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Get a table of Gutenberg work metadata that has been filtered by some common (settable) defaults, along with the option to add additional filters. This function is for convenience when working with common conditions when pulling a set of books to analyze. For more detailed filtering of the entire Project Gutenberg metadata, use the gutenberg_metadata and related datasets.


  languages = "en",
  only_text = TRUE,
  rights = c("Public domain in the USA.", "None"),
  distinct = TRUE,
  all_languages = FALSE,
  only_languages = TRUE



Additional filters, given as expressions using the variables in the gutenberg_metadata dataset (e.g. author == "Austen, Jane")


Vector of languages to include


Whether the works must have Gutenberg text attached. Works without text (e.g. audiobooks) cannot be downloaded with gutenberg_download


Values to allow in the rights field. By default allows public domain in the US or "None", while excluding works under copyright. NULL allows any value of Rights


Whether to return only one distinct combination of each title and gutenberg_author_id. If multiple occur (that fulfill the other conditions), it uses the one with the lowest ID


Whether, if multiple languages are given, all of them need to be present in a work. For example, if c("en", "fr") are given, whether only en/fr as opposed to English or French works should be returned


Whether to exclude works that have other languages besides the ones provided. For example, whether to include en/fr when English works are requested


A tbl_df (see the tibble or dplyr packages) with one row for each work, in the same format as gutenberg_metadata.


By default, returns

  • English-language works

  • That are in text format in Gutenberg (as opposed to audio)

  • Whose text is not under copyright

  • At most one distinct field for each title/author pair


if (FALSE) { # interactive()
# \donttest{


# filter conditions
gutenberg_works(author == "Shakespeare, William")

# language specifications

gutenberg_works(languages = "es") %>%
  count(language, sort = TRUE)

gutenberg_works(languages = c("en", "es")) %>%
  count(language, sort = TRUE)

gutenberg_works(languages = c("en", "es"), all_languages = TRUE) %>%
  count(language, sort = TRUE)

gutenberg_works(languages = c("en", "es"), only_languages = FALSE) %>%
  count(language, sort = TRUE)
# }