Standard Ebooks: Free and liberated ebooks, carefully produced for the true book lover.

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What makes Standard Ebooks different?

Modern & consistent typography

Other free ebooks don’t put much effort into professional-quality typography: they use "straight" quotes instead of “curly” quotes, they ignore details like em- and en-dashes, and they look more like early-90’s web pages instead of actual books.

The Standard Ebooks project applies a rigorous and modern style manual when developing each and every ebook to ensure they meet a professional-grade and consistent typographical standard. Our ebooks look good.

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Full proofing with careful corrections

Transcriptions from other sources are often filled with typos or suffer from issues like inconsistent spelling, missing accent marks, or missing punctuation. Submitting corrections to such sources can be difficult or impossible, so errors are rarely fixed.

At Standard Ebooks, we do a careful and complete readthrough of each ebook before releasing it, checking it against a scan of the original pages to fix as many typos as possible. Even if we do miss something, our ebooks are stored in the hugely popular Git source control system, allowing anyone to easily submit a correction.

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Rich & detailed metadata

Our ebooks include complete, well-researched, and consistent metadata, including original, detailed book blurbs and links to encyclopedia sources. Perfect for machine processing or for extra-curious, technically-minded readers.

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State-of-the-art technology

Each Standard Ebook takes full advantage of the latest ereader technology, including:

  • Hyphenation support,

  • Popup footnotes,

  • High-resolution and scalable vector graphics,

  • Ereader-compatible tables of contents,

and more. One of our goals is to ensure our ebooks stay up-to-date with the best reading experience technology can provide. Just because it’s a classic doesn’t mean it has to use old technology.

Quality covers

Everyone knows a book is judged by its cover, but most free ebooks leave it to your ereader software to generate a drab default cover.

Standard Ebooks draws from a vast collection of public domain fine art to create attractive, unique, appropriate, and consistent covers for each of our ebooks.

Clean code & semantic markup

Our strict coding standards allow technologists and ebook producers to use Standard Ebooks files as reliable, easy to read, and robust bases for their own work—not to mention as models of what well-crafted ebook files look like. Common code patterns are repeated through different ebooks, so the code never surprises you.

Each ebook is also enhanced with careful standards-based semantic markup that opens the gateway for exciting new kinds of machine processing.

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Free, open-source, & public domain

We use the popular Git source control system to track each and every change made to our ebooks. Anyone can easily see a history of changes, or contribute their own changes with the click of a mouse.

And while all of the ebooks we feature and the cover art we draw from are already believed to be in the public domain in the US, Standard Ebooks releases all of the work we put in to each ebook into the public domain too. That makes each and every one of our ebook files not just free, but libre too—because the world deserves more unrestricted culture.