About the PLL

About the Portable Library of Liberty

This edition of the Portable Library of Liberty (PLL) appearing in 2010 is both the 5th edition as well as the 50th Anniversary Edition as Liberty Fund is celebrating the 50th anniversary of its founding in 1960. The PLL is a data DVD which contains 1,001 E-Books in PDF format 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 are usually available in three different 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 text based EBook PDF which is self-contained and searchable. The PLL data DVD contains the latter along with a number of audio files from our Intellectual Portrait Series: Conversations with Leading Classical Liberal Figures of Our Time and The Legacy of Hayek lecture series.

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. You can then do powerful key word searches to find passages of interest, cut and paste these passages for the purposes of academic quotation, and then cite the reference by using the fixed page number of the PDF (unlike the pagination of HTML files which is different in each browser) and the title’s URL which is given at the foot of each page. 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 PDF 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.

CatalogOrder 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. About 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 online 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 Glasgow Edition of the Works of Adam Smith (from Oxford University 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 v5 (generated January 22, 2010)." This information can be found in the footer of the EBook PDF.

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 Glasgow Edition of the Works of Adam Smith published under license from Oxford University Press, for reprint or copying permission you need to contact OUP directly. Under our contractual obligations with OUP we have placed the following declaration on the front page of every book and section of the online version of the Glasgow Edition of the Works of Adam Smith:

The Glasgow Edition of the Works and Correspondence of Adam Smith and the associated volumes are published in hardcover by Oxford University Press. The six titles of the Glasgow Edition, but not the associated volumes, are being published in soft cover by Liberty Fund. The online edition is published by Liberty Fund under license from Oxford University Press.

© Oxford University Press 1976. All rights reserved. No part of this material may be stored transmitted retransmitted lent or reproduced in any form or medium without the permission of Oxford University Press.

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

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 1,001 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

To do full text searches (i.e. to search for a key word within the content of the books themselves) please go to the main OLL website [external link]. For example, on the OLL website you can search the entire 7 volume Collected Works of Adam Smith for a key word or phrase such as "invisible hand" by going to this page [external link]. (There are 13 references to "invisble hand", the most important one of which is this [external link]). To find the same phrase on the titles on this PLL disk you need to go to the Adam Smith page, download volume one of the Wealth of Nations PDF, open it in a PDF reader, and do an internal search for the phrase "invisible hand." There are 7 references in this PDF volume; the third is on page 356 where the famous phrase can be found.

Quotations about Liberty and Power

A new feature on this edition of the PLL data DVD is the collection of quotations which have appeared on the front page of the OLL website since its launch in March 2004. These Quotations about Liberty and Power are sorted by the date they originally appeared at the OLL website. They provide an interesting cross-section of the material which can be found here and at the OLL website. If you wish to see the most recent quotation (a new one is added every week), or to view the quotations sorted by theme, 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 randomly be 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 PDF version of the books, whilst at the OLL website we have most titles in a variety of formats: facsimile PDFs, HTML, and the EBook PDF. The audio files are also in a variety of formats at the OLL: MP3, MP3 mono, and M4p. Only the MP3 mono files are available on this data DVD for reasons of space. 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 50 Years logo

Liberty Fund, Inc. is a private, non-profit, educational foundation established in 1960 to encourage the study of the ideal of a society of free and responsible individuals. This year, 2010, is the 50th anniversary of the founding of Liberty Fund by Pierre F. Goodrich. 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], whilst the audio of these videos is included on the Portable Library of Liberty data DVD.
  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.