Digital libraries

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Arts, humanities and social sciences[edit]


  • Monoskop is an independent online educational resource and research platform for arts, culture and humanities. Monoskop was initiated in 2004 in the context of experimental digital culture in Bratislava and the wider region. Founding editor: Dušan Barok. The Monoskop Log library has branched out in 2009. Monoskop. Monoskop Log.
  • Eclipse A free on-line archive focusing on digital facsimiles of radical small-press writing from recent decades. Eclipse also publishes new works of book-length conceptual unity. Established 2003 by Craig Dworkin.
  • Fragen is a digital library of key texts of second wave of feminism in Europe. It was created between 2006-2011 and is maintained by Atria, Amsterdam. The content is available under the Creative Commons license.
  • Critical Commons An online repository supporting the fair use of copyrighted media by educators. A project of the Media Arts and Practice division of the USC School of Cinematic Arts. Established 2008 by Steve F. Anderson.
  • Uberty is a resource of documents and media related to New Rationalism, Accelerationism, and other recent theory and philosophy. Established 2015. Twitter. Facebook.
  • Sci-Hub provides mass and public access to 60 million research papers. Established 2011 by Alexandra Elbakyan. Twitter.
  • The Anarchist Library, an archive focusing on anarchism. The site also provides an online service, Bookbuilder, to create collections of texts, with editing features, changing layout and rendering to PDFs or EPUBs. Established c.2008.
  • Les Classiques des sciences sociales hosts Francophone works in social and human sciences, counting some 6,000 publications from 2,000 authors. Established 1993 by Jean-Marie Tremblay. Maintained by the University of Quebec at Chicoutimi (UQAC).
See also

Conferences, symposia, exhibitions, workshops, seminars, discussions

  • Interfacing the Law, Piet Zwart Institute, Rotterdam, Spring 2017. Seminar in experimental publishing, convened by Femke Snelting.
  • Artistic Shadow Libraries video installation, within Find the File festival, Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin, 21-24 Mar 2019. Cornelia Sollfrank’s interview montage shows artists creating web archives as commons practice.
  • Pirate Care, conference, Centre for Postdigital Cultures, Coventry University, 19-20 Jun 2019. CfP. FB. Video.

Interventions, research, projects

  • AAAARG Library, a site-specific installation, in conjunction with the the fifth annual NY Art Book Fair, Fall 2010.
  • Worm Pirate Bay, a physical library at WORM, Rotterdam, hosting an eclectic collection of avant-garde media, from zines and books to CDs and DVDs. Visitors can burn DVDs, digitise VHS tapes, and copy books and magazines using photocopier.
  • Creating Commons, research project exploring interstitial practices which open the space between art and commons, Jan 2017-Jan 2020. Conducted by Felix Stalder, Cornelia Sollfrank and Shusha Niederberger. Based at the Institute for Contemporary Art Research, Zurich University of the Arts. In cooperation with HeK (House of Electronic Arts Basel).
  • Pirate Care, a syllabus, a research process - primarily based in the transnational European space - that maps the increasingly present forms of activism at the intersection of “care” and “piracy”.


Publications, resources


  • Pirate Care, Coventry, 19-20 Jun 2019. Video recordings of talks held at the Centre for Postdigital Cultures, Coventry University.
  • Javna knjižnica / Public Library, eds. Tomislav Medak, Marcell Mars, and WHW, Zagreb: WHW & Multimedia Institute, 2015, 144 pp. Texts by McKenzie Wark, Tomislav Medak, Marcell Mars, Manar Zarroug, and Paul Otlet. (English)/(Croatian)
  • Guerrilla Open Access, ed. Memory of the World, Coventry: Post Office Press, Rope Press, and Memory of the World, 2018, 34 pp. Texts by Memory of the World, Christopher Kelty, Balázs Bodó, and Laurie Allen. (English)
  • Aesthetics of the Commons, eds. Cornelia Sollfrank, Felix Stalder and Shusha Niederberger, Zurich: diaphanes, Jan 2021, 275 pp. (English)
  • Interfacing the Law, Rotterdam: Piet Zwart Institute (XPUB Special Issue 3), Jun 2017. (English)
  • Interfacing the Law, Rotterdam: Piet Zwart Institute (XPUB Special Issue 06), Jun 2018. (English)
  • Inverse Reader, ed. Dušan Barok, Monoskop, Sep 2019ff. A collection of 64 texts, talks and conversations about shadow, independent and artists’ digital libraries. [17] (English)

Essays, talks, statements, conversations, interviews

  • Sean Dockray, "The Scan and the Export", Fillip 12: "Critical Forms of Publicness", Fall 2010, pp 98-110. [18] A short meditation on book scanning and document exporting. Discusses machines, the people who use them, and the contrasting forms of publicity and collectivity emerging from these technical configurations. (English)
  • Sean Dockray, "Openings and Closings", in Contestations: Learning From Critical Experiments in Education, eds. Tim Ivison and Tom Vandeputte, Bedford Press, 2013. On open access and education. (English)
  • Sean Dockray, "Interface, Access, Loss", Discipline magazine lecture, 2013. Revised version of a chapter in Undoing Property, eds. Marysia Lewandowska and Laurel Ptak, Sternberg Press, 2013. A critique of the cloud. (English)
  • Dušan Barok, "Techniques of Publishing", Information Between Commodity and Community seminar, Prague, May 2014. On the reciprocity between electronic publishing and scholarly research today. (English)
  • Dušan Barok, "Communing Texts", Off the Press conference, WORM, Rotterdam, May 2014. On the relevance of plain text in publishing; a proposal for discursive entanglement of scholarly references and hyperlinks. (English)
  • Marcell Mars, Manar Zarroug, Tomislav Medak, "Public Library (An Essay)", Memory of the World blog, 27 Oct 2014; printed in Javna knjižnica / Public Library, eds. Tomislav Medak, Marcell Mars, and WHW, Zagreb: WHW & Multimedia Institute, 2015, pp 75-85; reposted on Zeitschrift für Medienwissenschaft: Open-Media-Studies-Blog, 17 Dec 2018. On the idea of public library. (English)
    • "Javna knjižnica (Esej)", trans. Una Bauer, in Javna knjižnica / Public Library, eds. Tomislav Medak, Marcell Mars, and WHW, Zagreb: WHW & Multimedia Institute, 2015, pp 7-17. (Croatian)
  • Dušan Barok, "Poetics of Research", Public Library conference, Württembergischer Kunstverein Stuttgart, 1 Nov 2014. On the cultural algorithms historically conditioned by scholarly research and publishing. (English)
  • McKenzie Wark, "Metadata Punk", in Javna knjižnica / Public Library, eds. Tomislav Medak, Marcell Mars, and WHW, Zagreb: WHW & Multimedia Institute, 2015, pp 111-117. (English)
    • "Metapodatkovni punk", trans. Dušanka Profeta, in Javna knjižnica / Public Library, eds. Tomislav Medak, Marcell Mars, and WHW, Zagreb: WHW & Multimedia Institute, 2015, pp 41-47. (Croatian)
  • Marcell Mars, "Memory of the World", IZK Institute for Contemporary Art, Graz, 12 May 2016, 40 min. Video; invited talk as part of the annual 'Graz Architecture Lectures'. [22] (English)
  • Matthew Fuller, "The Indexalist", in Mondothèque: A Radiated Book / Un livre irradiant / Een irradiërend boek, Brussels: Constant, Sep 2016, pp 84-87, PDF. (English)
    • "De Indexalist", in Mondothèque: A Radiated Book / Un livre irradiant / Een irradiërend boek, Brussels: Constant, Sep 2016, pp 88-91, PDF. (Dutch)
  • Clemens Apprich, "Ora et labora (et lege). Zur Politik postdigitaler Handlungsfelder", Kunstforum 242: "Postdigital 1", Sep-Oct 2016. [23] (German)
  • Sean Dockray, Benjamin Forster, "", Hyperreadings, 15 Feb 2018; repr. in Distributed, eds. David Blamey and Brad Haylock, London: Open Editions, 2018, pp 198-213. (English)
  • Dušan Barok, "Shadow Libraries", Shadow Libraries: UbuWeb in Athens symposium, National Museum of Contemporary Art (EMST), Athens, Mar 2018. On access to culture and knowledge. [25] (English)
  • Alexandra Elbakyan (Александра элбакян), Avtobiografiya versiya 1.1 [Автобиография версия 1.1], 22 May 2020, 92 pp. Autobiographical essay by the founder of Sci-Hub. [30] (Russian)

Journal issues and special sections


Academic research and writing

  • Roger Chartier, "Bibliothèques sans murs", ch. 3 in Chartier, L'ordre des livres, Aix-en-Provence: Alinea, 1992. (French)
    • "Libraries Without Walls", trans. Lydia Cochrane, Representations 42: "Future Libraries" (Spring 1993), pp 38-52; rev. as ch. 3 in Chartier, The Order of Books, Stanford University Press, 1994, pp 61-88, n108-112, PDF.
  • Hans-Christoph Hobohm, "Can Digital Libraries Generate Knowledge?", Historical Social Research / Historische Sozialforschung 37:3 (141): "Controversies around the Digital Humanities", 2012, pp 218-229. [40]
  • Jeffrey T. Schnapp, Matthew Battles, The Library Beyond the Book, Harvard University Press, 2014, 176 pp. [41] [42]
  • Jonas Andersson Schwarz, "Honorability and the Pirate Ethic", ch 4 in A Reader in International Media Piracy: Pirate Essays, ed. Tilman Baumgärtel, Amsterdam University Press, 2015, pp 81-110.
  • Davide Giorgetta, Valerio Nicoletti, Amateur: Non-Institutional Practices Between Digital Archiving and Publishing, ISIA Urbino, 2015. Master's thesis. Features interviews with Janneke Adema, Dušan Barok, Balázs Bodó, Josephine Bosma, Annet Dekker, Sean Dockray, Kenneth Goldsmith, Geert Lovink, Marcell Mars & Tomislav Medak, Domenico Quaranta, Gino Roncaglia, Femke Snelting, Henry Warwick, and Eva Weinmayr. [43] (Italian),(English)
  • Pelle Snickars, "Publikationshack", in Universitetet som medium, eds. Matts Lindström and Adam Wickberg Månsson, Stockholm: Mediehistoriskt arkiv, 2015, pp 9-46. (Swedish)

Further reading

Texts listed on the wiki pages of respective initiatives: UbuWeb, Aaaaarg, Monoskop, Library Genesis.

General interest[edit]


Autonomous/independent libraries[edit]

  • Lib.Ru, RuNet's early web library, est. 1994 by Maksim Moshkov.
  •, formerly Ebooksclub (2004-2007) and Gigapedia (2007-2010), closed down in Feb 2012.
  • Open Library, an e-book lending library, est. 2006 by the Internet Archive.
See also

Public domain, Creative Commons and Open Access texts[edit]

  • Project Gutenberg, est. 1971 by Michael Hart, has over 46k books in plain text, subsequently also converted to other formats. Hosted by ibiblio at U North Carolina, Chapel Hill. (multiple languages)
  • arXiv, est. 1991 by Paul Ginsparg. Has over 1M e-prints in physics, mathematics, computer science, quantitative biology, quantitative finance and statistics in PDF and other formats (TeX, DVI, PostScript or HTML). Maintained by Cornell U. (English)
  • Project Runeberg, est. 1992 by Lars Aronsson. Contains works significant to the culture and history of the Nordic countries; as images and HTML text. Hosted by Lysator, an academic computer group at Linköping University. (multiple languages)
  • Liber Liber, est. 1994 by Marco Calvo, Gino Roncaglia, Paolo Barberi, Fabio Ciotti and Marco Zela. (Italian)
  • Internet Archive, est. 1996 by Brewster Kahle. The section 'eBooks and Texts' contains almost 8M scanned texts as high-resolution images, subsequently also converted to other formats. (multiple languages)
  • Aozora Bunko, est. 1997, the Japanese Project Gutenberg. (Japanese)
  • Wikisource, a Wikimedia project started 2003. Contains around 500k texts in wiki form. (multiple languages)
  • HathiTrust, est. 2008. A partnership of 100+ research institutions and libraries. Also includes content digitised by Internet Archive digitisation initiatives and Google Books. Access to copyrighted works requires an institutional subscription. (multiple languages)

National libraries[edit]

  • Czech Republic, NDK national library, CAS academy of sciences, DLIB CAS academic journals, UCL CAS literary periodicals
  • Denmark, KB national library, DEFF electronic research library
  • Norway, NB
  • Poland, Polona national library, FBC digital libraries federation
  • Russia, RSL state library, NLR national library, GLIB state historical library, FEB literature and folklore
  • Sweden, KB national library, SVAR national archives
  • United Kingdom, BL

Commercial libraries hosting academic journals[edit]

  • JStor, est. 1995 by William G. Bowen (Princeton U); now owned by ITHAKA; 2600 journals.
  • Project Muse, est. 1995, operated by Johns Hopkins University Press; focus on digital humanities and social science; 674 journals.
See also

See also[edit]

See also[edit]

Digital humanities, Art servers, Media archives, Documentation science, Commons, Copyright activism, Internet activism