About the PLL

About the Portable Library of Liberty

The Portable Library of Liberty (PLL) is a data DVD which, in version 7.0 (September 23, 2013), contains 1,088 titles in various E-Book formats (text-based PDF, ePub, and Kindle/Mobi drawn from Liberty Fund’s web site, The Online Library of Liberty (OLL) . The main Web site can be found at [http://oll.libertyfund.org] where the titles can be found in additional formats: a facsimile PDF version so scholars can see what the original looked like, an HTML version for searching and ease of use, and a variety of eBook versions such as text-based PDF, ePub, and Kindle.

The books on the PLL DVD are designed to be read on both computers and handheld reading devices like the iPad, the Nook, or the Kindle. The EBook PDFs can be read within a web browser by using a plugin such as Adobe’s PDF Reader or they can be opened and read in a stand-alone PDF reader such as Adobe’s Acrobat Reader (a free download) or Apple’s Preview. Many handheld devices can also read PDFs (such as the iPad). The ePub and Kindle versions can be read on a variety of devices. The ePub format has been widely adopted by device manufacturers, except for the Kindle which is limited to the Mobi format. Other devices, such as the iPad can also read Kindle formatted texts when a Kindle reader app has been installed.

Liberty Fund encourages the use of these texts for academic and educational purposes as long as due regard is given to the copyright and fair use conditions stated below as well as on the front page of each title, and as long as proper attribution is given to Liberty Fund’s website or DVD as the source of this material when it is cited.

Request a complimentary copy of the Portable Library of Liberty DVD by emailing the editor at [oll@libertyfund.org]. Please include your postal address so the DVD can be shipped to you.

Purchase Liberty Fund Books

Among Liberty Fund’s activities is the publication of new, authoritative editions of classic works which explore some aspect of the interrelationship of liberty and responsibility in individual life, society, governance, or economics. Liberty Fund books are beautifully produced, adhere to rigorous standards of scholarship, and can be found in many personal and academic libraries around the world. Over 200 titles on the PLL are books published by Liberty Fund. You can browse our current catalog (a copy of which can be found on this disk) and order copies from our online catalog if you wish.

Browse the catalog [a copy of which is available on this disk], or visit our online books catalog [external link].

There are four different types of texts which Liberty Fund has put online as part of the Online Library of Liberty:

  1. public domain texts published before 1923. These texts are no longer under copyright and are in the public domain. We have put them online in order to further the educational aims of Liberty Fund.
  2. texts to which the Liberty Fund has electronic rights, such as the books published by Liberty Fund in both print and various electronic formats
  3. other texts to which Liberty Fund has acquired the electronic rights from third parties, such as the journal Literature of Liberty (from the Institute for Humane Studies)
  4. titles which are put online under license from third parties, such as the Collected Works of John Stuart Mill, ed. J.M. Robson (Toronto: University of Toronto Press).

For titles in the first three categories listed above, no special permission from Liberty Fund is required for quoting material in papers and essays, or for limited photocopying and distribution for academic or other educational or non-profit purposes. The only requirements are that you include proper attribution on the first page of the document being distributed - e.g. for John Locke’s The Two Treatises of Government you would say either of the following:

  1. if using the OLL website - "This material originally appeared on the Online Library of Liberty hosted by Liberty Fund, Inc. URL: http://oll.libertyfund.org/title/222 and accessed on 2010-01-22." This information can be found in the "Citation" button on the title’s table of contents page.
  2. or if using the copy on the PLL DVD - "This material originally appeared in the Portable Library of Liberty published by Liberty Fund, Inc. URL: http://oll.libertyfund.org/title/222 and PLL v7.0 (generated September 23, 2010)." This information can be found in the footer of the EBook PDF or the title page of the ePub.

For titles in category two and three, any reprint of material "for profit", such as a chapter or a substantial section of an online book for inclusion in a book or other publication for sale, requires written permission from Liberty Fund.

For titles in the fourth category you must follow the specific requirements of the copyright holder whose work we publish online under license. In the case of the Collected Works of John Stuart Mill published under license from the University of Toronto Press, for reprint or copying permission you need to contact the University of Toronto Press directly. Under our contractual obligations with the University of Toronto Press we have placed the following declaration on the front page of every book and section of the online version of the Collected Works of John Stuart Mill:

The online edition of the Collected Works is published under licence from the copyright holder, The University of Toronto Press. ©2006 The University of Toronto Press. All rights reserved. No part of this material may be reproduced in any form or medium without the permission of The University of Toronto Press.

Thus, for reprint or copying permission you need to contact the University of Toronto Press directly. Liberty Fund cannot grant you this permission because it is not the copyright holder.

Specific copyright information for each title can be found on the information page for that book.

Picture Credits

The images which accompany the collection of Quotations about Liberty and Power and author biography pages are drawn from a number of sources. Most come from out-of-copyright illustrations or images of the title pages from the books we put online. Others are repoduced with thanks from The Warren J. Samuels Portrait Collection at Duke University (notably Adam Smith, Herbert Spencer, and John Stuart Mill). Some others come from other out-of-copyright sources such as Wikipedia.

Finding Material in the Portable Library of Liberty

We have tried to replicate on this data DVD many of the features which can be found on the Online Library of Liberty website. On every page in the PLL there is a navigation menu on the left hand side with the following items:


Here are some tips to help you find what you are looking for. There are two ways to search for the book or author you are interested in. The first is the Quick Search page from which you can search for a key word in either the book's title or an author's name across the entire collection. The second way is to go to one of the pages about authors (People, Periods, or Schools of Thought) or about Titles (Titles, Subject Areas, or Topics). Many of these lists are very long as the PLL contains over 1,000 full text titles. Start typing a key word in the Filter field and the list will collapse to show only matching items. Deleting characters from the filter or refreshing the page will restore the complete list. You may also click on any of the links at the top of the page to jump down to that section of the list. Clicking the ↑ (up arrow) will take you back to the top of the page.

Quotations about Liberty and Power

The PLL disk also includes the collection of quotations which have appeared on the front page of the OLL website since its launch in March 2004 (433 by September 2013). These Quotations about Liberty and Power are sorted by theme so they provide an interesting cross-section of the material which can be found here and at the OLL website. Some of the themes include the following: Colonies, Slavery & Abolition, Economics, Free Trade, Freedom of Speech, Literature & Music, Money & Banking, Natural Rights, Origin of Government, Parties & Elections, Philosophy, Politics & Liberty, Presidents, Kings, Tyrants, & Despots, Property Rights, Taxation, The State, War & Peace, and Women's Rights. If you wish to see the most recent quotation (a new one is added nearly every week)visit the main website [external link]. A quotation from this collection appears at random on the front page of this disk. Each time you visit the front page or refresh your browser window a new quotation will be randomly selected to appear.

What’s Missing from this DVD?

The Portable Library of Liberty is a subset of the much larger collection of material which we have at the Online Library of Liberty website. The PLL DVD contains only the EBook version of the books (text-based PDF, ePub, and Kindle), whilst at the OLL website we have most titles in additional formats such as facsimile PDFs and HTML. Some of the additional material at the OLL website which is not available on the PLL DVD include the following:

To use any of the above features go to the OLL website at [http://oll.libertyfund.org].

Liberty Fund, Inc.

Liberty Fund, Inc. is a private, non-profit, educational foundation established in 1960 by Pierre F. Goodrich to encourage the study of the ideal of a society of free and responsible individuals. The Foundation develops, supervises, and finances its own educational activities to foster thought and encourage discourse on the nature of individual liberty, limited and constitutional government, and the free market. This is done through the implementation of different programs such as:

  1. conducting each year over 150 conferences throughout the United States, Canada, Latin America, and Europe.
  2. publishing about 12 - often classic - books each year. There is an online catalog [external link] where these books can be ordered. There is also a copy of the most recent catalog on this disk.
  3. producing video and audio tapes including The Intellectual Portrait Series of videotapes and video DVDs which record conversations with some of the most significant thinkers of our time. The DVDs of this series can be purchased from the online catalog [external link].
  4. hosting websites such as the Library of Economics and Liberty (Econlib) [external link] and the Online Library of Liberty (OLL) [external link].

These programs focus on the place individual liberty has in an intellectual heritage evident from ancient times and continuing through to the present. The programs are intended to enrich understanding and appreciation of the complex nature of a society of free and responsible individuals and to contribute to its preservation.

As a tax-exempt, private operating foundation, Liberty Fund’s purposes are educational. It does not, therefore, engage in political action of any kind. It fulfills its mission by conducting programs, not by awarding grants to outside organizations or individuals.

For more information, please visit Liberty Fund’s main web site at www.libertyfund.org or the Online Library of Liberty at oll.libertyfund.org.