Open Bookshelf

As part of DPLA’s core mission of maximizing access to our shared culture, DPLA is aggregating openly-licensed books and making them available to libraries. Open Bookshelf is a digital library collection of popular books free to download, formatted for modern devices, and handpicked by a Curation Corps of librarians from across the US.

Where to find Open Bookshelf

Open Bookshelf is available three ways:

Image of Open Bookshelf on smartphone

1. Libraries participating in the DPLA Exchange will find Open Bookshelf titles alongside licensed content.

2. All readers can browse the collection in the Digital Public Library of America via SimplyE, no login required. All books are free to download, and yours to keep.

  • Download the SimplyE app (iOS and Android)
  • Select “Find Your Library”
  • Scroll down to “Digital Public Library of America”
  • Find your next read!

3. Users can plug the Open Bookshelf OPDS feed into a reader. For more information, contact us.


Open Bookshelf includes widely-read and widely-held books from genres and sources such as:

  • Public domain classics
  • Textbooks
  • Academic library and press publications
  • Creative-Commons licensed fiction and nonfiction
  • Non-English language books
  • Children’s books

For updates on DPLA Ebooks projects, sign up for ebook announcements on our DPLA Ebooks news list or contact us. For more on the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation grant funding for this project, visit Advancing Ebooks.