I’ve been working in libraries for over 15 years. I have helped a lot of patrons get access to the material they needed for their research. Between my master’s degree in library and information science and many requests to help someone find material they needed for a paper, I’ve gained an interest in reference services. This had led to my amassing a large collection of scholarly materials, freely available online, which relate to my spiritual and magical practices. This page will now serve as my own little library online where anyone can find good resources without concerns of theft. It is also for the practitioner or devotee who is trying to find this material but may not have the same level of access that one would have if they were in school.
This is an ongoing project and I encourage you sharing material you have found (legally!) which has built your practice and knowledge.
Your Local Libraries
Always check your local public libraries first. Even if they don’t have an item you’re looking for on the shelf, they may be able to order a copy for the collection or let you place an interlibrary loan request.
Also be sure to check you local public college or university. As long as you prove residency you should be able to get access to borrowing privileges. Any offerings beyond that would depend on the school and it is definitely worth finding out.
WorldCat should be your first stop for finding new material. Not only is it indispensable for research, you can also see if any libraries in your area hold a copy of the item in question.
Open Culture lists thousands of free ebooks, online courses, audio books, language lessons, movies, and more.
iTunes University (which no longer appears to have a direct link) has freely available courses from schools around the world on a wide range of subjects.
The Directory of Open Access Journals is a listing of all currently known, peer-reviewed open access journals in all subject areas.
The Directory of Open Access Books is a directory of open access books from academic publishers available throughout the internet.
OAPEN is a service hosting open access books published by European universities, mostly focused on humanities and social sciences.
Project Gutenberg hosts digital copies of public domain (aka out of copyright) books. You can find a lot of older collections of mythology and folklore along with some early magical texts.
Forgotten Books also hosts a collection of public domain books with several of a more esoteric bend. They are older texts, so some of the information may be well out of date.
JSTOR is THE major database for journal articles, and now offers many for public viewing. You will need an account to access them, and if you are a college graduate check with your alma mater about possible alumni/ae access. They also have their own collection of open access books
Academia.edu is a site which allows authors to upload articles and essays written and make the material accessible to the public. This place is a gold mine for a polytheist or pagan looking for new research on their Gods or ritual work.
The Ancient World Online is a blog which documents open access articles, journals, and books, with a focus on the Mediterranean, Ancient Near East, and early Christianity/Biblical studies.
The Metropolitan Museum has now made all of their publications from 1964 to the present available for free and legal downloading.
The Getty Museum in Los Angeles has also made their publication backlist available for free downloads.
Cornell University has a large collection of primary resources available online about the period of the witch trials and Inquisition. If you’re interested in historical or traditional craft, this is a great resource.
The University of Edinburgh has a collection similar to Cornell’s but focused on Scottish witches. Again, if your inclination is to traditional craft, you’ll find a lot here. The confessions from witches who were not tortured, such as Isobel Gowdie, bear some extra consideration for what practices may have survived.
The University of Memphis has an exhaustive list of Egyptology articles available online. Not all are open access so you may need to visit a university to track down a copy.
The Oriental Institute has now made all of their publications available for free download. In addition to Egyptology, you can find material on Nubia, Assyria, Babylon, and other areas of the ancient Near East.
The British Museum Studies in Ancient Egypt and Sudan is a good open access journal of Egyptology.
The University of Southern California has made the dissertation version of Ma’at, the moral ideal in ancient Egypt available to the public. This is one of the few texts focusing on Ma’at currently available
My sibling Tenu has collected their own exhaustive set of Kemetic resources which can be found here.
Magical Practice and Ritual
If you can’t find a teacher but are looking for some way to develop or deepen your magical work, you may want to investigate Quareia. All of their lessons are available for free on their site, but you have to do them in the order presented to get the most from the work.