There are multiple ways to get textbooks at no cost. Some are older versions, some written with licences such as Creative Commons and GNU Free Documentation. It is simply knowing where to look.

Included are both Free Online, and Free Downloadable texts in various formats e.g. ebooks, PDF, Word, … . Listed books are at Tertiary or senior secondary level unless otherwise indicated.

They are listed under Major Learning Areas, then Specific Areas in these. The Other Subjects section includes the remainder. Areas such as Mathematics, Sciences and Computing have larger offerings.

This page looks at major sources for free textbook and textbooks for Education, Mathematics and Technology & Computing.

The Second Page looks at Language, Science, Social Sciences, Other Subjects and Preprints.

No Outright Recommendation is given for any textbook. Individuals must make their own decision.

Major Sources

  • 1 000+ Open Textbooks and Learning Resources for All Subjects
    ‘This list is essentially a free online textbook library. Here, we’ve gathered hundreds of links to open textbooks and online courses from different websites and sorted them by subject’.
  • 200 Free Textbooks [Open Culture]
    ‘Free textbooks written by knowledgeable scholars are a relatively new phenomenon. Below, find a list of 170 free Textbooks’.
  • 2020ok
    Covers areas from Art & Photography through to Travel and includes most academic areas.
  • 60+ Places to Find and Use Audio and Ebooks
    While there audio and ebooks, fiction and non-fiction, there is a section for Free education books and textbooks with numerous sites, a number of which are included separately on these pages. There is also a section for Reference works.
  • Alex Catalogue of Electronic Texts
    ‘Public domain and open access documents with a focus on American and English literature as well as Western philosophy’.
  • BCcampus OpenEd Resources
    ‘Made available online to be freely used by students, teachers and members of the public. They are available for free as online versions, and as low-cost printed versions, should students opt for these They are licensed with a Creative Commons license’. Most title have multiple downloads including the actual book and related materials.
  • Bibliomania
    Reference books, classic fiction/drama/… , literature book notes, study guides, articles, interviews.
  • Bookboon
    ‘Download free online textbooks. All our books are available in PDF and you can download them directly without registration’.
  • Bookshelf
    ‘Free access to over 700 texts in life science and healthcare. Bookshelf enables users to easily browse, retrieve and read content, and spurs discovery of related information’.
  • CK-12 Foundation
    ‘CK-12 provides open-source content and technology tools to help teachers provide learning opportunities for students globally’.
  • College Open Textbooks
    ‘we have made a decision to redirect visitors from to other resources we believe are more valuable for students, teachers, and institutions’.
  • Connexions
    ‘House[s] one of the largest repositories of open educational resources in the world. All materials are housed free of charge in a variety of formats. Content is accessible not only online, but in PDF and EPUB formats, as well as being available through a print-on-demand option’.
  • Directory of Open Access Books
    ‘Generally speaking, all books listed in DOAB are free to read and share for non-commercial use. Please check the license if you want to re-use the contents of a book. use the Search pages if you have a specific question. Use the Browse pages to look at several books that are related in some way’. “Free Access” link provides downloads. Thousands of books.
  • eBookLobby
    ‘These free ebooks are divided into different categories. Categories range from business, art, computing to education’.
  • Free Business eBooks
    ‘Sites that legally offer free books relating to business, for reading and listening [audio]’.
    ‘ provides more than 2 000 free scientific books’. Also theses, student notes, other links.
  • Gradesaver
    Free Online Study Guides. Extensive listing grouped alphabetically. Download as PDF documents.
  • Jekkle
    ‘Uni Text Books Online. Rent, Buy and Sell Australian Uni Textbooks’. Not free, but the next cheapest method for gaining textbooks [while also being able to sell them here].
  • Major Online Text Collections by Language
    ‘Links to a number of these sites, organised according to language and/or subject are provided. Also references to specific texts, in particular for unusual languages and unusual texts’.
    ‘Provides access to curated online earning and support materials and content creation tools, led by an international community of educators, learners and researchers’. Not restricted to texts, with options for various material and also a wide range of filters.
  • OER Commons
    Search by subject area, level, material type, more. News, information, recommended resources, … .
  • Open Book Project
    ‘Seeks to encourage and coordinate collaboration among students and teachers for the development of high quality, freely distributable textbooks and educational materials on a wide range of topics’.
  • OpenStax College
    ‘View and share free educational material in small modules that can be organised as courses, books, reports or other academic assignments. OpenStax publishes high-quality, peer-reviewed, openly licensed textbooks that are absolutely free online and low cost in print’.
  • Open Textbook Library
    ‘Reviewed by faculty from a variety of colleges and universities to assess their quality. These books can be downloaded for no cost, or printed at low cost’.
  • Open SUNY Textbooks
    ‘On this site you’ ll find openly licensed textbooks and courses written and curated by SUNY Faculty’.
  • Oxford Scholarship Online
    ‘Access to online monographs in the core areas of : Biology, Business & Management, Classics, Economics and Finance, History, Law, Linguistics, Literature, Maths, Music, Philosophy, Physics, Political Science, Psychology, Public Health, Religion and Social Work’. Access through a subscribing institution.
  • TextbookRevolution
    ‘A student-run site dedicated to increasing the use of free educational materials by teachers and professors. Some of the books are PDF files, others are viewable online as ebooks, or some are simply web sites containing course or multimedia content’.
  • The Orange Grove
    ‘Open Collections. The collections are open to the public and include Open Courseware, Open Textbooks, 3d object models, learning modules, and videos’. Other sections as well.

Top of Page

  • Perseus Digital Library,
    ‘An evolving digital library, … . Our primary goal is to bring a wide range of source materials to as large an audience as possible’.
  • Project Gutenberg
    ‘20 000 free books in the Project Gutenberg Online Book Catalogue. Project Gutenberg is the oldest producer of free ebooks on the Internet’. Also try the Australian version, which has options unavailable at the US site.
  • Science Books Online
    ‘Free science ebooks, textbooks, lecture notes, monographs and other science related documents. All texts available for free reading online, or downloading in various formats’.

Second-Hand Books



    ‘Booksellers on AbeBooks offer a vast selection of new and used textbooks’. USA but with free shipping.
  • BooksIntoCash
    ‘Buying textbooks on the internet since 2000’. USA. No free shipping to/from Australia as far as we can see.
  • Sparknotes
    Study guides [in booklet form] covering many areas, predominantly Language based.
    ‘Find free etextbooks available for immediate download, by entering title, author, or key words for the textbook’.
  • Textbook Revolution
    ‘The web’s source for free educational materials. TBR’s mission is to drive the adoption of Free textbooks by teachers and professors. We want to get these books into classrooms’.
  • The Assayer
    ‘The web’s largest catalogue of books whose authors have made them available for free. The site is a particularly good place to find free books about maths, science, and computers’.
  • The National Academies Press
    ‘We offer more than 4 000 titles in PDF format. All can be downloaded for free by the chapter or the entire book’. Accounting to Transportation & Infrastructure.
  • The Online Books Page
    University of Pennsylvania. Browse by subject term, call number [often Library of Congress] or an alphabetical listing of all subject terms.
  • Wikibooks
    ‘With [a] mission to create a free collection of open-content textbooks anyone can edit. Volunteers have written about 25 000 modules in a multitude of textbooks.

Top of Page


  • A Framework for K-12 Science Education : Practices, Crosscutting Concepts, and Core Ideas
    ‘Proposes a new approach to K-12 science education that will capture students’ interest and provide them with the necessary foundational knowledge in the field’. Free in PDF format.
  • Blended Learning in K-12
    ‘Overview of the concept of blended learning and how it relates to the integration of technologies in the K-12 environment’.
  • Education for an Information Age
    ‘The primary goal of the text is to help you incorporate the computer into your K-12 curriculum’. multiple formats available [PDF, ePub, Kindle, Daisy, ... .
  • Knowing What Students Know
    The Science and Design of Educational Assessment 2001. Free in PDF format.
  • Taking Science to School
    2007. ‘By looking at a broad range of questions, this book provides a basic foundation for guiding science teaching and supporting students in their learning’. Free in PDF format.
  • Teaching Assistant’s Handbook
    2005. ‘Janet Kay’s best-selling Teaching Assistant’s Handbook has been revised and updated especially for Teaching Assistants working in the primary school’.
  • Teaching with Style
    2002. A Practical Guide to Enhancing Learning by Understanding Teaching and Learning Styles, Tony Grasha.

Top of Page


  • 2020ok Mathematics
    Select sub-categories from Applied Maths to Trigonometry.
  • Approved Textbooks [American Inst. of Mathematics]
    ‘The list groups open textbooks by course title. All the books have been judged to meet the evaluation criteria set by the AIM editorial’ group. Extensive listing with multiple options for some individual titles.
  • Free Mathematics Books
    ‘Alphabetical list of online mathematics books, textbooks, monographs, lecture notes and other documents freely available on the web’. A Categorised Directory is found here.
  • Free Mathematics ebooks
    ‘Ebooks and guides on Mathematics, which can be viewed online or downloadable in PDF, CHM, RAR or ZIP’ formats.
  • Free Maths eBooks Online
    Gizmo’s Freeware. ‘A listing of 116 sites that legally offer free ebooks relating to Maths. There is a separate listing of sites offering free audio or video relating to Maths’.
  • Free, Online Mathematics Books
    Online texts, books and similar resources related to Mathematics, online Math Courses and Lecture Notes.
  • Helping Children Learn Mathematics
    52 page text covering reasons why some children are not learning mathematics as well as they should and how this can be overcome. Free in PDF format.
  • Mathematics Books Online
    ‘General, Elementary Algebra & Trigonometry, Abstract Algebra, Mathematical Analysis & Calculus, Differential Equations, Linear Algebra, Geometry & Topology, Mathematical Logic, Category Theory, Number Theory, Probability & Statistics, Computational Mathematics, Applied Mathematics & Mathematical Physics, History of Mathematics & Popular Books’.
  • Online Mathematics Textbooks
    Nearly 70 links to online texts Free to use. Mathematics from Calculus to an Introduction to Vectors.
  • Open Textbook Library - Mathematics
  • The Best Free Math Textbooks
    ‘Here we’ ve selected some of the best available free maths textbooks. Includes Text title, Comments, Author, Download link, Additional link, Subject information’.


  • Linear Algebra [J Hefferon]
    ‘Covers an undergraduate first course, with a prerequisite of Calculus I. A separate file with all answers, fully worked, is also freely downloadable’.
  • Linear Algebra [Peter Petersen]
    ‘Covers the aspects of linear algebra that are included in most advanced undergraduate texts’.
  • Understanding Algebra [James Brennan]
    ‘Suitable for high-school Algebra, or for anyone who wants to learn introductory algebra’. Read online; download as a PDF or for Kindle.


  • Advanced Calculus
    Lynn Loomis and Schlomo Sternberg. Harvard University.
  • Calculus
    Online text by Gilbert Strang, 2005. MIT Open Courseware. Instructor’s manual and student Study Guide. Includes a series of videos.
  • Calculus on the Web
    Done by Temple University. 7 books in this group from Precalculus to Number Theory and Abstract Algebra.
  • Precalculus [Collingwood, Prince, Conroy]
    2011. ‘The basic theme of this book is to study precalculus within the context of problem solving’.

General Mathematics

Top of Page

Technology & Computing


Top of Page

× Calendar Competitions Conferences Curriculum Education Resources Site Information Special Pages Teachers Tertiary Updates & Changes