Many of us are interested in topics that aren't exactly mainstream, from classical and medieval texts to works of magick and esoterica. Books about these subjects can be hard to find and expensive. Here I've shared a few online resources that can help you find what you're looking for without traveling to a specialty library or spending a whole month's salary on books. Enjoy!
Digitized documents about law, history and diplomacy from the ancient world to modern times. Extensive classical and medieval collection. The site is run by Yale Law School's Lillian Goldman Law Library
A large database of Arthurian texts, images and bibliographies run by the University of Rochester. Searchable by author, title, image, character, symbol, location and creature.
Searchable online database of texts relating to Irish history, literature and politics. Over 1400 digitized texts from the Middle Ages to modern times. The site is run by University College Cork.
Digitized versions of texts written in or about the Americas from 1492 to 1820. Includes early travelogues and descriptions of interactions with the indigenous people.
Extensive collection of medieval texts including literature and legal/governmental documents
Not just copyright-free works, but also many publicly-available older documents from libraries around the world, including 15th-century Spanish incunabula, records and court documents from the 13 American colonies (pre-Revolution), and other interesting stuff.
MIT's online searchable collection of 441 works of classical literature. Greco-Roman, Chinese and Persian works, all in English translation.
Fordham University's online collection of medieval documents categorized by subject and fully searchable. Includes some MIDI files of medieval music you can play while browsing the site to provide the appropriate atmosphere. :-)
Really extensive collection of classic works about religion, folklore, mythology and esoteric subjects from around the world. Organized by region and subject. Fully searchable.
Just what it sounds like. Extensive collection of texts in Latin from classical to medieval times. Not translated, so get out your Latin dictionary.
These are all older books, no longer in copyright, but many of them are classics in astrology, Renaissance magic, astrology and other subjects.
Tufts University's online collection of Greek and Roman literature in the original languages and in English translation. Easily searchable.
Thousands of copyright-free (published before about 1922) works including lots of classics of literature and folklore.
Run by the University of Rochester, this searchable online database includes texts and art related to the folk hero Robin Hood.
Keyword-searchable database translation of the massive 10th-century Byzantine Greek historical encyclopedia known as the Suda, or Stronghold. Covers all of Greek and Roman antiquity as well as Christian Europe up to the 10th century.
Digitized Middle English texts, especially those that are less common in print. This site is run by the University of Rochester. Click "METS Texts" to get to the list of available digitized works.
Online collection of most literary texts written in Greek from Homer to the fall of Byzantium in 1453 CE. The goal of this ongoing project is to create a comprehensive digital library of Greek literature from antiquity to the present era. It is a Special Research Project of the University of California, Irvine.
Extensive collection of digitized grimoires and works about Renaissance magic. Searchable.
Digitized materials from the LOC's special collections including selections about magic, old court documents and a scrapbook created by Lewis Carroll.