Peruse the world’s best public library
Jack Schofield wrote this nice little article for the Guardian website yesterday. He talks about the project archives, volunteering and includes a nice little quote from the site about preservation.
Here is the article in full;
If you fancy a good read, Project Gutenberg has more than 22,000 books available to download, and they are all free. You can’t grab the latest blockbusters, of course. Instead the database provides access to out-of-copyright texts, which generally means pre-1923, for the US site. You can download works by Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte, Mark Twain, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Joseph Conrad, HG Wells, William Shakespeare and many others, going back through Beowulf to Plato.
Continue reading A Guardian Netbytes article on the Project Gutenberg archives
In the PC Magazine just now coming out, “The Top 100″
web sites out of millions lists Project Gutenberg for being one of the best of the best Internet resources.
The Top 100 at pcmag.com
Project Gutenberg is among the very oldest electronic information providers in the world if not the oldest.
Tens of thousands of eBooks are available at PG sites
as well as thousands more at the other PG sites in:
and new sites in progress in South America.
These student projects provide a real-world, hands-on opportunity to help bring this vast collection of new eBooks to a wider public, in more formats, with added functionality and usefullness.
* The gutenberg.org site has been translated into Portuguese. Portugal otherwise only has mirrors.
Free as in, well, free. At least, that’s what the folks at Project Gutenberg believe. They work hard to make as many literary (in a very broad sense of the term) works as possible available in a variety of formats, languages, and media to as many people as possible. They are guided by similar principles that all open source enthusiasts share, that power and information should be available to everyone, not just the elite.
Project Gutenberg grew almost organically with the start of the Internet, starting on July 4, 1971, with the U.S. Declaration of Independence.
“Yes, Richard Stallman and I both started our open source efforts pretty much at the same moment, the moment the Internet went transcontinental,” Michael Hart, Founder of Project Gutenberg, said. “I wanted to put something online that would stay there forever, and I was somewhat disappointed that the Internet founders hadn’t put something the nature of ‘What hath God wrought’ or ‘One small step’ out as a symbolism, so I did my best to come up with something that would do the job.”
This is a nice article about Project Gutenberg’s history and goals, among other things. Read the full story by clicking on the link below.
Project Gutenberg by Sandra Wills
Red Hat Magazine, June 29th, 2007
This coming weekend an interview with Michael Hart about Digital Libraries will be broadcast on NPR [National Public Radio]. In this interview he was also joined by Brewster Kahle (The Internet Archive) and Michael Keller (Librarian of Stanford).
Michael specifically talks about wearing Digital Libraries on a necklace, Terabyte hard drives and creating a Billion eBook Library.
This is also available as a download from;
Though I don’t read Finnish, Portuguese or Icelandic, it is of some comfort to know that hundreds of books in these languages are now stored on my computer. They are in good company. Just as I am not likely ever to read “Hattu Yksinaytoksinen Huvinaytelma” by Alfhild Agrell, so, too, will I probably never work my way through a report about the building of the Pennsylvania Railroad’s tunnel under the East River in New York in the early 1900s, or seek out “A Lady’s Visit to the Gold Diggings of Australia in 1852-53,” by Mrs. Charles (Ellen) Clacy. But there they are, a few kilobytes away from one another inside an extremely large folder of fellow files.
If these particular books end up neglected or perhaps, one day, even deleted, there are 11,846 others I have stored in digital form, all taken from three text-DVDs created by Richard Seltzer, who has turned such repackaging into a business. Many I’ve already been lured into sampling if not reading.
Continue reading New York Times article mentioning PG
Today the Project Gutenberg Distributed Proofreaders (DP) posted a package of texts that takes us over 10,000 completed titles. I’m very proud of our community of volunteers who have accomplished this fantastic number. The 10K package (listed below) showcases the wide range of our volunteers’ interests and talents.
There are examples of a number of our on-going large projects including the Slave Narratives (now over half done), the Bureau of American Ethnography reports, periodicals (this issue of Punch is the 280th that we’ve done), and the beginning of a new project, Linnaeus’ Species Plantarum. Children’s literature and Science Fiction are two popular areas and both are represented on this list. Shakespeare in French and John Evelyn’s classic work on the trees of England represent the classics. The Shanty Book has music to listen to, and the Encyclopedia of Needlework deserves its name, being so large and full of illustrations. Continue reading DP PRESS RELEASE: DP Releases 10,000th Book
The following is from slashdot.org. The numbered links are apparently images. Despite what others say on this list, it’s nice to see PG used in education like this.
ftblguy writes “MIT’s Open CourseWare program provides a great example of how the open source movement is impacting education. The Online Education Database also lists Project Gutenberg, Wikipedia, Linux, Firefox, and Google (?) as some of the other open source in education success stories. Open source and open access resources have changed how colleges, organizations, instructors, and prospective students use software, operating systems, and online documents for educational purposes. Each success story has served as a springboard to create more open source successes.”
— Michael Hart
Electronic publishing is replacing print, changing reading as well as society.
Cavemen used charcoal to write on walls. Ancient Egyptians scrawled hieroglyphics on papyrus scrolls. Medieval monks penned illuminated manuscripts on parchment. Then Johannes Gutenberg changed the world with movable type, making writing available to all.
Now a revolution is under way that is rapidly making ink on paper obsolete. Books as we know them are dead, many experts say.
But questions go unanswered as technology advances. How can we preserve the world’s knowledge in rapidly evolving electronic formats? How can copyrights be protected when books can be duplicated in the blink of an eye? Continue reading Word for Word
Most of you have heard of Johannes Gutenberg, the father of the modern printing and inventor of the movable type printing press which revolutionized the printing and dissemination of information. With Gutenberg’s invention, translations of Arabic, Persian and other texts from Asia were made available in major European languages. The world became smaller with the mass publication of books and newspapers. Even the average person could afford to buy a book, increase his or her knowledge, and have access to information. This gave birth to public libraries. It also encouraged scientific debate across continents. Knowledge and information was not the domain of a select few but was accessible to anyone who could read. Gutenberg’s invention was probably the single most important invention in the last 1000 years.
On July 4, 1971, Michael Stern Hart, a 25-year-old American with a vision started Project Gutenberg, an library project named after the father of modern printing. Project Gutenberg or PG as it is fondly referred to, celebrated its 35th anniversary in July this year.Extract taken from;
Islam Online, 1 Janauary 2007