Project Gutenberg 4 July 1971 - 4 July 2011_ Album
The Project Gutenberg EBook of Project Gutenberg 4 July 1971 - 4 July2011: Album, by Marie Lebert
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Title: Project Gutenberg 4 July 1971 - 4 July 2011: Album
Author: Marie Lebert
Release Date: July 4, 2011 [EBook #36616]
*** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK PROJECT GUTENBERG 4 JULY 1971-4 JULY 2011 ***
Produced by Al Haines
?Project Gutenberg 4 July 1971 - 4 July 2011: Album
4 July 1971 - 4 July 2011 >An album to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Project Gutenberg
This album is dedicated to all Project Gutenberg and Distributed
Proofreaders volunteers worldwide.
The first ebook was available on 4 July 1971, as eText #1 of ProjectGutenberg, a visionary project launched by Michael Hart to create freeelectronic versions of literary works and disseminate them worldwide.In the 16th century, Gutenberg allowed anyone to have print books for asmall cost. In the 21st century, Project Gutenberg would allow anyoneto have a digital library at no cost. Project Gutenberg got its firstboost with the invention of the web in 1990, and its second boost withthe creation of Distributed Proofreaders in 2000.
4 July 1971 > eText #1 > The United States Declaration of Independence
On 4 July 1971, Michael Hart keyed in The United States Declaration ofIndependence (signed on 4 July 1776) to the mainframe he was using, inupper case, because there was no lower case yet. The file was 5 K.Michael mentioned to the 100 users of the pre-internet of the timewhere the etext was stored—though without a hypertext link, becausethe web was still 20 years ahead. It was downloaded by six users.
4 July 1971 > As recalled by Michael Hart
As recalled by Michael Hart in January 2009: "On July 4, 1971, whilestill a freshman at the University of Illinois (UI), I decided to spendthe night at the Xerox Sigma V mainframe at the UI Materials ResearchLab, rather than walk miles home in the summer heat, only to come backhours later to start another day of school. I stopped on the way to doa little grocery shopping to get through the night, and day, and alongwith the groceries they put in the faux parchment copy of The U.S.Declaration of Independence that became quite literally the cornerstoneof Project Gutenberg. That night, as it turned out, I received my firstcomputer account—I had been hitchhiking on my brother's bestfriend's name, who ran the computer on the night shift. When I got afirst look at the huge amount of computer money I was given, I decidedI had to do something extremely worthwhile to do justice to what I hadbeen given. (…) As I emptied out groceries, the faux parchmentDeclaration of Independence fell out, and the light literally went onover my head like in the cartoons and comics… I knew what the futureof computing, and the internet, was going to be… 'The InformationAge.' The rest, as they say, is history." (NEF Interview)
July 1971 > Project Gutenberg's mission
Michael decided to use the huge amount of computer time he had beengiven to search the literary works that were stored in libraries, andto digitize these works. A book would become a continuous text fileinstead of a set of pages. Project Gutenberg's mission would be to putat everyone's disposal, in electronic versions, as many literary worksas possible for free.
1972 > The United States Bill of Rights
After keying in The United States Declaration of Independence in 1971,Michael typed in a longer text, The United States Bill of Rights, in1972, i.e. the first ten amendments added in 1789 to the Constitution(dated 1787) and defining the individual rights of the citizens and thedistinct powers of the Federal Government and the States.
1973 > The United States Constitution
A volunteer typed in The United States Constitution in 1973.
1974-1988 > The Bible
From one year to the next, disk space was getting larger, by thestandards of the time—there was no hard disk yet—, making itpossible to store larger files. Volunteers began typing in The Bible,with one individual book at a time, and a file for each book.
1974-1988 > The Collected Works of William Shakespeare
Michael typed in The Collected Works of William Shakespeare, with thehelp of some volunteers, one play at a time, and a file for each play.This edition of Shakespeare was never released, unfortunately, due tochanges in copyright law. Shakespeare's works belong to public domain,but comments and notes may be copyrighted, depending on thepublication date. Other editions of Shakespeare from public domain werereleased a few years later.
August 1989 > eBook #10 > The King James Bible
Its critics long considered Project Gutenberg as impossible on a largescale. But Michael went on keying book after book during many years,with the help of some volunteers. In August 1989, Project Gutenbergcompleted its 10th ebook, The King James Bible (1769), both testaments,and 5 M for all files.
1990 > The invention of the web
In 1990, there were 250,000 internet users. The standard was 360 Kdisks. with Tim Berners-Lee dealing with HTTP (HyperText TransferProtocol) and hyperlinks at CERN (European Center for Nuclear Research)in Geneva, Switzerland.
January 1991 > Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
In January 1991, Michael typed in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland(1865), by Lewis Carroll.
July 1991 > Peter Pan
In July 1991, Michael typed in Peter Pan (1904), by James M. Barrie.
These two classics of childhood literature each fit on one disk.
November 1993 > Mosaic, the first public browser
The first public browser, Mosaic, was released in November 1993. Itbecame easier to circulate etexts and recruit volunteers. From 1991 to1996, the number of ebooks doubled every year, with one ebook per monthin 1991, two ebooks per month in 1992, four ebooks per month in 1993,and eight ebooks per month in 1994.
January 1994 > eBook #100 > The Complete Works of William Shakespeare
In January 1994, Project Gutenberg released The Complete Works ofWilliam Shakespeare as eBook #100. Shakespeare wrote most works between1590 and 1613. The steady growth went on, with an average of eightebooks per month in 1994, 16 ebooks per month in 1995, and 32 ebooksper month in 1996.
June 1997 > The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood
In June 1997, Project Gutenberg released The Merry Adventures of Robin
Hood (1883), by Howard Pyle.
August 1997 > eBook #1000 > La Divina Commedia, by Dante
Project Gutenberg reached 1,000 ebooks in August 1997. eBook #1000 wasLa Divina Commedia (1321), by Dante Alighieri, in Italian, its originallanguage.
1997 > Three main sections
With the number of ebooks on the rise, three main sections were set up:(1) "Light Literature", such as Alice's Adventures in Wonderland,Through the Looking-Glass, Peter Pan and Aesop's Fables; (2) "HeavyLiterature", such as the Bible, Shakespeare's works, Moby Dick andParadise Lost; (3) "Reference Literature", such as Roget's Thesaurus,almanacs, and a set of encyclopedias and dictionaries. A more detailedclassification was released years later.
Project Gutenberg's goal has been more about selecting books intendedfor the general public than providing authoritative editions. Asexplained on the website in 1997: "We do not write for the reader whocares whether a certain phrase in Shakespeare has a ':' or a ';'between its clauses. We put our sights on a goal to release etexts thatare 99.9% accurate in the eyes of the general reader."
1998 > A collection in Plain Vanilla ASCII
The etexts, later called ebooks, were stored in the simplest way, usingthe low set of ASCII, called Plain Vanilla ASCII, for them to be readon any hardware and software. As a text file, a book could be easilycopied, indexed, searched, analyzed, and compared with other books.Pietro di Miceli was the sole driving force behind the ProjectGutenberg's website for nearly a decade, after making the first pagesin 1994.
August 1998 > "We consider etext to be a new medium."
As explained by Michael Hart in August 1998: "We consider etext to be anew medium, with no real relationship to paper, other than presentingthe same material, but I don't see how paper can possibly compete oncepeople each find their own comfortable way to etexts, especially inschools. (…) My own personal goal is to put 10,000 etexts on the Net[a goal reached in October 2003] and if I can get some major support, Iwould like to expand that to 1,000,000 and to also expand our potentialaudience for the average etext from 1.x% of the world population toover 10%, thus changing our goal from giving away 1,000,000,000,000etexts to 1,000 times as many, a trillion and a quadrillion in U.S.terminology." (NEF Interview)
May 1999 > eBook #2000 > Don Quijote, by Cervantes
Project Gutenberg reached 2,000 ebooks in May 1999. eBook #2000 was DonQuijote (1605), by Cervantes, in Spanish, its original language.
October 2000 > Distributed Proofreaders
Distributed Proofreaders was founded in October 2000 by Charles Franksto share the proofreading of ebooks between many volunteers. Volunteerschoose one of the digitized books available on the website andproofread a given page, or several pages, as they wish. It isrecommended they do one page per day if possible. It may not seem much,but with thousands of volunteers it really adds up.
December 2000 > eBook #3000 > À l'ombre des jeunes filles en fleurs, byMarcel Proust
Project Gutenberg reached 3,000 ebooks in December 2000. EBook #3000was À l'ombre des jeunes filles en fleurs (In the Shadow of Young Girlsin Flower), vol. 3 (1919), by Marcel Proust, in French, its originallanguage. From 1998 to 2000, there was an average of 36 new ebooks permonth.
August 2001 > Project Gutenberg Australia
Project Gutenberg Australia was launched in August 2001. The collectionincluded 500 ebooks in July 2005, and 1,500 ebooks in April 2007.
October 2001 > eBook #4000 > The French Immortals Series
Project Gutenberg reached 4,000 ebooks in October 2001. eBook #4000 wasThe French Immortals Series (1905), in English. This book is ananthology of short fictions by authors from the French Academy(Académie Française): Emile Souvestre, Pierre Loti, Hector Malot,Charles de Bernard, Alphonse Daudet, and others. In 2001, there was anaverage of 104 new ebooks per month.
April 2002 > eBook #5000 > The Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci
Project Gutenberg reached 5,000 ebooks in April 2002. eBook #5000 wasThe Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci, an English version of Leonardo'searly 16th-century writings in Italian. Since its release, this ebookhas constantly stayed in the Top 100 downloaded ebooks.
2002 > 1.44 M standard disks and zipped files
In 1991, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Peter Pan each fit on one360 K disk, the standard of the time. In 2002, the standard disk was1.44 M and could be compressed as a zipped file. A practical file sizeis about 3 million characters, more than long enough for the averagebook. The ASCII version of a 300-page novel is 1 M. A bulky book canfit in two ASCII files, that can be downloaded as is or zipped. 50hours on average are necessary to get an ebook selected, copyright-cleared, scanned, proofread, formatted, and assembled.
Spring 2002 > 25% of all public domain works
In spring 2002, the Project Gutenberg collection represented 25% of allpublic domain works freely available on the web and listed in theInternet Public Library (IPL). In 2002, there was an average of 203 newebooks per month.
November 2002 > The Human Genome Project
In November 2002, Project Gutenberg released the 75 files of The HumanGenome Project, with files of dozens or hundreds of megabytes, shortlyafter its initial release in February 2001 as a work from publicdomain.
September 2003 > Project Gutenberg Audio eBooks
In September 2003, Project Gutenberg Audio eBooks was launched as acollection of human-read ebooks, and the Sheet Music Subproject as acollection of digitized