Distributed Proofreaders 15th Anniversary

by Michael Cook on January 27, 2016

Distributed Proofreaders celebrates its 15th Anniversary and digitizes 30,000th public domain book.

Succasunna, NJ — Distributed Proofreaders (http://www.pgdp.net) is celebrating both its 15th Anniversary and the digitization of its 30,000th unique public domain e-book. Founded 1 October 2000, Distributed Proofreaders is a crowdsourced website whose volunteers convert books to electronic formats and make them available for free distribution via Project Gutenberg.

The 30,000 e-books we’ve produced represent a wide variety of literature including Science, Technology, Medicine, Poetry, Archaeology, Folklore, Literature, Drama, Music, History, Autobiography, Political Science, and General and Juvenile Fiction. Titles include the works of Dickens and Shakespeare, Jane Austen and Anthony Trollope, Molière and Goethe. And Distributed Proofreaders produces e-books in several languages in addition to English, including French, German, Italian, Spanish, Tagalog, Esperanto, and others.

About Distributed Proofreaders

Established 15 years ago, Distributed Proofreaders uses crowdsourcing to convert public domain paper books into e-books and distributes them to the world via Project Gutenberg. Distributed Proofreaders is a recognized affiliate of Project Gutenberg and is the main source of Project Gutenberg’s e-books. All our proofreaders, managers, developers, etc. are unpaid volunteers.

Distributed Proofreaders has over 129,000 registered volunteers from countries around the globe, including the United States, Canada, Britain, France, Spain, Germany, Australia, and New Zealand. It uses a crowdsourced solution to digitize the books, with each volunteer doing a specific portion of the work, sometimes no more than proofreading a single page.

Once the images of the pages of a book have been scanned into a computer, those scans are converted to text by optical character recognition programs. Then the volunteers proofread and correct the computer text page by page using a specially-created web-based interface that divides the workload into individual pages so that many volunteers can work on a book at the same time. This process significantly speeds up the digitization process, and, since the volunteers are situated in different countries, the work goes on round the clock.

Distributed Proofreaders has many different types of volunteers. Some scan books and prepare them for proofreading, some proofread page by page, some format the pages (marking text that is bold or italic, etc.), some prepare the final full book (including illustrations and even music), and some read the ready-to-be submitted book to make sure that we haven’t missed anything.

Our work won’t stop at 30,000 — we’ll continue to work together to digitize copyright-free e-books. And we welcome new volunteers!

General Manager and Distributed Proofreaders Foundation

In keeping with the international culture of this organization, the General Manager is Canadian and runs the operational aspect of this large initiative from Toronto. The Distributed Proofreaders Foundation Board of Trustees is currently made up of people from the United States, New Zealand, and Germany.

For more information, please contact:

Linda Hamilton,
General Manager,
Distributed Proofreaders
dp-genmgr at pgdp.net

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