Getting Started

Here are some of the (many!) places you may wish to begin your search for open educational resources.

    “The MERLOT system provides access to curated online learning and support materials and content creation tools, led by an international community of educators, learners and researchers.”
  • OER Commons
    Created by ISKME, an education nonprofit, “OER Commons is a public digital library of open educational resources.”
  • OpenStax Textbooks
    Part of Rice University, OpenStax publishes “high-quality, peer-reviewed, openly licensed college textbooks.”
  • Open Textbook Hub
    This hub at OER Commons is a collection of open textbooks and course materials curated by ISKME’s digital librarians.
  • Pressbooks Directory
    This directory indexes public books published by PressbooksEDU networks.

Search Tools

Given the variations in how “open” is defined and how metadata is structured, it’s a good practice to check the rights of the resources in any search results before using any of them.

  • The Mason OER Metafinder (MOM)
    This tool currently searches 22 different sources of open educational materials, including the American Memory Project (Library of Congress), Digital Public Library of America, Directory of Open Access Books (DOAB), HathiTrust (Full View Available), JSTOR Open Access Books, MIT OpenCourseware, New York Public Library Digital Collections, Open Michigan, Project Gutenberg, Teaching Commons, World Digital Library, and others.
  • Openly Available Sources Integrated Search (OASIS)
    This tool currently searches more than 100 difference sources of open content. It is being developed at SUNY Geneseo’s Milne Library.
  • Openverse
    Formerly known as CC Search, Openverse is now part of WordPress. It searches for openly licensed and public domain images and audio, with plans to add other types of media, including open texts, “with the ultimate goal of providing access to all 1.4 billion CC-licensed and public domain works on the web.” You can search all kinds of available media at the same time. However, note that Openverse does not verify or check licensing or attribution information, so do check that information before using or remixing.


  • AMSER (Applied Math and Science Education Repository)
    “AMSER is a portal of educational resources and services built specifically for use by those in Community and Technical Colleges but free for anyone to use.”
  • CORE: Open Access for the Humanities
    CORE (Commons Open Repository Exchange) is a “nonprofit, interdisciplinary, broad-ranging alternative to commercial networks” and hub of Humanities resources.
  • OpenStax CNX Library
    “The content in OpenStax CNX comes in two formats: Pages, which are like small ‘knowledge chunks,’ and Books, which are groups of Pages. Our open license allows for free use and reuse of all our content.” The CNX authoring platform was retired in 2020, and community-created content will be made available on Internet Archive.
  • ROAM (Repository of Open and Affordable Materials)
    This repository holds OER developed by Penn State faculty. The College of Earth and Mineral Sciences first launched the OER initiative at the university, so STEM subjects are well represented in the respository.
  • Teaching Commons
    “The Teaching Commons brings together high-quality open educational resources from leading colleges and universities. Curated by librarians and their institutions, the Teaching Commons includes open access textbooks, course materials, lesson plans, multimedia, and more.”
  • TED-Ed
    Freely accessible—though not open—platform where you can find TED-Ed Animations, TED Talks, and video-based lessons organized by subject and where you can also create lessons based on any TED-Ed Animation, TED Talk, or YouTube video.
  • World Digital Library
    “This collection contains cultural heritage materials gathered during the World Digital Library (WDL) project [2009–2020], including thousands of items contributed by partner organizations worldwide as well as content from Library of Congress collections.” In 2021, the World Digital Library was transitioned “into a sustainable home for perpetual access on the Library of Congress’s main website.”

Open Textbooks

  • B.C. Open Collection
    “The B.C. Open Collection is a curated selection of open educational resources (OER) that can be accessed by educators in B.C. and beyond to use in the classroom, in an institutional learning management system, or on other teaching and learning platforms.” Resources are selected with faculty and students in British Columbia in mind, but they can be adopted and adapted by anyone anywhere.
  • Milne Open Textbooks
    “Milne Library Publishing at SUNY Geneseo manages and maintains Milne Open Textbooks, a catalog of open textbooks authored and peer-reviewed by SUNY faculty and staff.”
  • Open Textbook Library
    Supported by the Open Education Network, the Open Textbook Library “is a comprehensive referatory that points to open textbooks by a variety of authors and publishers.”
  • OER at Bay College
    This guide provides access to Open Educational Resources (OER) used at Bay College, a community college in Michigan.
  • Textbooks from Bookboon
    Bookboon titles are free but not open for revision or remixing, and students must create a free account to access them.
  • Open Access on MUSE
    “Project MUSE offers open access (OA) books, journals, and digital humanities works from several distinguished university presses, scholarly societies, and independent not-for-profit academic publishers.”
  • Open Textbooks from MIT
    “This page is an index to the online textbooks in MIT OpenCourseWare.”
  • 2012 Book Archive
    This site is the archive of Creative Commons-licensed copies of the books that were available online from a specific publisher at the end of 2012. The publisher asked to remain unnamed.
  • Directory of Open Access Books (DOAB)
    “DOAB is a community-driven discovery service that indexes and provides access to scholarly, peer-reviewed open access books and helps users to find trusted open access book publishers.”

Open Courses

  • MIT OpenCourseware
    “MIT OpenCourseWare is a free and open collection of material from thousands of MIT courses, covering the entire MIT curriculum.”
  • Open Course Library
    Managed by the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges, the Open Course Library (OCL) “is a collection of shareable course materials, including syllabi, course activities, readings, and assessments designed by teams of college faculty, instructional designers, librarians, and other experts.”
  • Open Yale Courses
    “Open Yale Courses provides free and open access to a selection of introductory courses taught by distinguished teachers and scholars at Yale University. The aim of the project is to expand access to educational materials for all who wish to learn.” Most of the lectures and other course materials are licensed CC BY-NC-SA 3.0. Additional courses are available via YouTube Series.
  • Saylor Academy
    “Saylor Academy’s main project is providing free, self-paced certificate and credit courses to students around the world […]. But our courses are also open courseware (OCW) comprising open educational resources (OER). As such, most materials you find at Saylor Academy can be reused in some fashion.” Saylor Academy provides guidance on adapting their courses.