First of all, those of you that visit my blog via a mobile device may not know it, but I have a page of "Useful Links" with links to various blogs and web sites for prepping/survivalism, disaster preparation, firearms and self-defense, outdoors, etc. I keep it up to date as best as I can, but please let me know if there is some site or blog missing from the list that you think should be added, of if you find a dead link.
Now, turning to some on-line libraries...
- Probably the best organized and inclusive of subjects relevant to prepping, survival and rebuilding civilization is the library maintained by Survival UK. The resources on agriculture is particularly impressive, including files on how to construct about any farm building or structure you would ever need; this should be of particularly interesting for those whose focus is rebuilding civilization.
- Urban Survival Site has a library of e-books available for download. (See also here for a straight-up list of the books available for download).
- Andy's Place has a list of PDF books and documents for survivalists, preppers and such. Unfortunately, most (but not all) of his links are to documents on Scribd, so you will want a Scribd account to make best use of it.
- Textfiles.com has a library of survival articles from the 1970's and 80's. As the name indicates, these are text files and so there are no illustrations and the formatting may be a little off.
- The Prudent Homemaker is a blog that is aimed more at the food storage and other homecrafts for someone interested in prepping or homesteading. But it has a nice list of resources for home schooling for K-8 grades.
- Survival Library has a growing collection of text books and treatises from the 19th and early 20th Century on basic education as well as various crafts, trades, and science. If you want to learn how to build a buggy or coach, small boats, make shoes, etc., this is the place to go. Check back regularly on this site because the site editor is constantly adding to the collection.
- The Survival Ring hub has a library of downloadable books related to prepping and survivalism organized according to general topic as well as a couple collections that the site creator has put together.
- Modern Survival Blog also has a directory of downloadable files for prepping and survival.
- Steve's Pages has a collection of owner's manuals for many, many different firearms and other outdoor or firearm related products.
- Sportsman's Vintage Press also has a small library of classic or vintage books on firearms you can real on-line (in HTML format) for free (with the option to purchase copies).
- Ammo.com has their "Resistance Library" which is compendium of articles on firearms, ammunition, and topics related to gun rights.
- Wikipedia is the closest we have to universal encyclopedia and its editors have made provision for its download. Instructions on how to download the Wikipedia database is here.
- The Eye (as in all-seeing eye) is a large repository of books and other media on many subjects and topics. If you click on the "Files" selection in the main menu, it will take you to a list of directories. It is not well organized, so using this site will require some exploration on your part. However, from the basic list of directories, the primary ones that would probably interest most preppers/survivalists are the "Books", "Strategic Intelligence Network", and "Murder Cube" subdirectories. But, again, there is a lot to explore in each of the foregoing. For instance, there are whole libraries of medical, engineering, and programming textbooks, military manuals, survival and prepping books, etc., in the subdirectories I've listed. Not all of the material is safe for work (or home), so be careful of what you are clicking on.
- Another vast repository of books and other media is the Internet Archive. One of the collections to look through is the Folkscanomy library (which, itself, contains numerous collections), including, but not limited to: "Self Defense", "Military", "Tandy and Radio Shack Books" (good for basic electronics), "Agriculture", and "Prepper and Survivalist Books." The Internet Archive also has other libraries and collections, including one of firearms manuals, and the "Universal Library" which are scans from library collections in India. As with The Eye, not all of the material in the Internet Archive is safe for work (or home), so be careful of what you are clicking on.
- Another resource is EPDF which, as it name implies, is a collection of electronically scanned books (most in PDF but occasionally in other formats). This is not arranged where you can easily browse topics, but you have to make searches and hope that your search brings in the book(s) in which you are interested. Nevertheless, it is a valuable resource and can be used to fill in blanks that the The Eye or the Internet Archive may have.
- Index-Of.es is another general collection that is not very well sorted. Most of the resources here seem to be for the computer geek or hacker, but there are other topics. Again, this has subdirectories and will take some exploring to find what you want. One that preppers and survivalists might find particular useful, however, is a directory called "Tutorials-2" which includes information on surviving, weapons, etc.
- Project Gutenburg is a collection of public-domain books which, for that reason, are generally old. The books have been scanned and are in various formats, but that does not mean that the formatting is very good. I generally get books in the MOBI format to use on a Kindle, but unless it is a novel--e.g., if there are footnotes or whatnot--the formatting is generally atrocious.
- Somewhat similar to Project Gutenburg, but only offering PDF downloads, is Forgotten Books.
- Although it does not, to my knowledge, offer downloads of books, the University of Pennsylvania has put together a page indexing or listing various online archives of books.
- Although this may be too specialized for most readers, I will mention that Cornell University offers arXiv, which is a free distribution service and an open-access archive for 1,729,943 scholarly articles in the fields of physics, mathematics, computer science, quantitative biology, quantitative finance, statistics, electrical engineering and systems science, and economics.
- While this may be of more use to the home schooler rather than someone focusing on prepping, Open Culture is a good resource for online courses, music, and ebooks.
Update (7/22/2020) - Some Additional Items: Since the information above refers to some very general libraries or collections, I thought I would periodically post more specific links to a collection, library, or specific titles that would be of interest to the prepper/survivalist. I will post these links below as I have time or come across new items, so check back periodically. I will also post these as separate posts at the same time for those that are following my blog so those people will know what is new. First, though, I feel I must make this disclaimer: I'm not the author of any of the documents or things in the collection and/or libraries linked to herein, above or below, and cannot vouch for their accuracy or completeness--use them at your own risk. I am not responsible for the posting or offering of any of the documents or things in the collections and/or libraries and have no control over whether they are posted or taken down.
1. Here is a library/collection of materials loosely on the topic of "Guerrilla Warfare".
2. A library with the title "Medical". It contains an extensive selection of medical texts, as well as some videos and ISO files of certain materials that came on CD- or DVD-ROMs.
3. An ebook with the title Maker's Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse. This book includes projects on such things as generating electricity, alarms, surveillance, and communications, using things such as scrap or scavenged electrical and electronic parts, the Raspberry Pi, and Arduino. It also covers the basic tools and skills you will need to complete the projects. It is available to download from The-Eye in: PDF; Mobi; EPub.
4. Light Infantry Tactics for Small Teams by Christopher E. Larsen (66 Mb PDF). I purchased a copy of this book and reviewed it years ago. Good overview for small team tactics, and also including camouflage, using hand signals for communication, and radio communications.
5. One of the key needs, if you are to work on your firearms, is to know not only how to field strip a firearm, but how to go about disassembling and reassembling the firearms beyond the basic field strip. For instance, replacement of parts of a trigger mechanism, certain feeding mechanisms, replacing a firing pin, etc., require that the firearm be broken down beyond that needed for general cleaning and maintenance. Often, such assembly and disassembly have to follow a certain sequence of steps, or there may be certain "tricks" to the process--things that cannot necessarily be discerned from inspecting the firearm or consulting an exploded diagram of the firearm. So, starting in the early 1980s, Gun Digest began publishing a series of books that described the assembly/disassembly process for the benefit of gunsmiths and hobbyists, which each book focusing on a particular class or type of firearm. Obviously, these books cannot include all firearms, makes and models. But often you can find examples of a firearm close enough to what you have that, even if not the exact model, is close enough to give you guidance. Gun Digest has updated these books over the years, and some are into their 4th, 5th, or even 6th editions. In fact, I would point out that Gun Digest is currently, at the time of this writing (7/22/2020), offering a sale on the whole current collection (in PDF format) for $84.99.
But if you are only needing the information for one particular project, even that cost may seem too much, and perhaps your local library does not have the books in its collection. There are older editions that you can sometimes find on the Internet that have been scanned and made available. Some of these are as follows:
- Part I - Automatic Pistols (Revised Edition).
- Part II - Revolvers (Revised Edition).
- Part III - Rimfire Rifles (Revised Edition).
- Part IV - Centerfire Rifles.
- Part V - Shotguns (Second Edition).
- Part VI - Law Enforcement Weapons.
6. Although in our current focus on civil unrest and pandemic, nuclear war may seem to be a low probability risk, it is nevertheless it poses a great deal of harm should it occur; and, therefore, it may be worthwhile to be familiar with the survival literature on the topic. Accordingly, I would direct your attention to the following collection, "You Will Survive Doomsday & Nuclear Fallout pack" at The Eye.
And a few miscellaneous books that caught my eye:
- Radio Monitoring: The How-To Guide (PDF) by T.J. “Skip” Arey. This appears to be a book from the late 1990s or early 2000s. It runs nearly 350 pages.
- Survival Guns (PDF) by Mel Tappan. This book dates back to the mid-1980s, so it is obviously dated as to the specific recommendations. Nevertheless, it is an interesting read. And although I don't agree with Tappan's philosophy that you need dozens of different firearms to cover your needs, his reasoning as to various choices may also be of interest.
- The Complete Book of Self-Sufficiency (PDF) by John Seymour. Similar to the book Back to Basics, this is an overview of a wide-range of topics relating to homesteading and self-sufficiency.
- Wilderness Evasion (PDF) by Michael Chesbro. A look at caching and escape and evasion techniques.
- The Ultimate Sniper (PDF) by John L. Plaster. This is a large book at 580 pages. The copyright dates are 1993 and 2006, and I note that it includes a section on sniping in Iraq, so I assume that the book was updated between the two dates.
Learning military tactics could indeed prove crucial, depending on the severity of WTSHTF. However, keep in mind that standard military doctrine is far more aggressive and risky than would be appropriate for most foreseeable situations faced by survivalists. Keep in mind that military tactics are geared toward offensively, boldly, and rapidly taking and then holding ground, while at the same time incurring “acceptable losses.” It also assumes that advanced medical care is available rapidly via helicopter Medevac. Modern military organizations also have the advantage of helmets and Interceptor Body Armor (IBA) being available for every soldier. Your mileage may vary substantially. (As a survivalist, your tactical concerns will more likely be primarily defensive, less hurried, and with a premium placed on minimizing casualties.)And now, for some e-books:
Also, keep in mind that unless you are sitting on a stockpile of a lifetime supply of ammunition, then the typical military “suppressive fire” doctrine will probably be either out of the question, or curtailed substantially.
I recommend modifying military tactics to suit your particular circumstances. Typically, this would mean operating with less speed, greater stealth, and an emphasis on camouflage. Also, depending on circumstances, it would also mean conservation of precious ammunition and pyrotechnics.
Under current U.S. Army doctrine, there is just one Squad Designated Marksman (SDM) per squad. But for TEOTWAWKI, I would advocate having as many as three per squad, especially in open terrain. That will increase your standoff distance and hence minimize friendly casualties. I would also recommend having every member of your patrol wear full ghillie suits in all but the hottest weather.
The bottom line: When you are out patrolling with members of your own family, then the concept of “acceptable losses” takes on a whole new meaning.
- Light Infantry Tactics for Small Teams by Christopher E. Larsen (PDF). I've mentioned this book before, but it is probably as good a book as any (and better than most) for learning small unit tactics. The author developed the material for this book while training Iraqi security forces in tactics. He covers not just tactics, but hand signals, individual camouflage, radio communications, and other materials.
- Small Unit Tactics: Leading, Planning & Conducting Tactical Operations (PDF) by The Lightening Press. This book is part of their Smartbook series for military commanders. It is a compilation of material from various military manuals, distilled and summarized for the military leader. This is a sample book, so even though the book is complete, it has a "SAMPLE" watermark across each page.
- Infantry Small-Unit Mountain Operations (ATTP 3-21.50) (PDF).
- Offense and Defense (ADP 3-90) (PDF).
- Infantry Rifle Platoon and Squad (FM 7-8) (PDF). This is the 2001 edition.
- Common Battle Drills for all Infantry Units (PDF). This appears to have been created for training ROTC members.
- Basic Tactics by Mao Zedong (HTML). This 1937 pamphlet is more in the form of suggestions rather than hard and fast rules. Nevertheless, suggestions for encountering an unknown force or larger force are probably applicable to preppers/survivalists that will also be outnumbered in most cases.
- The Survival Retreat: A Total Plan for Retreat Defense by Ragnar Benson (PDF).
- Cyber Warfare: Techniques, Tactics And Tools For Security Practitioners by Jason Andress and Steve Winterfeld (PDF). A text.
- Put 'Em Down, Take 'Em Out! (PDF) by Don Pentecost. This book purports to be the author's compilation of knife fighting skills and techniques learned in Folsom Prison.
- "Fighting With A Tomahawk" (PDF) by Lynn C. Thompson. This article was apparently published in the Fall 1999 Cold Steel Special Projects catalog.
- Official Kubotan Techniques (PDF) by Takayuki Kubota and John G. Peters, Jr.
- Cold Steel (PDF) by John Styers. This PDF is not a straight up photographic or scanned copy of the book, but appears to have been made from an HTML file with the photographs added. I have a hard copy of the actual book, but I have not made a comparison to see if this PDF has all the text and photographs in the actual book. That said, just scrolling through the PDF it appears to be a complete version of the book. The author, John Styers, put this book together to address deficiencies in hand-to-hand combat as taught to troops during WWII. Thus, it offers simple but effective techniques of unarmed combat, using a knife (employing a proper saber grip), bayonet, and stick fighting. I would definitely recommend this book.
- Combat Conditioning Manual: Jiu Jitsu Defense, Bayonet Defense, Club Defense (PDF) by R.E. Hanley. This 1943 book was a compilation of techniques being taught to U.S. Marines, and intended as a type of textbook for them to review between classes. This book is from the EPDF.PUB site, so unlike other sights where clicking on the link starts the process of download, this one takes you to a page at the website where you have to click a button to download the document, which begins a 30-second countdown. At the end of the countdown you will be presented with a reCaptcha pop-up to confirm that you are, indeed, not a robot. Sometimes you just have to click the checkbox, but at other times you may be asked to select a number of pictures or boxes within a picture that meet some criteria (for instance, click on all the pictures or boxes showing bicycles), after which the download will proceed.
- Kill Or Get Killed (PDF) by Rex Applegate. Largely focused on bare hand combat, it also includes disarming and use of the stick and knife, and covers Applegate's point shooting techniques
- Combat Use Of The Double-Edged Fighting Knife (PDF) by Rex Applegate.
- Knife Handling for Self-Defense (PDF) by George B. Wallace.
- Combat Knife Throwing: A New Approach to Knife Throwing and Knife Fighting (PDF) by Ralph Thorn.
- Knife Throwing Guide (PDF) by Gil Hibben.
- The Advanced Balisong Manual (PDF) by Jeff Imada.
- The Art of Weapons: Armed and Unarmed Self-Defense (PDF) by Marc Tedeschi. A compilation of techniques taken from Eastern martial art systems for using and defense against various hand weapons.
- Close Combat (PDF). This is the 1999 Marine Corps manual (MCRP 3-02B).
- Modern Arnis: The Filipino Art of Stick Fighting (PDF) (DJVU) by Remy Presas.
- Fundamentals of Modern Police Impact Weapons (PDF) by Massad F. Ayoob. Although the focus on police batons, there is discussion of other police weapons such as saps and billy clubs, the Yawara stick, sap gloves and palm saps, and the nunchaku, as well as improvised use of flashlights.
- Stick Fighting: Techniques of Self-Defense (PDF) by Masaaki Hatsumi and Quintin Chambers.
- Fencing Steps to Success (PDF) by Elaine Cheris. A basic book on modern sport foil fencing.
- Foil Fencing: The Techniques and Tactics of Modern Foil Fencing (PDF) by John Edward Smith.
- Flexible Weapons (PDF) by John Sanchez. A look at Medieval flails, chain maces, steel whips, etc.
- Medieval Swordsmanship: Illustrated Methods and Techniques (PDF) (DJVU) by John Clements. Also briefly discusses pole-arms.
- Renaissance Swordsmanship: The Illustrated Book Of Rapiers And Cut And Thrust Swords And Their Use (PDF) by John Clements.
- Practice Drills for Japanese Swordsmanship (DJVU) by Nicklaus Suino.
- Japanese Sword Fighting: Secrets of the Samurai (PDF) by Masaaki Hatsumi.
- Shinkage-Ryu Sword Techniques: Traditional Japanese Martial Arts (Vol. 1) (PDF) by Tadashige Watanabe.
- Spike and Chain Japanese Fighting Arts (PDF) by Charles V. Gruzanski.
- Explosives (6th Ed.) by Rudolf Meyer, Josef Köhler, Axel Homburg (PDF).
- The Preparatory Manual of Explosives by Jared Ledgard (DJVU).
- Organic Chemistry of Explosives by Jai Prakash Agrawal and Robert Hodgson (PDF).
- The Chemistry of Powder and Explosives by Tenney L. Davis (PDF).
- Explosives Engineering by Paul W. Cooper (PDF).
- Engineering Rock Blasting Operations by Sushil Bhandari (PDF).
- Rock Blasting & Overbreak Control by Calvin J. Konya and Edward J. Walter (PDF).
- Blasting in Ground Excavations and Mines by B. Singh, P. Pal Roy, R. B. Singh, and A. Bagchi (PDF).
- Rotary Drilling and Blasting in Large Surface Mines by Balchandra V. Gokhale (PDF).
- Explosives and Blasting Procedures Manual by Richard A. Dick, Larry R. Fletcher and Dennis V. D'Andrea (PDF).
- Seabee Quarry Blasting Operations and Safety Manual by Department of the Army (PDF).
- Rock Blasting Terms and Symbols: A Dictionary of Symbols and Terms in Rock Blasting and Related Areas like Drilling, Mining and Rock Mechanics edited by Agne Rustan (PDF).
- High Explosives and Propellants by S. Fordham (2nd Ed.) (PDF).
- High Energy Materials: Propellants, Explosives and Pyrotechnics by Jai Prakash Agrawal (PDF).
- Propellants and Explosives: Thermochemical Aspects of Combustion by Naminosuke Kubota (1st Edition PDF) (2nd Edition PDF).
- Explosives, Propellants and Pyrotechnics (Brassey's World Military Technology) by A. Bailey and S. G. Murray (PDF).
- TM 31-210 Improvised Munitions (PDF).
- Explosives - The Anarchist Arsenal (Improvised Incendiary & Explosives Techniques) by David Harber (PDF).
- The Anarchist Arsenal: Improvised Incendiary & Explosives Techniques by David Harber (PDF).
- Advanced Anarchist Arsenal: Recipes For Improvised Incendiaries And Explosives by David Harber (PDF).
- Improvised Munitions Black Book Vol. 1 by Desert Publications (PDF).
- Black Book Companion: State-Of-The-Art Improvised Munitions by Paladin Press (PDF).
- Big Bang: Improvised PETN And Mercury Fulminate by John Galt (PDF).
- Improvised Land Mines: Employment And Destructive Capabilities by David Harber (PDF).
- Incendiaries Advanced Improvised Explosives by Seymour Lecker (PDF).
- Home Workshop Explosives by Uncle Fester (PDF).
- Kitchen improvised fertilizer explosives by Tim Lewis (PDF).
- Better Living Through Plastic Explosives by Gartner Zsuzsi (EPUB) (MOBI) (FB2).
- Scientific Principles Of Improvised Warfare And Home Defense (Explosives) by T. Tobiason (PDF).
- FMX: The Revised Black Book: A Guide To Field-Manufactured Explosives by William Wallace (PDF).
- Improvised Shape Charges by Desert Publications (PDF).
- Aspects of Explosives Detection by Maurice Marshall and Jimmie C. Oxley (PDF).
- Counterterrorist Detection Techniques of Explosives by Jehuda Yinon (PDF).
- Explosives and Chemical Weapons Identification James B. Crippin (PDF).
- Trace Chemical Sensing of Explosives edited by Ronald L. Woodfin (PDF).
- Detection of Liquid Explosives and Flammable Agents in Connection with Terrorism (NATO Science for Peace and Security Series B: Physics and Biophysics) edited by Hiltmar Schubert and Andrey Kuznetsov (PDF).
- Detection and Disposal of Improvised Explosives (NATO Science for Peace and Security Series B: Physics and Biophysics) edited by Hiltmar Schubert and Andrey Kuznetsov (PDF).
- "Bombings: Injury Patterns and Care Pocket Guide" (PDF) by the CDC and American College of Physicians.
- "Explosives and Blast Injuries" by James M. Madsen, MD, MPH, U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Chemical Defense (USAMRICD).
- "Explosions and Blast Injuries: A Primer for Clinicians" (PDF) by the CDC.
- "Blast Injuries: Biophysics, Pathophysiology and Management Principles" (PDF) by CL Horrocks (J R Army Med Corps 2001; 147: 28 -40).
- Paediatric Blast Injury Field Manual (PDF) by Imperial College.
- "Blast Injury" (PDF) (ICU Management & Practice, ICU Volume 15 - Issue 4 - 2015).
- "What the intensive care doctor needs to know about blast-related lung injury" (PDF) by I Mackenzie, B Tunnicliffe, J Clasper, P Mahoney, and E Kirkman.
- "Bombings and Blast Injuries: A Primer for Physicians" (PDF) by David M. Lemonick (American Journal of Clinical Medicine • Fall 2011 • Volume Eight, Number Three).
- "Conventional Explosions and Blast Injuries" (PDF) by David J. Dries, David Bracco, Tarek Razek, Norma Smalls-Mantey, and Dennis Amundson (Fundamental Disaster Management, Chapter 7).
- Dismounted Complex Blast Injury (PDF) Report of the Army Discounted Complex Blast Injury Task Force.
- "Blast Injuries: From Improvised Explosive Device Blasts to the Boston Marathon Bombing" (PDF) by Ajay K. Singh, Noah G. Ditkofsky, CAPT John D. York, Hani H. Abujudeh, Laura A. Avery, John F. Brunner, Aaron D. Sodickson, and Michael H. Lev (RadioGraphics 2016; 36:295–307).
- "Explosions and Blast Injuries" (PDF) a Power Point presentation by Alfred Health (warning: extremely graphic photographs of injuries).
- In a Hurry? Want this Post in Downloadable Checklist form?
- Quick and Easy Meals
- Grains and Starches
- Sauces, Oils, and Condiments
- Shelf Stable Dairy
- Snacks and Luxuries
- Juices and Other Beverages
- Bulk Staples
- Freeze Dried Emergency Foods
- Baking Ingredients
- Vitamins and Supplements
- Animal and Pet Food Storage
- Criteria for Choosing Your Survival Food
- Survival Food Storage and Preservation Supplies
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Ready to Get Going?
If you are disappointed that there aren't any PDFs to download, they have you covered there with their "Free Survival PDFs, Manuals, and Downloads".
13. Some resources for learning American Sign Language (ASL):
- A source of ASL flashcards that are free to download.
- American Sign Language SparkCharts
- American Sign Language Demystified by Kristin Mulrooney, Ph.D.
- Metaphor In American Sign Language by Phyllis Perrin Wilcox.
- The American Sign Language Handshape Dictionary by Richard A. Tennant, Marianne Gluszak Brown and Valerie Nelson-Metlay.
- Sign Language Fun by Linda Bove.
- It's Not What You Sign, It's How You Sign It : Politeness in American Sign Language by Jack Hoza.
- American Sign Language the Easy Way by David A. Stewart.
- The American Sign Language (3rd Ed.) by Lou Fant and Barbara Bernstein Fant.