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Affordable Course Materials


Affordable Course Resources

What types of course materials exist, and where can I find them?

Subject librarians are available to help you find new curriculum materials. Some types of content you may consider are:

  • Open access courses
  • Reusable texts, course material, content modules, learning objects, multimedia 
  • Subscribed collections of all types of media, databases, e-books and journals provided by the Libraries
  • Public domain materials
  • Self-created materials that can be provided openly through eScholarship@BC

Catalogs and Finding Aids for Open Course Materials

Open Textbook Catalog
A catalog of open access textbooks to be reviewed by faculty members, made available by the University of Minnesota's College of Education and Human Development. All textbooks are openly licensed, complete, and available in print at very little cost.

OER Commons: Open Textbooks
This catalog contains hundreds of college-level open textbooks from higher education institutions around the world.

Open Professionals Education Network (OPEN) 
Links to finding aids for all types of openly available educational materials from textbooks to images, films, primary source materials and more.

Directory of Open Access Books 
Openly accessible (and many openly licensed) electronic books. Includes search and browse finding features. Many times from international publishers and strong focus on humanities and social sciences.

Open Textbooks

OpenStax College  OpenStax College offers free textbooks that meet scope and sequence requirements for most courses. These are peer-reviewed texts written by professional content developers.

British Columbia Campus Open Campus Textbook List
Openly licensed textbooks created by BCCampus, a consortium of post-secondary educational institutions in British Columbia.

Saylor Academy Bookshelf
Each of the books in the Saylor Academy bookshelf is freely available for download, online reading, and sharing under one of various open licenses.

Center for Open Educational Resources and Language Learning
Foreign language teaching materials from the University of Texas.

Community College Consortium for Open Educational Resources
Access to over 500 open textbooks, as well as a useful guide to creating and implementing your own open access textbook.

OER Commons: Open Textbooks 
This catalog contains hundreds of college-level open textbooks from higher education institutions around the world.

American Institute of Mathematics Open Textbook Initiative
Basic and advanced textbooks approved by AIM.

National Academies Press
Created by the National Academy of Sciences, a collection of over 5000 freely available texts.

Green Tea Press
A collection of freely available texts on computer science and statistics.

The Global Text Project 
A free library of thousands of texts for students in a range of topics covered in a university undergraduate program. Particularly strong in Business school topics.

A multidisciplinary Open Access publisher of books and journals covering the fields of Science, Technology and Medicine.

A free and open, online, not-for-profit art history textbook with complete multimedia content, from Khan Academy.

Textbook Media 
Offers a number of e-Textbooks sorted by author and topic with a variety of low cost access options. Many of them can be purchased in print form, but are not free.

Textbooks in the Sciences, Social Sciences, and Humanities. Many can be downloaded and imported into Canvas Modules.

Open Access Courses

Open Education Consortium 
Free and open high quality educational materials, organized as courses, created by a collaboration of higher education institutions and associated organizations from around the world.

Open Course Library 
Range of materials including syllabi, course activities, and assessments created by faculty, instructional designers, librarians, other experts. Sponsored by the Washington State Board of Education, the materials have undergone testing for accessibility and assessed for quality. Unless otherwise noted, all materials are shared under a Creative Commons (CC BY) license.and are available for download and editing via Google Docs.

A free and open resource designed primarily for faculty and students of higher education. Includes links to online learning materials, assignments and comments to enhance the teaching experience of an exercise

Free online peer-reviewed publication service for medical resources such as teaching materials, assessment tools and faculty development. Users can download and use the published resources for educational purposes.

Public Domain Materials

HathiTrust digital library contains millions of public domain books that can be downloaded by the BC community.

The Internet Archive contains many types of public domain materials and materials available under a Creative Commons license. It includes audio, video and texts.

The Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) Contains links to a wide range of multimedia objects from libraries, archives and museums around the United States. The copyright status of items vary because they are collected from many sources. Many items are public domain or available for re-use, and there is information in a "rights" field for each item.

Many US Government documents are in the public domain. See our Government Documents Portal.

Associate University Librarian, Research Services & Educational Initiatives

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Margaret Cohen
O'Neill Library
Room 410B

In-person or virtual consultations are available upon request, please contact me to set up a date/time.

Library Licensed Materials

We subscribe to hundreds of databases containing millions of scholarly journal articles, books, music, films and artworks. Our licenses allow you to link directly to most of these items in Canvas course sites.

Find Databases

Find Journals by title

Our Research Guides recommend starting points for research in each subject. Subject librarians are available to help.


Much material on this page was repurposed from UMass Amherst Open Educational Resources and Virginia Tech University Libraries Open Educational Resources.