the American Constitution - George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Alexander Hamilton
  • Utilitarians - Jeremy Bentham, James Mill, John Stuart Mill
  • German Liberalism - Immanuel Kant, Wilhelm von Humboldt, Eugen Richter
  • 19th century French Liberalism - Frederic Bastiat, Gustave de Molinari
  • 19th century English Radical Individualists - Auberon Herbert, Thomas Hodgskin, Herbert Spencer, Thomas Mackay
  • free traders - Richard Cobden, Frederic Bastiat

Special Collections

For more information about these special collections refer to the complete list of EBooks or to the OLL website.

  • 25 Classics of Liberty - 25 of the most influential books in the development of the idea of individual liberty
  • The Glasgow Edition of the Works and Correspondence of Adam Smith, 7 vols.
  • The Works and Correspondence of David Ricardo, (Sraffa ed.) 11 vols.
  • The Works of Thomas Jefferson, (Federal ed.) 12 vols.
  • Literaure of Liberty, 20 vols.
  • Edward Gibbon, The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, 12 vols.
  • The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (all 37 plays and major poems).
  • The Works of Alexander Hamilton, (Federal ed.) 12 vols.
  • The Earl of Shaftesbury, Characteristics of Men, Manners, Opinions, Times, (LF ed.) 3 vols.
  • 7 of 20 vols. of The Works of James M. Buchanan (LF ed.)
  • James Mill, The History of British India, 6 vols.
  • The Complete Works of Montesquieu, 4 vols.
  • The Writings of Thomas Paine, 4 vols.