Archive.org is a treasure trove. I cannot tell you how awesome this database is for finding public domain resources. Just the other day, I was perusing another website for science and history books to download for my newest reader. I needed something fairly straight forward, yet something to catch interest. I happened upon some books written by Albert Blaisdell. I fell in love instantly with the voice he writes in. He relates the topic very well to prior learning. The only problem was that I could not find all of the books in the series of textbooks he wrote. Instinctively, I surfed on over to Archive.org and found every one of them. I was giddy.
Archive.com and its users have data-based websites, video, audio, books, and TV news broadcast. All are free for your listening, viewing, or reading pleasure. The uses are endless in homeschooling. I love to find 19th century readers for the kids. The writing seems more wholesome, inviting the read to problem solve with a higher moral code than the world today. My kids enjoy the classics. From Frank L. Baum’s Wizard of Oz series to Robert Louis Stevenson’s works, we often us the books found here with the audio version to enjoy a book that might be above our most comfortable reading level. We have found some adapted versions of the classics, as well. We enjoy the 19th century schoolbooks for many reasons. I will address that in another post.
To search Archive is simple. You can enter your key words and search all types of media or you can minimize your search to a certain form of media by using the pull down menu or by clicking on the links at the top and choosing your media form . If you search by the first method, you will see an icon before the title of the resources listed that indicates the type of media it is. If you have found a book on the database, simply click on the title and notice the options for viewing or download to the left of the page. You can read it straight from the website, download it from Google, to your Kindle or other device. If your find more than one of the book you are looking for, be sure to check them out. Some scans do not have the quality others do.
My oldest is happy reading from the computer, so she downloads them to her Kindle for PC, that way she has use of the digital bookmark. My middle child likes a paper copy. I print and bind his, according to the width. I might use a binder, a folder with brads, or simply staple a portion of a book. I save them for my youngest to use. You can print them with an economy option if you have it. I also print them with 2 pages per sheet on landscape. You have to test print each book to see how small the font will be if you do this. Most turn our great. The printing of course is not free, but with my printer and ink combo, the cost comes to just under $3.00 for a 300 page book, using the 2 pages per sheet option. Some of the books I find are available to purchase, but I haven’t found one cheaper than printing on my own.
There are a couple of other places that I take advantage of for media in the public domain. Look for posts on them soon. You can also look forward to reading about other finds on Archive that we enjoy. That way you don’t have to do all the legwork. Just enjoy homeschooling for free!