Project Gutenberg (PG) is a volunteer effort to digitize and archive
cultural works, to "encourage the creation and distribution of
eBooks". It was founded in 1971 by
Michael S. Hart
Michael S. Hart and is the
oldest digital library. Most of the items in its collection are the
full texts of public domain books. The project tries to make these as
free as possible, in long-lasting, open formats that can be used on
almost any computer. As of 23 March 2018[update], Project
Gutenberg reached 56,750 items in its collection of free eBooks.
The releases are available in plain text but, wherever possible, other
formats are included, such as HTML, PDF, EPUB, MOBI, and Plucker. Most
releases are in the English language, but many non-English works are
also available. There are multiple affiliated projects that are
providing additional content, including regional and language-specific
Project Gutenberg is also closely affiliated with Distributed
Proofreaders, an Internet-based community for proofreading scanned
1.1 Affiliated organizations
2 CD and
3 Scope of collection
7 Affiliated projects
7.1 List of affiliated projects
8 See also
10 External links
Michael Hart (left) and Gregory Newby (right) of Project Gutenberg,
Project Gutenberg was started by Michael Hart in 1971 with the
digitization of the United States Declaration of Independence.
Hart, a student at the University of Illinois, obtained access to a
Xerox Sigma V mainframe computer in the university's Materials
Research Lab. Through friendly operators, he received an account with
a virtually unlimited amount of computer time; its value at that time
has since been variously estimated at $100,000 or $100,000,000.
Hart has said he wanted to "give back" this gift by doing something
that could be considered to be of great value. His initial goal was to
make the 10,000 most consulted books available to the public at little
or no charge, and to do so by the end of the 20th century.
This particular computer was one of the 15 nodes on ARPANET, the
computer network that would become the Internet. Hart believed that
computers would one day be accessible to the general public and
decided to make works of literature available in electronic form for
free. He used a copy of the United States Declaration of Independence
in his backpack, and this became the first
Project Gutenberg e-text.
He named the project after Johannes Gutenberg, the fifteenth century
German printer who propelled the movable type printing press
By the mid-1990s, Hart was running
Project Gutenberg from Illinois
Benedictine College. More volunteers had joined the effort. All of the
text was entered manually until 1989 when image scanners and optical
character recognition software improved and became more widely
available, which made book scanning more feasible. Hart later came
to an arrangement with Carnegie Mellon University, which agreed to
administer Project Gutenberg's finances. As the volume of e-texts
increased, volunteers began to take over the project's day-to-day
operations that Hart had run.
Starting in 2004, an improved online catalog made Project Gutenberg
content easier to browse, access and hyperlink.
Project Gutenberg is
now hosted by ibiblio at the University of North Carolina at Chapel
Italian volunteer Pietro Di Miceli developed and administered the
Project Gutenberg website and started the development of the
Project online Catalog. In his ten years in this role (1994–2004),
the Project web pages won a number of awards, often being featured in
"best of the Web" listings, and contributing to the project's
Hart died on 6 September 2011 at his home in Urbana, Illinois at the
age of 64.
In 2000, a non-profit corporation, the
Project Gutenberg Literary
Archive Foundation, Inc. was chartered in
Mississippi to handle the
project's legal needs. Donations to it are tax-deductible. Long-time
Project Gutenberg volunteer Gregory Newby became the foundation's
Also in 2000, Charles Franks founded
Distributed Proofreaders (DP),
which allowed the proofreading of scanned texts to be distributed
among many volunteers over the Internet. This effort greatly increased
the number and variety of texts being added to Project Gutenberg, as
well as making it easier for new volunteers to start contributing. DP
became officially affiliated with
Project Gutenberg in 2002. As of
2007[update], the 10,000+ DP-contributed books comprised almost a
third of the nearly 56,000 books in Project Gutenberg.
In August 2003,
Project Gutenberg created a CD containing
approximately 600 of the "best" e-books from the collection. The CD is
available for download as an ISO image. When users are unable to
download the CD, they can request to have a copy sent to them, free of
In December 2003, a
DVD was created containing nearly 10,000 items. At
the time, this represented almost the entire collection. In early
DVD also became available by mail.
In July 2007, a new edition of the
DVD was released containing over
17,000 books, and in April 2010, a dual-layer
DVD was released,
containing nearly 30,000 items.
The majority of the DVDs, and all of the CDs mailed by the project,
were recorded on recordable media by volunteers. However, the new dual
layer DVDs were manufactured, as it proved more economical than having
volunteers burn them. As of October 2010[update], the project has
mailed approximately 40,000 discs. As of 2017, the delivery of free
CDs has been discontinued, though the
ISO image is still available for
Scope of collection
Project Gutenberg publications from 1994 until 2015
As of August 2015[update],
Project Gutenberg claimed over 56,000
items in its collection, with an average of over 50 new e-books being
added each week. These are primarily works of literature from the
Western cultural tradition. In addition to literature such as novels,
poetry, short stories and drama,
Project Gutenberg also has cookbooks,
reference works and issues of periodicals. The Project Gutenberg
collection also has a few non-text items such as audio files and
Most releases are in English, but there are also significant numbers
in many other languages. As of April 2016[update], the
non-English languages most represented are: French, German, Finnish,
Dutch, Italian, and Portuguese.
Whenever possible, Gutenberg releases are available in plain text,
mainly using US-
ASCII character encoding but frequently extended to
ISO-8859-1 (needed to represent accented characters in French and
Scharfes s in German, for example). Besides being copyright-free, the
requirement for a Latin (character set) text version of the release
has been a criterion of Michael Hart's since the founding of Project
Gutenberg, as he believes this is the format most likely to be
readable in the extended future. Out of necessity, this criterion
has had to be extended further for the sizable collection of texts in
East Asian languages such as Chinese and Japanese now in the
UTF-8 is used instead.
Other formats may be released as well when submitted by volunteers.
The most common non-
ASCII format is HTML, which allows markup and
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Beginning in 2009, the
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HTML (when not
EPUB and plucker.
Michael Hart said in 2004, "The mission of
Project Gutenberg is
simple: 'To encourage the creation and distribution of ebooks'".
His goal was, "to provide as many e-books in as many formats as
possible for the entire world to read in as many languages as
possible". Likewise, a project slogan is to "break down the bars of
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With the U.S. annual copyright term set to expire in 2019, items
published in 1923 will be added to the public domain effective January
As of 28 February 2018[update],
Project Gutenberg is no
longer accessible within Germany to comply with a court order
regarding 18 German texts contained on the site. Although they were
public domain in the U.S., the court recognized the infringement of
copyrights still active in Germany, and asserted that the Project
Gutenburg website was under German jurisdiction because it hosts
content in the German language.
The text files use the format of plain text encoded in
wrapped at 65–70 characters, with paragraphs separated by a double
line break. In recent decades, the resulting relatively bland
appearance and the lack of a markup possibility have often been
perceived as a drawback of this format.[dubious – discuss]
Project Gutenberg attempts to address this by making many texts
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In December 1994,
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documenting which of several (conflicting) versions of a text has been
the one digitized.
The selection of works (and editions) available has been determined by
popularity, ease of scanning, being out of copyright, and other
factors; this would be difficult to avoid in any crowd-sourced
In March 2004, a new initiative was begun by Michael Hart and John S.
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initial name for this project was
Project Gutenberg 2 (PG II), which
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project's trademarked name for a commercial venture.
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discussion of the project and its legal side began in April 2012. The
word Rutenberg is a combination of words "Russia" and "Gutenberg".
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Gutenberg Consortia Center. Unlike the Gutenberg Project itself,
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the Nordic countries.
Wikisource or Project Sourceberg
^ Hart, Michael S. "
United States Declaration of Independence
United States Declaration of Independence by
United States". Project Gutenberg. Retrieved 17 February 2007.
^ a b Hart, Michael S. (23 October 2004). "Gutenberg Mission Statement
by Michael Hart". Project Gutenberg. Archived from the original on 14
July 2007. Retrieved 15 August 2007.
^ a b c d Thomas, Jeffrey (20 July 2007). "
Project Gutenberg Digital
Library Seeks To Spur Literacy". U.S. Department of State, Bureau of
International Information Programs. Archived from the original on 14
March 2008. Retrieved 20 August 2007.
Project Gutenberg Releases e
Project Gutenberg News.
25 February 2017. Archived from the original on 25 February
Internet Timeline". Retrieved 17 February 2009.
^ Hart, Michael S. (August 1992). "Gutenberg:The History and
Philosophy of Project Gutenberg". Archived from the original on 29
November 2006. Retrieved 5 December 2006.
^ Day, B. H.; Wortman, W. A. (2000).
Literature in English: A Guide
for Librarians in the Digital Age. Chicago: Association of College and
Research Libraries. p. 170. ISBN 0-8389-8081-3.
^ Vara, Vauhini (5 December 2005). "
Project Gutenberg Fears No
Google". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 15 August 2007.
^ "Gutenberg:Credits". Project Gutenberg. 8 June 2006. Archived from
the original on 11 July 2007. Retrieved 15 August 2007.
^ "Michael_S._Hart". Project Gutenberg. 6 September 2011. Archived
from the original on 17 September 2011. Retrieved 25 September
^ a b Hane, Paula (2004). "
Project Gutenberg Progresses". Information
Today. 21 (5). Archived from the original on 30 September 2007.
Retrieved 20 August 2007.
^ Staff (August 2007). "The
Distributed Proofreaders Foundation".
Distributed proofreaders. Archived from the original on 21 August
2007. Retrieved 10 August 2007.
^ "The CD and
DVD Project". Gutenberg. 2012-07-24. Archived from the
original on 5 October 2012. Retrieved 2012-10-07.
^ According to gutindex-2006 Archived 13 November 2012 at the Wayback
Machine., there were 1,653 new
Project Gutenberg items posted in the
first 33 weeks of 2006. This averages out to 50.09 per week. This does
not include additions to affiliated projects.
^ For a listing of the categorized books, see: Staff (28 April 2007).
"Category:Bookshelf". Project Gutenberg. Archived from the original on
11 July 2007. Retrieved 18 August 2007.
Project Gutenberg Sheet Music Manchester-by-the-Sea Public
Library". Manchesterpl.org. Archived from the original on 14 July
2014. Retrieved 2014-07-14.
Project Gutenberg FAQs allude to this. See, for example:
File Formats FAQ". Archived from the original on 2 November
2012. Retrieved 2 November 2012. You can view or edit
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^ "The Guide to PGTEI". Project Gutenberg. 12 April 2005. Archived
from the original on 18 May 2013. Retrieved 7 February 2013.
Project Gutenberg RST Manual". Project Gutenberg. 25 November
2010. Archived from the original on 26 January 2013. Retrieved 8
Help on Bibliographic Record". Project Gutenberg. 4 April 2010.
Archived from the original on 17 September 2011. Retrieved 3 September
Project Gutenberg Weekly Newsletter". Project Gutenberg. 10
December 2003. Archived from the original on 11 May 2011. Retrieved 8
^ Perry, Ruth (2007). "Postscript about the Public Libraries". Modern
Language Association. Archived from the original on 9 August 2007.
Retrieved 20 August 2007.
^ Lorenzen, Michael (2002). "Deconstructing the Philanthropic Library:
The Sociological Reasons Behind Andrew Carnegie's Millions to
Libraries". Modern Language Association. Archived from the original on
13 August 2007. Retrieved 20 August 2007.
^ Information Technology and Collection Management for Library User
^ a b "Amazon charges Kindle users for free Project Gutenberg
e-books". Washington Post. Retrieved 2018-03-03.
^ "Court Order to Block Access in Germany".
Project Gutenberg Library
Archive Foundation. Retrieved 2018-03-04.
^ Boumphrey, Frank (July 2000). "European
Literature and Project
Gutenberg". Cultivate Interactive. Archived from the original on 14
July 2007. Retrieved 15 August 2007.
^ Michael Sperberg-McQueen, "Textual Criticism and the Text Encoding
Initiative", 1994, "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 4
March 2016. Retrieved 2015-07-28. , retrieved July 25, 2015.
^ Hoffmann, Sebastian (2005). Grammaticalization And English Complex
Prepositions: A Corpus-based Study (1st ed.). Routledge.
ISBN 0-415-36049-8. OCLC 156424479.
^ Executive director of the World e
^ Staff (17 July 2007). "Gutenberg:Partners, Affiliates and
Resources". Project Gutenberg. Archived from the original on 26
September 2007. Retrieved 20 August 2007.
^ Staff (24 January 2007). "
Project Gutenberg of Australia". Archived
from the original on 14 August 2006. Retrieved 10 August 2006.
Project Gutenberg Canada". Archived from the original on 18 January
2016. Retrieved 20 August 2007.
^ Staff (2004). "
Project Gutenberg Consortia Center". Archived from
the original on 9 August 2007. Retrieved 20 August 2007.
^ Staff (1994). "Projekt Gutenberg-DE". Spiegel Online. Archived from
the original on 30 June 2007. Retrieved 20 August 2007.
^ Staff (2005). "
Project Gutenberg Europe". EUnet Yugoslavia. Archived
from the original on 20 August 2007. Retrieved 20 August 2007.
^ Kirps, Jos (22 May 2007). "
Project Gutenberg Luxembourg". Archived
from the original on 29 September 2007. Retrieved 20 August
^ Riikonen, Tapio (28 February 2005). "Projekti Lönnrot". Archived
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^ Staff. "
Project Gutenberg of the Philippines". Archived from the
original on 24 August 2007. Retrieved 20 August 2007.
Project Gutenberg Russia". Archived from the original on 24 May
2012. Retrieved 5 April 2012.
^ a b "Partners, Affiliates and Resources". Archived from the original
on 10 July 2017. Retrieved February 27, 2016.
Project Gutenberg Self-
Publishing Press". Archived from the
original on 2 March 2016. Retrieved February 27, 2016.
Project Gutenberg launches self-publishing library". RT Book
Reviews. Retrieved February 27, 2016.
^ "Domain Availability - Registration Information". GoDaddy. Archived
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^ Staff. "
Project Gutenberg of Taiwan". Archived from the original on
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