50 Years at Project Gutenberg

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On July 4, 1971, Michael S. Hart, who had been given access to a mainframe computer at the University of Illinois, typed the United States Declaration of Independence into the machine and sent it off to about 100 users via ARPANET – the infant Internet. And so the first e-book was born, along with Hart’s vision of making literature “as free as the air we breathe”: Project Gutenberg. Half a century later, PG offers readers over 65,000 free e-books in the U.S. public domain, available in a wide variety of formats and languages.

In the first couple of decades, Michael typed in most of the books himself in his spare time. The 10th e-book, released in 1989, was the King James Bible. By 1994, there were 100 books at PG – the 100th e-book was The Complete Works of William Shakespeare. Just three years later came…

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3 comments on “50 Years at Project Gutenberg

  1. Wow! Has it been that long? I guess it has. Thanks – this brightened my day in a nostalgic kind of way.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Mudpuddle says:

    HOORAY GUTENBERG!!! i run a book blog and it would be impossible w/o the existence of the Gutenberg Project and the far-seeing persons who made it possible. Many thanks for their valiant efforts!!!

    Liked by 1 person

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