Century Past Free Online Library

Helping readers find books in the world’s largest free online English language libraries. Plus free magazines, newspapers and article collections. We comply with U.S. copyright laws.

We Already Did Your Searches for You!

Century Past has carried out hundreds of searches on the biggest free online libraries to provide you ‘Collections’ of books on numerous subjects.  These subject collections, for both Fiction and Nonfiction books, can quickly be found throughout our 400 webpages by using our Directories, in the menu at the top of every page.

You Get the Best, from Libraries with Millions of Books!

Internet Archive Books

Nearly all our collections contain modern books, scanned and saved by the Internet Archive in their Lending Library of 3.8 million books published from 1928 to 2017. You can read all these books online at the Internet Archive, one hour at a time, with a free log-on at Internet Archive.  One-quarter of the 3.9 million are also available to download for 14 days at a time.

Some of the subject collections at Century Past are of books published before the mid-1920s, now in the public domain.  These are typically from the Internet Archive or at the also-huge HathiTrust Digital Library.

Recommendations of Top Books in Nonfiction Subjects, with Descriptions

Besides collections, we provide links to free recommended individual books on most nonfiction subjects. These are on the same pages as the related collections, and contain descriptions.  If you’re overwhelmed by the collections (most have hundreds of titles), or you want to quickly zero in on respected books, see these entries.  We got the titles from librarians’ reference books, or from selective bibliographies. The scanned books are at the Internet Archive, HathiTrust, or other reputable archives.

Finally, on some subject pages we offer free ‘Vintage books’ and/or collections of textbooks.

Everything on Century Past is free, and all our links lead to free resources.

Online Library of Free Fiction Books

Gigantic selection of novels by popular authors in Romance, Mystery, Suspense, Sci-fi, Historical, Inspirational, Action, Fantasy, & more. Plus World Literature, Short Stories & Vintage Novels. Reading guides too.

Fiction for Adults, Young Adults & Children. Most links open books at Internet Archive.

Free Online Books in PDF

See the Menu at the top of every page for Directories of Free Online Fiction and NonFiction Books, Magazines, and more, on 400 pages like this at Century Past

Free Online Library

NonFiction Books

Huge selection of free online books on most of the subjects you would find in any library.  Special collections for Cookbooks and History.

Our nonfiction subject pages contain entries for select ‘core’ books, plus entries for Collections or Search Results containing groups of related free books at Internet Archive.  Start at our Non-Fiction A – Z Directory to find your subjects.


Big collection of current magazines and back issues, published in the U.S. and other countries.  Also many titles no longer published, and smaller online-only magazines.  Start at our Magazine Directory.

Download Books as PDF
Free Online Books in PDF

Free Online Newspaper Library

Links to hundreds of current newspapers & other news sources, and archives of past newspapers. Most are free & in English. The U.S., and many countries worldwide.

Articles & Collections

A library of free online articles from magazines and newspapers, organized by subject. Hundreds of History-related articles plus other topics. Also podcasts & videos.

Plus links to free digital collections of historical maps & vintage photos.

Free Online Library
Free online library

The Great Lakes States Past & Present

Free books and articles for Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio & Wisconsin, from earliest times to the present, all free. Each state, and the Great Lakes region, has pages for over a dozen subjects.

  Start at the Great Lakes States Directory.

For more information about this site, see About Century Past.

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