Open Culture — A mission to collect the content that is free and [arguably] the ‘best in class’

Up to this point, NSR’s Free Content Alerts column has focused almost exclusively on ebooks. Of course, though, the Internet is an expansive place and offers a seemingly endless variety of choices. attempts to partially fill the gap between ecollections and all the variety of other material that has been brought together across the Web. It describes itself this way: “Open Culture editor Dan Colman scours the web for the best educational media. He finds the free courses and audio books you need, the language lessons & movies you want, and plenty of enlightenment in between. Daily email updates about the site are available as well.”

The main categories (i.e., those at the top of the page) are considered Essentials and are divided further into subcategories:

• 1,200 Free Online Courses
• 1000+ MOOCs
• 1,150 Free Movies
• 700 Free Audio Books
• 800 Free eBooks
• 200 Free Textbooks
• 300 Free Language Lessons
• 150 Free Business CoursesFree K-12 Education

Beyond this, there are “Great Lectures”, “Great Recordings”, a long list of topics, and, well, too much to give here! The point is that the site seeks to draw together many different types of material. For example, in its recent chronological entries, Openculture covers the following:

  • The Library of Congress Makes 25 Million Records From Its Catalog Free to Download
  • A Big List of Free Art Lessons on YouTube
  • Visit a New Digital Archive of 2.2 Million Images from the First Hundred Years of Photography

The diversity of the site is, to be a bit cliche, mind-boggling. But so it is. Clearly, Open Culture seeks to bring together not only many varieties of content, but does so with an eye to collecting what is arguably the ‘best in class.’

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