Free Stuff

Being a librarian and a techie I always get questions about where to get free stuff online.  This page is going to be a list (or portal if you like the old net terms) to different free resources you can find online.  (and maybe a few real world freebies too.)

3D Modeling
Blender Blender is a free 3D modeling suite. In my opinion there is quite a learning curve to it, but it’s absolutely amazing what you an achieve using this free opensource software.
Blender 3D: Noob to Pro/Sources of free 3D models (via Wikibooks) “Here are some sources of free 3d models from across the web. Take them apart, put them back together, understand what makes them tick, to improve your own modeling.” (quote from site)
Daz Studio Daz Studio is a free 3D modeling & animation software package. I’ve used their Bryce product (a $ software) for years (even before Daz bought it form its creators), and have had lots of fun using it. Their products are easy to use and quite versatile.
{note: Daz is a bit of a heavy advertiser feel free to do what you want with the e-mails you will get from them if you download their software.}
ELAArea Public Library: Where to find and download 3D models A great BIG! PDF list of free online resources to get 3D models from the folks at the ELAArea Public Library in Illinois.
NASA 3D Resources “Here you’ll find a growing collection of 3D models, textures, and images from inside NASA. All of these resources are free to download and use. Please read the Usage Guidelines.” (quote from site)
National Institutes of Health 3D Print Exchange “The NIH 3D Print Exchange provides models in formats that are readily compatible with 3D printers, and offers a unique set of tools to create and share 3D-printable models related to biomedical science.” (quote from site)
Tinker Cad “Tinkercad is a simple, online 3D design and 3D printing app for everyone.” (quote from site). It is really simple to use and quite a bit of fun too.
Audio Books
Loyal Books Loyal Books (formerly: Books should be free) is another site to get free public domain books (aka: out of copyright), handy categorized (faceted) searching makes for easier discovery of what your looking for.
Baen Free Library Baen is a publisher of science fiction and fantasy novels and they have a wonderful service providing free (usually back list novels) e-book copies of some of their novels. So it’s a great spot to check for you sci-fi & fantasy fans out there.
Directory of Open Access Books Directory of Open Access Books (DOAB) is a global repository of free e-books. You can find books from all over the world, and in many languages on this site.
Google Books – Free Books Top selling … (if Free counts as selling)… books from the Google Play Book Store. Great way to try out new authors.
Project Gutenberg Project Gutenberg is a massive project to digitize out of copyright & classic works. Out of copyright in the USA means pre-1923. (There are a few grey areas after that but for simplicity just think before 1923)
Project Gutenberg Australia OK I know your saying you just listed Project Gutenberg, and your right I did. But Australia has a much different copyright policy than the USA…so anything more than 50 years old is public domain in Australia. Which (as of this posting) means that anything pre 1967 is public domain in Australia…just a few more years of stuff to look through.
Standard Books Standard Books is a great project where a group of editors and writers are proofreading, correcting, and modernizing the language for books in the Gutenberg project collection. They are also adding some great cover illustrations.
Educational Resources
Carnegie Mellon University Open Learning Initative – free CMU courses.
Edx Pay & Free online courses. Verified courses are free, but certifications & professional education courses cost money.
GCF Learn “…From Microsoft Office and email to reading, math, and more, offers more than 180 topics, including more than 2,000 lessons, 800+ videos, and 55+ interactives and games, completely free.” (quote from site)
Khan Academy Forever Free online courses for every subject from Kindergarten through College. Popular among the homeschooling & tutoring crowds.
MIT Open Courseware Many free online courses from MIT.
Mooc List Massive Online Open Course = Free online courses. Note: skip the ads and you’ll be fine.
Northstar Basic computer skill certificates. With badges!
Open Yale Courses Free courses from Yale.
Udacity Pay & free online courses on many subjects. Be sure to click the “free” checkbox.
Udemy Pay & Free online courses. Once you search for a course you can easily sort out the free courses by using the “price” menu and checking the free box.
Free Online Libraries
Digital Public Library of America The Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) is a great project that is trying to provide access to every library database, digital resource, and digital collection from every library in america in one handy place with easy search functions. So you never know what you will find here…don’t forget to check out some of the cool apps folks have created using the DPLA’s collection.
Europeana Collections The European Union Digital Public Library…or what DPLA is trying to become. Amazing collection of European digital collections of books, art, and more.
Getty Publications Virtual Library “Free digital backlist titles from the Getty Publications Archives” (quote from site). Yes this is a library full of publications from the Getty museum. Art, photography, and history all rolled up into one place.
Hathi Trust Digital Library Hathi Trust is a collection of works from academic and research libraries around the world, and they have all sorts of other stuff tossed in too. So be sure to check them out.
New York Public Library Digital Collections Exactly what the title says free e-items (more than just books) from the great NYPL.
OAPEN OAPEN is a free library of academic books. Looking to learn something or expand your research for free…give them a shot.
Open Library “Open Library is an open, editable library catalog, building towards a web page for every book ever published” I couldn’t have said it better.
Polonsky Foundation Digitization Project A beautiful (and huge project) collection from the Vatican and Bodleian libraries. Yes that said Vatican library so very old and beautiful works from all over the world. Even if you can’t read the words the art is stunning…and makes you want to learn to read the languages.
SciELO Livros Scientific Electronic Library Online. This is a Spanish language library. “The SciELO Books Portal publishes national and thematic collections of academic books online with the objective of maximizing the visibility, accessibility, use and impact of the research results, essays and studies that are published in them.” (quote from site)
World Digital Library Again another that is exactly what the name says a free World Digital Library.
Public Domain Movies A good resource to discover and view free public domain movies. In other words movies that you can post, watch, edit, mash up, or do whatever you want to do with your downloaded copy of and it’s perfectly legal.
Free Music Archive “The Free Music Archive is an interactive library of high-quality, legal audio downloads directed by WFMU, the most renowned freeform radio station in America. Radio has always offered the public free access to new music. The Free Music Archive is a continuation of that purpose, designed for the age of the internet” (quote from site) see their about section for more info.
More stuff coming soon.