Open Library is an initiative of the Internet Archive, a 501(c)(3) non-profit, building a digital library of Internet sites and other cultural artifacts in digital form.
One web page for every book ever published
To build it, we need hundreds of millions of book records, a brand new database infrastructure for handling huge amounts of dynamic information, a wiki interface, multi-language support, and people who are willing to contribute their time, effort, and book data.
To date, we have gathered about 30 million records (20 million are available through the site now), and more are on the way. We have built the database infrastructure and the wiki interface, and you can search millions of book records, narrow results by facet, and search across the full text of 1 million scanned books.
Open Library is a project of the non-profit Internet Archive, and is funded in part by a grant from the California State Library. We have a small team of fantastic programmers who have accomplished a lot, but we can’t do it alone! This is an Open project – the software is open, the data is open, the documentation is open, and the site is open.
Now it’s your turn! Everyone can participate in this project, whether you’re a programmer who wants to build on top of this data, a librarian who wants to add records of digitized books to her local catalog, or a lover of books who wants to make sure his favorites are well represented. Just like Wikipedia, you can contribute new information or corrections to the catalog. You can browse by subject, author or lists members have created. If you love books, why not help build a library?
Besides reading online, Open Library account holders can borrow an eBook from the growing collection of mainly 20th Century titles available now. Each title can be borrowed by one patron at once, and you can read it in a web browser. or in Adobe Digital Editions as a PDF or ePub.
Open Library API
Open Library has developed a suite of APIs to help developers get up and running with our data. Open Library has a RESTful API, best used to link into Open Library data in JSON, YAML and RDF/XML.
Other projects of Internet Archive include the Wayback Machine, archive.org, nasaimages.org, archive-it.org & opencontentalliance.org.