Welcome to the Online Library of Liberty

The OLL brings books and ideas together so they can converse with each other and with you. We’ve gathered together collections of texts from historical movements and about big ideas that have changed the world to make it easier to allow our texts to “talk” to each other.

Featured Titles

The American Commonwealth, 2 vols.

Viscount James Bryce (author)

In Democracy in America (1835) the Frenchman Alexis de Tocqueville interpreted American society through the lens of democratic political theory. A half-century later the Scotsman James Bryce examined “the institutions and the people…

The Economic Consequences of the Peace

John Maynard Keynes (author)

As part of the British delegation to the Versailles Peace Conference after WW1 Keynes had detailed knowledge of the debates about reparations which were demanded of Germany. He believed the demands on defeated Germany were too harsh…

The Correspondence and Public Papers of John Jay, 4 vols.

John Jay (author)

A 4 volume collection of the works of John Jay. Vol.1 covers the period 1763-1781; vol. 2 1781-1782; vol. 3 1782-1793; vol. 4 1794-1826.

The Complete Poetical Works of Alexander Pope

Alexander Pope (author)

This collection includes Pope’s poems, translations of Ovid and Homer, An Essay on Criticism, The Rape of the Lock, An Essay on Man, and his Moral Essays.

The Reading Room

The OLL blog explores the fascinating, vital, and often surprising texts and people that fill our library. Come talk in our library!

Liberty Matters

The OLL brings people together to debate and discuss important texts and big ideas about liberty.

Harriet Taylor Mill on Marriage and Divorce (March/April 2024)

In this Liberty Matters online discussion we assess the ideas of Harriet Taylor Mill and her partnership with John Stuart Mill. The authors often draw on Taylor Mill and Mill’s correspondence, edited by Friedrich von Hayek in 1951. The Lead Essay by Giandomenica Becchio puts Taylor Mill’s work…
READ MORE

Food & Drink

Chagrined a little that we have been hitherto able to produce nothing in this way of use to mankind; and the hot weather coming on, when the electrical experiments are not so agreeable, it is proposed to put an end to them for this…

Benjamin Franklin

Taxation

Under the auspices of tyranny the life of the subject is often sported with, and the fruits of his daily toil are consumed in oppressive taxes, that serve to gratify the ambition, avarice, and lusts of his superiors. Every court…

Alexander Hamilton

Money & Banking

It would be too ridiculous to go about seriously to prove, that wealth does not consist in money or in gold and silver, but in what money purchases.

Adam Smith

References and Guides

Mandeville: His Life and Work

Related Links:

Works by Bernard de Mandevile

Source: Editor's Introduction to Mandeville's The Fable of the Bees or Private Vices, Publick Benefits, 2 vols. With a Commentary Critical, Historical, and Explanatory by F.B. Kaye (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 1988). Vol. 1.

INTRODUCTION

I. LIFE…

Learn More

Kalidasa: Life and Works

Source: Introduction to Translations of Shakuntala and Other Works, by Arthur W. Ryder (London: J.M. Dent, 1920).

INTRODUCTION . KALIDASA—HIS LIFE AND WRITINGS

Kalidasa probably lived in the fifth century of the Christian era. This date, approximate as it is, must yet be given with…

Learn More

Chronology: the Life and Times of William Penn

Related Links:

William Penn Collections: Political Theory Collections: Religious Toleration

Source: In The Political Writings of William Penn, introduction and annotations by Andrew R. Murphy (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2002).

Learn More

Emerson on Anti-slavery

Ralph Waldo Emerson was a passionate opponent of slavery. Scattered throughout volume 11 of his collected works are essays and speeches on this topic. Here are a list of them:

Address On Emancipation In the British West Indies (August 1844). Ralph Waldo Emerson, The Works of Ralph Waldo…

Learn More

Shakespeare: Liberty and Responsibility

This is a Reading List based upon a Liberty Fund Conference on “Liberty and Sovereignty in Four Shakespearean Tragedies.”

Learn More

John Milton: Liberty in his Prose and Poetry

This is a Reading List based upon a Liberty Fund Conference on “Liberty in the Poetry and Prose of John Milton.”

Learn More

Forgotten Gems

Over the course of time some particularly noteworthy essays, chapters or sections of books are forgotten. This section is an attempt to revive these “forgotten gems”.

Learn More

An Introduction to the Major Writings of Ludwig von Mises

Ludwig von Mises (1881-1973)

The Austrian economist Ludwig von Mises (1881-1973) wrote widely on matters such as highly technical works on monetary theory as well as journalistic pieces designed for a broader audience. Here is an annotated list of some of his major writings which have been…

Learn More

Socialism: A Study Guide and Reader

Introduction

This Study Guide examines the long-standing clash between Socialism and Marxism, and Classical Liberalism over the past 200 years or so. It provides a brief history of the tradition, some of its main criticisms of the free market, the classical liberalresponse to these criticisms,…

Learn More