02 February 2006

Book Alternatives

What are great ways to get free alternatives to printed text for your students? Turns out that there are many options. The University of Virginia e-book collection is a wonderful place to start, with digital text available in (often) multiple formats, including pre-set for Microsoft Reader (and thus free text-to-speech). Joyce, Poe, Twain, Kipling and more are among the literary picks in mp3 and other audiobook forms at Learn Out Loud, which also has great history (FDR, JFK, Ghandi...), science, and much more.

Of course there are plenty of free podcasts available via iTunes, and there is the absolute library of historical documents from Forham University's History Sourcebook, hundreds of multi-media options at the Library of Congress's American Memory site, the Perseus Digital Library from Tufts University, and don't forget Project Gutenberg - as well as Gutenberg Australia (a somewhat different collection, check both).

Also, the collection at the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Adelaide's directory, the Digital Librarian, and the Internet Public Library.

Though not accessible, a remarkable way to "see" books is offered by The British Library through their Treasures in Full collection. You can see exactly what rare books look like, page-by-page. In the same vein, there's the Digital Gallery from the New York Public Library, and the scanned-in multi-national, multi-lingual collection at the International Children's Digital Library.