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.
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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.
THE PORTABLE LIBRARY OF LIBERTY
What is the PLL | Copyright
and Fair Use | Guide to Finding Material | complete
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
Disciplines: Economics | History | Law | Literature | Music | Philosophy | Political
Theory | Religion | Science | Sociology | War
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:
- 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.
- texts to which the Liberty Fund has electronic rights, such as the books
published by Liberty Fund in both print and online formats
- 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)
- 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
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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
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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
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online version of the Glasgow Edition of the Works of
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
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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
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:
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,
- 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,
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
- 18th Century Commonwealthmen - Thomas Gordon, John Trenchard
- French Enlightenment - Montesquieu, Voltaire, Jean-Jacques
- 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
- German Liberalism - Immanuel Kant, Wilhelm von Humboldt,
- 19th century French Liberalism - Frederic Bastiat, Gustave
- 19th century English Radical Individualists - Auberon
Herbert, Thomas Hodgskin, Herbert Spencer, Thomas Mackay
- free traders - Richard Cobden, Frederic Bastiat
For more information about these special collections refer to the complete
list of EBooks or to the OLL
- 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.