Download 10,000+ Books in Arabic, All Completely Free, Digitized and Put Online

If you've considered learning a new language to open up a new realm of reading, you could do much worse than Arabic. Though its mastery may demand a considerable amount of time, it repays the investment as the language of not just a country but an entire region of the world, and a region with a deep textual history at that. Anyone interested in becoming a student of Arabic, casually or seriously, can get their start at our collection of Arabic lessons available free online, and when up to speed on reading might consider a visit to Arabic Collections Online (ACO), a digital library of Arabic-language texts now boasting 10,042 volumes across 6,265 subjects, all of them also available free online.

With a list of contributing partners including institutions in both America (New York University, Princeton, Cornell, Columbia) and the Middle East (the American University in Cairo, the American University of Beirut and United Arab Emirates National Archives) — and, as ArabLit notesa $1.34 million grant received last August — ACO "aims to digitize, preserve, and provide free open access to a wide variety of Arabic language books in subjects such as literature, philosophy, law, religion, and more."

This mission addresses not just a lack of widely available Arabic texts on the web, but the condition of much of the material digitized, as "many older Arabic books are out-of-print, in fragile condition, and are otherwise rare materials that are in danger of being lost."

Though clearly an ever more valuable resource for students of Arabic, ACO has much more to offer those already acquainted with the joys of the language. ArabLit specifically points out two of its featured Egyptian titles this month, Tawfiq al-Hakim’s Return of the Spirit (عودة الروح), which English translator William Maynard Hutchins describes as "a gloriously Romantic tribute to the solidarity of the Egyptian people of all classes and religions and to their good taste and excellent sense of humor," and Colors (ألوان) by Taha Hussein, one of the country's most influential intellectuals of the 20th century. But the full scope of Arabic-language literature, as the already vast holdings of Arabic Collections Online reveals, extends beyond Egypt, and far indeed beyond the past couple of centuries. To those about to explore it, bil-tawfiq.

via Goodreader

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Based in Seoul, Colin Marshall writes and broadcasts on cities, language, and culture. His projects include the book The Stateless City: a Walk through 21st-Century Los Angeles and the video series The City in Cinema. Follow him on Twitter at @colinmarshall or on Facebook.

Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven” Gets Released on Instagram as a Digital “Insta Novel”: It’s Free from The New York Public Library

Back in August, we highlighted a new initiative by the New York Public Library. An institution that's hip with our times, the NYPL released on Instagram a digital version of Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Now, in the Halloween spirit, comes a digital adaptation of Edgar Allan Poe's classic tale, "The Raven." They write:

"The Raven" includes a unique series of animations produced by Psyop and Studio AKA that takes readers on an ominous procession through a stark psychological landscape where the differing perspectives of both the Raven and Poe’s protagonist are depicted. The viewpoints steadily intercut and converge as the animation builds to its disquieting climax, as the door creaks open revealing “darkness there and nothing more.”

Read "The Raven" on Instagram here. And keep an eye out for NYPL's upcoming adaptation of "The Metamorphosis" by Franz Kafka. It's due out by the end of the year.

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The Feynman Lectures on Physics, The Most Popular Physics Book Ever Written, Is Now Completely Online

Image by Tamiko Thiel, via Wikimedia Commons

In years past, we let you know that Caltech and The Feynman Lectures Website joined forces to create an online edition of The Feynman Lectures on Physics. They started with Volume 1. And they've since followed up with Volume 2 and Volume 3, making the collection complete.

First presented in the early 1960s at Caltech by the Nobel Prize-winning physicist Richard Feynman, the lectures were eventually turned into a book by Feynman, Robert B. Leighton, and Matthew Sands. The text went on to become arguably the most popular physics book ever written, selling more than 1.5 million copies in English, and getting translated into a dozen languages.

The new online edition makes The Feynman Lectures on Physics available in HTML5. The text “has been designed for ease of reading on devices of any size or shape,” and you can zoom into text, figures and equations without degradation. Dive right into the lectures here. And if you’d prefer to see Feynman (as opposed to read Feynman), we would encourage you to watch ‘The Character of Physical Law,’ Feynman’s  seven-part lecture series recorded at Cornell in 1964.

The Feynman Lectures on Physics is now listed in our collections of Free eBooks and Free Textbooks.

Note: An earlier version of this post appeared on our site in August, 2014.

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Free: The Best Books for Learning Modern Statistics

A quick fyi: Dan Kopf, an economics reporter, has a tip that seemed worth passing along. Over at Quartz, he writes:

As a former data scientist, there is no question I get asked more than, “What is the best way to learn statistics?” I always give the same answer: Read An Introduction to Statistical Learning. Then, if you finish that and want more, read The Elements of Statistical Learning. These two books, written by statistics professors at Stanford University, the University of Washington, and the University Southern California, are the most intuitive and relevant books I’ve found on how to do statistics with modern technology... You can download them for free.

Find An Introduction to Statistical Learning in PDF format here. And The Elements of Statistical Learning here. Physical/hard copies can be purchased respectively here and here.

We'd also recommend supplementing these resources (both now available in our collection of Free Math Textbooks) with video-based classes found on our list of Free Math Courses, a subset of our big collection, 1,300 Free Online Courses from Top Universities.

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via Quartz

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Download 240+ Free eBooks on Design, Data, Software, Web Development & Business from O’Reilly Media

Last year we highlighted for you 20 Free eBooks on Design from O’Reilly Media. Little did we know that we were just scratching the surface of the free ebooks O'Reilly Media has to offer.

If you head over to this page, you can access 240+ free ebooks covering a range of different topics. Below, we've divided the books into sections (and provided links to them), indicated the number of books in each section, and listed a few attractive/representative titles.

You can download the books in PDF format. An email address--but no credit card--is required. Again the complete list is here.

Note: An earlier version of this post originally appeared on our site in January 2017.

Would you like to support the mission of Open Culture? Please consider making a donation to our site. It's hard to rely 100% on ads, and your contributions will help us continue providing the best free cultural and educational materials to learners everywhere.

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Free eBooks with Modern Typography & Nice Formatting, All “Carefully Produced for the True Book Lover”

If you look through our collection of 800+ Free eBooks, you will find many public domain texts presented by providers like Project Gutenberg and Archive.org. Pretty soon, we'll have to add texts from Standard eBooks, a volunteer-driven project that digitizes books while placing an emphasis on design and typography. Here's how they describe their mission:

While there are plenty of places where you can download free and accurately-transcribed public domain ebooks, we feel the quality of those ebooks can often be greatly improved.

For example, Project Gutenberg, a major producer of public-domain ebooks, hosts epub and Kindle files that sometimes lack basic typographic necessities like curly quotes; some of those ebooks are automatically generated and can't take full advantage of modern ereader technology like popup footnotes or popup tables of contents; they sometimes lack niceties like cover images and title pages; and the quality of individual ebook productions varies greatly.

Archival sites like the Internet Archive (and even Project Gutenberg, to some extent) painstakingly preserve entire texts word-for-word, including original typos and ephemera that are of limited interest to modern readers: everything including centuries-old publishing marks, advertisements for long-vanished publishers, author bios, deeply archaic spellings, and so on. Sometimes all you get is a scan of the actual book pages. That’s great for researchers, archivists, and special-interest readers, but not that great for casual, modern readers.

The Standard Ebooks project differs from those etext projects in that we aim to make free public domain ebooks that are carefully typeset, cleaned of ancient and irrelevant ephemera, take full advantage of modern ereading technology, are formatted according to a detailed style guide, and that are each held to a standard of quality and internal consistency. Standard Ebooks include carefully chosen cover art based on public domain artwork, and are presented in an attractive way on your ebookshelf. For technically-inclined readers, Standard Ebooks conform to a rigorous coding style, are completely open source, and are hosted on Github, so anyone can contribute corrections or improvements easily and directly without having to deal with baroque forums or opaque processes.

All of the ebooks in the Standard eBooks collection "are thought to be in the public domain in the United States." You can currently download 103 texts--for example titles like Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, short fiction by Philip K. Dick, and Nietzsche's Beyond Good and Evil. (See the full collection here.) They offer versions specially designed for the Kindle and Kobo, but also the more universal epub format. If you'd like to pitch in and help Standard eBooks digitize more aesthetically-pleasing books, get more information here.

Would you like to support the mission of Open Culture? Please consider making a donation to our site. It's hard to rely 100% on ads, and your contributions will help us continue providing the best free cultural and educational materials to learners everywhere.

Also consider following Open Culture on Facebook and Twitter and sharing intelligent media with your friends. Or sign up for our daily email and get a daily dose of Open Culture in your inbox. 

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36 eBooks on Computer Programming from O’Reilly Media: Free to Download and Read

This past week, we featured a free course on the programming language Python, presented by MIT. A handy resource, to be sure.

And then it struck us that you might want to complement that course with some of the 36 free ebooks on computer programming from O’Reilly Media--of which 7 are dedicated to Python itself. Other books focus on Java, C++, Swift, Software Architecture, and more. See the list of programming books here.

If you're looking for yet more free ebooks from O’Reilly Media, see the post in our archive: Download 243 Free eBooks on Design, Data, Software, Web Development & Business from O’Reilly Media.\

For more computer science resources, see our collections:

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Would you like to support the mission of Open Culture? Please consider making a donation to our site. It's hard to rely 100% on ads, and your contributions will help us continue providing the best free cultural and educational materials to learners everywhere.

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