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DIY Harvard Education: 15 Minutes a Day With a 5-Foot Shelf of Books (Now Free Online)

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"The Harvard Classics Collection," a 51-volume series first published in 1909, is now ready to legally download

Charles W. Eliot, the most influential president of Harvard University, often claimed that if one were to spend at least 15 daily minutes “reading the right books,” an amount of volumes he considered could be stacked in a five-foot shelf, one could definitely give oneself what he labelled as a proper liberal education.

The publisher, P. F. Collier & Son, thought that was an absolutely beautiful idea, so he asked Eliot to put together the titles that indeed deserved to be part of such a collection. That is how what we know nowadays as the “Harvard Classics Collection” was born.

Of course, you can always buy the printed collection online. We have found some options on eBay, with prices that can go from $400 all the way up to $1,500, depending on how well preserved the collection is. But — and here’s the good news — you can also download them legally, for free, through links provided by the Internet Archive , Project Gutenberg or in these scanned copies of the original Classics.

You can thank us later.

 

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