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Affordable Learning

Resources and services aimed at making education more affordable to students

Non-Library, free resources


Jefferson-Madison Regional Library resources are available to Charlottesville residents. Don't have a card? Sign up online for a temporary elibrary card here. For assistance, ask their Librarians. Up-to-date information on their COVID-19 Response & Available Online Resources is readily available.


The World Digital Library is a cooperative project of the Library of Congress, the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), and partner libraries, archives, and educational and cultural institutions from the United States and around the world. The project brings together on a single website rare and unique documents – books, journals, manuscripts, maps, prints and photographs, films, and sound recordings – that tell the story of the world’s cultures. The site is intended for general users, students, teachers, and scholars.

The WDL interface operates in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish. The actual documents on the site are presented in their original languages.



The Internet Archive, a digital library of Internet sites and other cultural artifacts in digital form, provides free access to researchers, historians, scholars, the print disabled, and the general public. Anyone with a free account can upload media.

The Internet Archive contains:


undefinedOpen Library is an open, another project by the Internet Archive, is an editable library catalog, building towards a web page for every book ever published. Open Library has millions of records for books that are not yet available in digital form; it also has nearly three million books that are available in digital form. Books that are freely available for reading or download will have an open book "read" icon next to them; books that have a "borrow" closed book icon next to them can be borrowed for up to two weeks by registered users. You can search for eBooks by checking the box that says "show only eBooks" when you search. This will show Classic books as well as Modern books.


The Library of Congress digital collections are largely, though not exclusively, focused around the documentation of American history and creativity, providing free and open access to written and spoken words, sound recordings, still and moving images, prints, maps, and sheet music that document the American experience. It comprises millions of items including books, newspapers, manuscripts, prints and photos, maps, musical scores, films, sound recordings and more. Whenever possible, each collection has its own rights statement which should be consulted for guidance on use. For questions about these collections, ask their librarians.

Free to use and re-use sets are either in the public domain, has no known copyright, or has been cleared by the copyright owner for public use. Each set of content is based on a theme.

Databases included here are licensed and recommended free databases, indexing and abstracting services, and full-text reference resources.

Research guides to the Library's general collections of books and periodicals, as well as general subject guides prepared by Library of Congress reference librarians, are listed at the link.

LC Bibliographies, Research Guides and Finding Aids page contains more online guides covering other Library of Congress collections are available.


The National Archives and Records Administration is officially responsible for maintaining and publishing the legally authentic and authoritative copies of acts of Congress, presidential directives, and federal regulations. NARA also transmits votes of the Electoral College to Congress. Using its Archival Research Catalog (ARC), view ARC galleries about American history and science, and obtain copies of The Constitution and the Declaration of Independence.

Guide to Get Started  |  Online Research Tools  |  Educator Resources


Project Gutenberg is a library of over 60,000 free ebooks available in epub and Kindle formats that can be downloaded or read online. Includes the world's great literature with focus on older works for which U.S. copyright has expired. Ebooks are mostly older literary works published before 1924, with some published in the decades after. No fee or registration and no special apps needed.



LibriVox volunteers record chapters of books in the public domain, and then release the audio files back onto the net for free. Librivox is a non-commercial, non-profit and ad-free project; most of these texts come from Project Gutenberg, and the Internet Archive hosts its audio files (for free!). All this audio is in the public domain and "readers and listeners should be aware that many of them are very old, and may contain language or express notions that are antiquated at best, offending at worst." Mobile apps available for Android and iOS.



Commercial Services


Loyal Books contains titles that are all in the public domain. This means that no one holds a copyright on these books and therefore anyone is free to distribute them. The titles are digitized and recorded by volunteers that coordinate themselves through a variety of websites. The majority of public domain books, however, are digitized by and recorded by




Open Culture mission is to centralize educational media in one place. Open Culture curates free courses, audio books, language lessons, and  videos and makes them accessible through this site.



Free At-Home Education Resources and Access to Nearly 500 million National Archives Records. Registration for a free Ancestry® account required to view records. To see a full list of the records in the featured collection,  click here. Frequently Asked Questions regarding their Privacy Policy here.



THE UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA PRESS was founded in 1963 to advance the intellectual interests not only of the University of Virginia, but of institutions of higher learning throughout the state. A member of the Association of University Presses, UVaP currently publishes seventy new titles annually. New titles are approved by the Board of Directors after a rigorous process of peer review. The UVaP editorial program focuses primarily on the humanities and social sciences with special concentrations in American history, African American studies, southern studies, literature, ecocriticism, architecture, and regional books. While it continuously pursues new titles, UVaP also maintains a backlist of over 1,000 titles in print.



Rotunda was created for the publication of original digital scholarship along with newly digitized critical and documentary editions in the humanities and social sciences. The collection combines the originality, intellectual rigor, and scholarly value of traditional peer-reviewed university press publishing with thoughtful technological innovation designed for scholars and students.

All UVA-affiliated scholars connecting via Netbadge can expect to gain access to any Rotunda publication.

Rotunda content is also discoverable (and in the case of digital materials, accessible) through Virgo, the library's online catalog.



Founders Online

In 2010, the National Archives, through its National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC), entered into a cooperative agreement with The University of Virginia Press to create this site and make freely available online thousands of records from George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Alexander Hamilton, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison.

Search and read first drafts of the Declaration of Independence, the spirited debate over the Constitution and Bill of Rights, and the very beginnings of American law, government, and our national story. In its initial phase, Founders Online contained nearly 120,000 fully searchable documents; when it is complete, Founders Online will include nearly 200,000 documents.

Online Exhibits and Virtual Tours

  • Arts & Culture - Google's platform, in partnership with 1,200 leading museums and archives, offers links to online exhibits and virtual tours.
  • Frank Lloyd Wright Sites - Social media initiative #WrightVirtualVisits, showcasing iconic Frank Lloyd Wright sites that have temporarily shut their doors. Each Thursday, beginning on April 2 at 1 p.m. Eastern/10 a.m. Pacific time, each participating site will share a short video tour of another site via social media. See link for participating sites and recordings of past tours.
  • JStor Images is a licensed resource that includes million of images from cultural heritage institutions from around the world.  (Gain access through the institutional login.)
  • Louvre - Includes the exhibit "The Advent of the Artist" with works by Delacroix, Rembrandt, and Tintoretto; Egyptian antiquities, remains of the Louvre's moat, and the Galerie d'Apollon.
  • Metropolitan Museum of Art - This award-winning series of six short videos invites viewers around the world to virtually visit The Met's art and architecture in a fresh, immersive way. Created using spherical 360° technology, it allows viewers to explore some of the Museum's iconic spaces as never before.
  • Musée d'Orsay  - Museum in Paris, France, housed in the former Gare d'Orsay, a Beaux-Arts railway station built between 1898 and 1900. The museum holds mainly French art dating from 1848 to 1914, including paintings, sculptures, furniture, and photography. Choose from a 360-degree Google view, online exhibit, video gallery, and teaching resources.
  • Museum of FIne Arts Boston - Add some art into your day and enjoy the MFA from home by watching this selection of videos, from virtual exhibition tours and interviews with artists to soothing musical performances.
  • National Gallery of Art - Visit the Gallery virtually through video tours of current exhibitions, in-depth looks at highlights of the collection, online learning opportunities, audio and video recordings of lectures by artists and curators, and more.
  • Vatican Museum - Virtual tours of the Pio clementino Museum, Chiaramonti Museum, New Wing, Sistine Chapel, Raphael's Rooms, Niccoline Chapel, and the Room of the Chiaroscuri.
  • The Rijksmuseum - Dutch national museum dedicated to arts and history in Amsterdam. Choose from 360-degree Google view, Operation Night Watch (English subtitled live updates of the 2019 research and restoration project for Rembrandts masterpieces), the museum's IGTV channel, or explore tours with their mobile app.
  • Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History - Through these virtual tours, you may access the permanent, past, and current exhibits as well as the Museum Support Center and Research Stations and "a few others."


Live Streams


Immediate Learning