Explore Collections by Theme

18th Century Commonwealthmen

25 items

According to Caroline Robbins, the 18thC Commonwealthmen built upon the Old or Real Whig tradition and were active from the Glorious Revolution of 1688 to the eve of the American Revolution in 1776. They believed in natural rights,…

American Revolution and Constitution

322 items

The ideals of individual liberty and limited government motivated the men and women who took part in the creation of the American Republic. The OLL includes critical primary sources that helped shape the nation’s cultural, religious,…


20 items

Political, economic, and philosophical ideas are often expressed through works of art. The art collected in the OLL gives us another history of liberty to read–a history written with etchings, paints, pastels, and even carved in…

Banned Books

83 items

Many of the works in the Online Library of Liberty have been banned or censored at various times by governments, established churches, and pubic schools for their content. This list has been compiled from the following sources:

Best of the OLL

24 items

Helpful introductions and carefully edited selections bring the OLL into focus. With recommendations for further reading and useful explanatory notes, these Best of the OLL selections are an ideal way to begin exploring the ideas of…

Classics of Liberty

40 items

The following texts have been selected for being among the most important and influential books in the development of the idea of individual liberty, limited government, and the free market. Each author is represented by only one…


42 items

Debates about education go far beyond the classroom and consider the way an understanding of education affects the human condition, while placing an emphasis on the advancement of society. Some of the questions our authors raise are:…

Fabian Socialism vs. Radical Liberalism

4 items

In the late 19th century the classical liberal, free market orthodoxy was beginning to be challenged by socialists like George Bernard Shaw, who put together a collection of essays in 1889 advocating greater intervention by the state…

Freedom of Speech

31 items

Debates over free speech are a near-constant feature of human history. They form a key part of the religion and politics of England in the 17th century. English subjects demanded the right to debate opinions freely in both speech and…

French Enlightenment

25 items

During the 18th century there emerged in the French-speaking world a widespread movement of criticism of existing institutions and beliefs which came to be called the “Enlightenment”. The objects of enlightened criticism ranged from…

Goodrich Seminar Room

106 items

In the Goodrich Seminar Room in the Lilly Library at Wabash College, Crawfordsville, Indiana the limestone walls are engraved with the names of the political and legal documents and authors which Pierre Goodrich, the founder of


624 items

Whether it is David Hume’s eighteenth-century account of English history stretching from Julius Caesar to the Glorious Revolution or Edmund Burke’s analysis of the American and French Revolutions as he watched them unfold, our…

Intellectual Portrait Series

27 items

Liberty Fund recorded conversations with two dozen of the most original thinkers about liberty of our times, and these conversations are available on audio and/or video online. They included Armen A. Alchian, Manuel Ayau, Jacques…

Introduction to the Study of Liberty - Works to Begin with

21 items

The following texts have been selected as being particularly appropriate for those who are new to the study of individual liberty, limited government, and the free market. These works have been written as introductory works or for a…


271 items

From the earliest written legal codes to the beginnings of modern constitutionalism, the history of law is the story of our working out how personal liberties interact with responsibilities to others.


580 items

Serious discussions of liberty are not limited to academic works. Poets, playwrights, and novelists have had much to contribute as well.


37 items

From historic changes in form to the choice of what texts to set to music, the art of music has long been a vital force in the expression of the human desire for liberty.

Natural Law and Natural Rights

24 items

The natural law and natural rights tradition emerged in the 17th and 18th centuries and argues that the world is governed by natural laws which are discoverable by human reason. A key aspect of this intellectual tradition is the…

Opera and Liberty

5 items

Many operas deal with the themes of liberty and oppression. We have gathered our collection of opera libretti here.


434 items

What does it mean to be a human? What is the best life to live, and how can we live it? These questions, and the texts which explore them, have long guided humanity in its struggle to understand itself.


392 items

Liberty is an idea and an idealized state of being that can be traced through many of the religious traditions of the world. Across time periods, theological differences, and cultural contexts, many different religious thinkers have…

Rights of Women

49 items

During the French Revolution a number of men and women began to argue in favor of granting women full civic and legal rights. In France this was taken up by Condorcet and Olympes de Gouge; in Britain by Mary Wollstonecraft. During…


57 items

The right to inquire freely about questions of science is an important part of a free society. The discoveries that arise from this kind of open inquiry often help to build the free society even as they arise from it.


8 items

The name given to an ideal political community, “Utopia,” comes from Thomas More’s work Utopia which was published in Latin in 1516. What is interesting about many conceptions of utopian communities is that the authors assumed that…