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Project Gutenberg

Project Gutenberg eBooks Now Available to NZ Library Patrons

Overdrive announced this morning that it was expanding its support for free downloads from Project Gutenberg.

Member libraries in US, Canada, Australia and as of today New Zealand can offer their patrons any of 24 thousand eBooks that have been digitized and uploaded to Project Gutenberg. The eBooks are available through the same checkout service as OverDrive supplied eBooks, and they do not expire. The titles are always available for as many patrons that want them and can be read on Epub compatible devices, such as computers, mobile devices and eReaders.

Overdrive has more details: “The free access to these titles will expand and improve ‘Virtual Branch’ websites by making tens of thousands of EPUB eBooks immediately available without waitlists or holds.  Patrons will always be able to find favorite eBook titles to download from the library that won’t expire or count against their checkout limit.  Plus, library partners will be thrilled because these titles do count toward their circulation.”

Does your local library support OverDrive eBooks? If you’re not sure, uou can search OverDrive to find out (here).

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Michael Hart, Project Gutenberg Founder, Has Passed Away

Michael Hart, the founder of Project Gutenberg, died in his home on September 6th. He was 64 years old.

Hart, an early pioneer in digital publishing, was involved with eBooks for more than 40 years. He founded Project Gutenberg, one of the largest and longest running online literary projects. He made the first eBook when he typed the U.S. Declaration of Independence into a computer back in 1971.

Project Gutenberg explains more: “He had been granted access to significant computing power at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. On July 4 1971, after being inspired by a free printed copy of the U.S. Declaration of Independence, he decided to type the text into a computer, and to transmit it to other users on the computer network. From this beginning, the digitization and distribution of literature was to be Hart’s life’s work, spanning over 40 years.”

Hart’s mission was to make literature available to everyone. His reason: “Learning is its own reward. Nothing I can say is better than that.”

Via Sarah Weinman.

Marie Lebert to Write an In-Depth History of eBooks on the Project Gutenberg Blog

A few days ago I posted about a 15 page guide on the History of Project Gutenberg. You might recall that at the time I recommended keeping an eye on the PG blog. Mike Cook announced yesterday that he will be posting  translated copies of Marie Lebert’s series of articles on the history of eBooks.

The series consists of over 40 articles and is the culmination of 12 years of research and involved over 100 people world-wide. The articles had been previously been published in French (her native tongue). The first article, titled eBooks: 1991 – From ASCII to Unicode, was posted today on the Project Gutenberg blog.


40 Years of Project Gutenberg: A Mini Guide

Yesterday marked the 40th Anniversary of Project Gutenberg, the collaborative digitization effort. In honor of this milestone, Mike Cook, the editor of the PG Newsletter, posted a 15 page mini-guide written by Marie Lebert on the history of Project Gutenberg. The guide is only 15 pages long, and it only touches on the most important details.

Mike also plans to post a more detailed history of the project, so it might be worth it to check back on the PG blog over the next few days.

The 40th anniversary of PG also coincides with the start of World eBook Fair 20112.

via Project Gutenberg


Project Gutenberg Releases Its 30,000th English Language eBook

Michael Hart, the head of Project Gutenberg, announced today that the English language collection at PG now has a grand total of 30,000 eBooks. The title lucky enough to be remembered for this milestone is: The Religions of Ancient Egypt and Babylonia, by Archibald Henry Sayce.

Of course, you might want to put this into perspective. Google Books now has how many millions of public domain eBooks in its collection?

via Project Gutenberg

Project Gutenberg Announced Its 40 thousandth eBook Conversion

This week Project Gutenberg has completed the digital conversion of its 40 thousandth ebook. This comes just in time for “Read An eBook Week,” running from March 6-12.

Project Gutenberg is a non-profit group started in 1971. Its goal was to create free electronic versions of literary works and disseminate them worldwide. Its first title, the The United States Declaration of Independence, was released on 4 July 1971. Withing a week it was downloaded by 6 users, an impressive number for pre-Internet days.

Project Gutenberg completed its 10th ebook in 1989, and its 100th in 1994. This year, in time for its 40th anniversary, PG has finished 40 thousand conversions. Counting the contributions of its partners, PG now offers 100 thousand titles for download.

Project Gutenberg