About the Site


History of the Great Lakes States and Century Past eBook Library were created to make it easy for people to browse through online libraries of books and other resources selected from the vast amount of free resources available on the internet.


History of the Great Lakes States

The theme of History of the Great Lakes States is the history of the region once known as the ‘Northwest Territory’. In the early 1800s this region became the five states of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin, and we have a lot of material on the site about that pioneering and state-building era, up to about 1900. We also have numerous items about previous eras; from archaeological studies of the ancient ‘mound-builders’ through more than a century as part of the French North American empire; then a brief period of British control in the late 18th century before the area was administered by U.S. territorial governments.

Although we have numerous books and articles written by historians, we also have many accounts written by travelers, explorers, missionaries, pioneers and ordinary people. Our “Fiction” pages have hundreds of books written by people from the region, or historical fiction about dramatic events there.


Century Past Free eBook Library

The Century Past Library contains free online books, and some magazines, on a wide range of topics. This growing collection contains the same titles that might have been found in a small American public library in the 1920s. Books are organized according to the Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC) system used by most public libraries.


Online Materials in both Collections

Nearly all materials in both collections were published prior to 1924. Their copyrights have expired and they are in the public domain. (See Is it Legal to Read these Works for Free?) Many of the books, maps and documents are rare and valuable, and it would be difficult or impossible to access physical copies.

All the links on this site lead to digitized books or other materials hosted on other websites; usually those of major non-profit organizations, universities or government organizations. (see New Life for Millions of Disappearing Books) Those sites provide document viewing applications to enable on-line reading. More than half the books we feature can be (safely) downloaded to your PC, tablet or e-reading device.

Your use of all this material is free of charge. There is no registration and we don’t request your personal information.



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