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Humanities Open Access Resources

The resources below are not meant to be exhaustive, but merely provide a starting point for quality, open access (OA) resources in various humanities disciplines. The focus is mostly on fully open access resources, but some subscription resources that have significant free materials have been included.

This page was inspired by the Information Resources in the Humanities textbook I received during my MLIS. Although the book was so new, we were a week behind just waiting for the hardcover edition of the textbook to come out, the paltry Open Access resources were already out of date. This website is a proof-of-concept that OA resources can be robust with a minimum of curation, as long as they are not held down in print formats where URLs decay quickly.

Click here to submit your favorite OA Humanities Resource! 

ArtsDigital Scriptorium Scriptorium is a growing consortium of libraries and museums committed to free online access to their collections of pre-modern manuscripts. Our website unites scattered resources from many institutions into an international resource for teaching and scholarly research. It bridges the gap between a diverse user community and multiple repositories by means of a digital union catalog with sample images and searchable metadata. Many DS records also link out to the websites of our member institutions, where users can discover further information and images about the manuscripts in their home collections.
General HumanitiesJURN Directory,000 links to selected arts & humanities ejournals. Journals listed are either free, or offer significant free content.
General HumanitiesOAPEN Library OAPEN Library contains freely accessible academic books, mainly in the area of Humanities and Social Sciences. OAPEN works with publishers to build a quality controlled collection of Open Access books, and provides services for publishers, libraries and research funders in the areas of dissemination, quality
assurance and digital preservation.
General HumanitiesPerséeée is a program which was created for the digital publication of scientific journals in the field of the humanities. The entire printed collection of journals is digitized and published online through a portal which offers access to the collections as well as advanced functionalities which facilitate and enhance use of the portal’s resources. The journals are selected by an editorial board, thereby guaranteeing the collection’s scientific coherence.

The main goal of the Persée project is to widely disseminate the scientific output of French language specialists in the humanities on the internet. Considered part of France’s heritage, the collections are at the disposal of all, without charge, in an optic of free and non exclusive access and dissemination.
General HumanitiesSocial Science Research Network (SSRN) is a worldwide collaborative of over 330,600 authors and more than 2.2 million users that is devoted to the rapid worldwide dissemination of research. Founded in 1994, it is now composed of a number of specialized research networks. Each of SSRN's networks encourages the early distribution of research results by reviewing and distributing submitted abstracts and full text papers from scholars around the world. SSRN encourages readers to communicate directly with other subscribers and authors concerning their own and other's research. Through our email abstract eJournals we currently reach over 400,000 people in approximately 140 different countries.
HistoryAmerican Memory Memory provides free and open access through the Internet to written and spoken words, sound recordings, still and moving images, prints, maps, and sheet music that document the American experience. It is a digital record of American history and creativity. These materials, from the collections of the Library of Congress and other institutions, chronicle historical events, people, places, and ideas that continue to shape America, serving the public as a resource for education and lifelong learning. –Boston College description
HistoryChronicling America America's historic newspaper pages from 1789-1924 or use the U.S. Newspaper Directory to find information about American newspapers published between 1690-present. Chronicling America is sponsored jointly by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress.
HistoryFarm Security Administration – Office of War Information Photograph Collection photographs in the Farm Security Administration – Office of War Information Photograph Collection form an extensive pictorial record of American life between 1935 and 1944. This U.S. government photography project was headed for most of its existence by Roy E. Stryker, who guided the effort in a succession of government agencies: the Resettlement Administration (1935-1937), the Farm Security Administration (1937-1942), and the Office of War Information (1942-1944). The collection also includes photographs acquired from other governmental and non-governmental sources, including the News Bureau at the Offices of Emergency Management (OEM), various branches of the military, and industrial corporations.
HistoryGraphic History Collective fascinating mixture of the arts and social sciences, specifically focused on May Day/Labor History in Canada.

The members of the Graphic History Collective came together specifically to produce a historical account of May Day in Canada in the form of a comic book. For that purpose we received funding from the “Working Histories” Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada’s Research Knowledge Cluster initiated by Joan Sangster at Trent university, Peterborough, Ontario. Through our historical research we found many different May Day stories in newspapers, books, and journals, and drafted plans for combining text with images with the aim of making this history educational and inspirational for a cross-section of audiences. Over time new people joined our project, adding their own skills and talents, while sharing a love of history alongside a dedication to issues of social and economic justice. The Graphic History Collective continues to develop graphic history projects to present historical information about issues that remain important and relevant today. Members so far have included Mark Leier, Robin Folvik, Sean Carleton, Julia Smith, Sam Bradd, and Trevor McKilligan.
HistoryMaking of America of America (MoA) is a digital library of primary sources in American social history from the antebellum period through reconstruction. The collection is particularly strong in the subject areas of education, psychology, American history, sociology, religion, and science and technology. The collection currently contains approximately 10,000 books and 50,000 journal articles with 19th century imprints. For more details about the project, see About MoA. Making of America is made possible by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
History: FloridaPALMM Project of Archival, Library & Museum Materials (PALMM) is a cooperative initiative of the public universities of Florida to provide digital access to important source materials for research and scholarship. PALMM projects may involve a single university or may be collaborative efforts between a university and partners within or outside of the state university system. PALMM projects create high-quality virtual collections relevant to the students, research community and general citizenry of Florida.
Language/LinguisticsChinese Etymologyhttp://www.chineseetymology.orgWhen I was a young man of 22 in Taiwan in 1972 trying to become fluent and literate in Chinese, I was faced with the prospect of learning to write about 5000 characters and 60,000 character combinations. The characters were complex with many strokes and almost no apparent logic. I found on the rare occasions when I could get a step by step evolution of the character from its original form, with an explanation of its original meaning and an interpretation of its original form, suddenly it would become apparent how all the strokes had come to be. The problem is that there is no book in English that adequately explains this etymology and even if you read Chinese there is no single book in Chinese that explains it all. In short it is a research project to understand each character. To have this information at my fingertips in English would have been a great help.
Language/LinguisticsThe Historical Thesaurus of English Historical Thesaurus of English is a unique resource charting the semantic development of the huge and varied vocabulary of English. It is the first historical thesaurus ever produced for any language, containing almost every word in English from Old English to the present day. Of major interest to historians, philologists, linguists, and the general reader, the Thesaurus is an unrivalled resource for the historical study of the language. It is based on a comprehensive analysis of English as found in the second edition of the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) and A Thesaurus of Old English (for words restricted to the Old English period of c.700-1150 AD). All these words and their dates of recorded use are displayed within a detailed semantic framework, offering a fascinating picture of the development of the vocabulary of English from its origins in Anglo-Saxon times to the present.
Language/LinguisticsSpanishDict far the best Spanish-English dictionary I have ever used. Covers idioms extremely well, gives multiple meanings and contexts. Also has exercises for those learning Spanish.

SpanishDict is the world’s largest Spanish-English dictionary, translation, and language learning website. We develop and provide reliable, accurate, easy-to-use resources for learning Spanish. We also aim to cultivate a fun and active community where members can ask and answer questions, practice with each other, and experience the joy of using a new language.
Language/LinguisticsOnline Etymology Dictionary of my absolute favorite websites. Comes with my highest personal recommendation for English etymologies.

The basic sources of this work are Weekley’s “An Etymological Dictionary of Modern English,” Klein’s “A Comprehensive Etymological Dictionary of the English Language,” “Oxford English Dictionary” (second edition), “Barnhart Dictionary of Etymology,” Holthausen’s “Etymologisches Wörterbuch der Englischen Sprache,” and Kipfer and Chapman’s “Dictionary of American Slang.”
Language/LinguisticsOnline Etymological Dictionary of Spanish site provides an account of the development of the Spanish language as best as historical linguists are able to ascertain in a way that is accessible both by laymen and academics.

Additional etymologies can be submitted by readers.
LiteratureBibliomania.com Online Literature with more than 2000 Classic Texts
LiteratureLuminarium: Anthology of English Literature of the works are hosted on other sites, but the Lumarinarium organizes English literature from the Medieval period, Renaissance, 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries, contemporary women writers, and an Irish literature/folklore collection.
LiteraturePAL: Perspectives in American Literature: A Research and Reference Guide research guide is more of an online encyclopedia, with introductory notes on the major movements in American literature, and extensive bibliographies. Because it was created by an English professor and deliberately intended for college students in American literature courses, it also includes helpful study questions and research guidance. –Hekman Library description
LiteraturePerseus Digital Library has a particular focus upon the Greco-Roman world and upon classical Greek and Latin, but the larger mission provides the distant, but fixed star by which we have charted our path for over two decades. Early modern English, the American Civil War, the History and Topography of London, the History of Mechanics, automatic identification and glossing of technical language in scientific documents, customized reading support for Arabic language, and other projects that we have undertaken allow us to maintain a broader focus and to demonstrate the commonalities between Classics and other disciplines in the humanities and beyond.
LiteratureLiterary Resources on the Net set of pages is a collection of links to sites on the Internet dealing especially with English and American literature, excluding most single electronic texts, and is limited to collections of information useful to academics — I’ve excluded most poetry journals, for instance.
Includes very helpful bibliographies for online resources.
LiteratureThe Modern Worldhttp://www.themodernword.comThe Modern Word is a large network of literary sites dedicated to exploring twentieth century writers who have pushed the envelope of traditional narrative and structure. This includes many writers associated with Modernism, surrealism, “magical realism,” and postmodernism. Our mandate includes both writers who have experimented with prose styles and narrative conventions, such as Joyce, Burroughs, or Pynchon, and those who use literary techniques to frame alternate ways of perceiving reality, such as Borges and Philip K. Dick.
Literature: FictionBooklist Online Online is the web version of the Booklist print magazine. It is has both free content, a highlighted review (Review of the Day), and a generous selection of additional reviews and features written exclusively for Booklist Online. Subscribers to Booklist have automatic access to Booklist Online’s database, which contains more than 135,000 reviews and thousands of features dating back to 1992.
Literature: FictionWright American Fiction American Fiction 1851-1875 is a collection of 19th century American fiction, as listed in Lyle Wright’s bibliography American Fiction, 1851-1875. There are currently 2,887 volumes included (1,763 unedited, 1,124 fully edited and encoded) by 1,456 authors. –Boston College description
PhilosophyStanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (SEP). From its inception, the SEP was designed so that each entry is maintained and kept up-to-date by an expert or group of experts in the field. All entries and substantive updates are refereed by the members of a distinguished Editorial Board before they are made public. Consequently, our dynamic reference work maintains academic standards while evolving and adapting in response to new research. You can cite fixed editions that are created on a quarterly basis and stored in our Archives (every entry contains a link to its complete archival history, identifying the fixed edition the reader should cite). The Table of Contents lists entries that are published or assigned. The Projected Table of Contents also lists entries which are currently unassigned but nevertheless projected.
PhilosophyThe Anarchist Library is (despite its name) an archive focusing on anarchism, anarchist texts, and texts of interest for anarchists.

Within the scope of our use of the term “anarchism” we have been quite broad, but broad does not mean infinite, and basically shrinks down to a set of ideas against the State and the capital. This immediately rules out the so-called “anarcho-capitalism”, “anarcho-nationalism” and similar crap.
Religious StudiesBible Gateway is a website designed to allow easy searching of the Christian Bible in many different versions and translations, including English, Spanish, French, and other non-English languages (see below). The website is free for anyone to use. It is currently owned by Zondervan. –Wikipedia
Includes deuterocanonical books as well, depending on translation.
Religious StudiesBibles Online online showroom of The Bible Museum, Inc. Since 1987, we have been the world’s largest dealer of rare & antique Bibles, ancient Biblical manuscripts, and antiquarian theology books.
Religious StudiesBible Study Tools rich online library includes well known and trusted commentaries including the popular Matthew Henry Commentary, concordances like Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance and Naves Topical Concordance, Bible dictionaries, Biblical encyclopedias and historical Christian and church books including Fox’s Book of Martyrs. Our free Bible reading plans allow you to chart your progress through a 365 daily reading schedule and our Parallel Bible will supplement your study of God’s Word as you seek to understand the different translations and interpret the original language. In addition, Bible verses by topic help you find encouragement, guidance and help for any situation or need.
Religious StudiesInternet Sacred Text Archive site is a freely available archive of electronic texts about religion, mythology, legends and folklore, and occult and esoteric topics. Texts are presented in English translation and, where possible, in the original language.
Religious StudiesJewish History Lectures Essential Lectures in Jewish History series is designed to be short and to the point, serving as basic introductions to larger themes in Jewish history that are explored in the Jewish Biographies series. Enjoy in good health!
Religious StudiesPolonsky Foundation Digitization Project the generous support of the Polonsky Foundation, this project will make 1.5 million digitized pages freely available over the next three years. Portions of the Bodleian and Vatican Libraries’ collections of Hebrew manuscripts, Greek manuscripts, and incunabula have been selected for digitization by a team of scholars and curators from around the world. The selection process has been informed by a balance of scholarly and practical concerns; conservation staff at the Bodleian and Vatican Libraries have worked with curators to assess not only the significance of the content, but the physical condition of the items, prioritizing items that are robust enough to withstand being transported to the imaging studio and handled by the photographers. In order to preserve the integrity and completeness of the manuscript collections, the libraries have also agreed to digitize whole collections where appropriate. The complete list of works to be digitized can be accessed here for Greek manuscripts, here for Hebrew manuscripts, and here for incunabula. If you are working with materials from one of these subject areas and you would like to see a particular item digitized, you may submit your request to the relevant curator for review.
Religious StudiesThe William Davidson Talmud William Davidson Talmud is a free digital edition of the Babylonian Talmud with parallel translations, interlinked to major commentaries, biblical citations, Midrash, Halakhah, and an ever-growing library of Jewish texts. As with all of Sefaria, The William Davidson Talmud will continually evolve as we add additional translations, commentaries, and connections.

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