In The Beginning

December 14th, 2005 · No Comments
by Booksquare

Long before Google was a glimmer in its founders’ eyes, years before Yahoo! made the scene, heck, possibly a decade or two before publishers caught on, there was a a digital revolution in publishing: Project Gutenberg. Way back when computers took up spaces the size the barns, a group of people were hand-typing (for the youth of today, that is a process where you rekey a work, letter for letter) books and storing them electronically. And this before storage was cheap and plentiful.

Then, the dream was fantastic:

Nobody paid any attention to it at all for the first 17 years. The only attention I got was, “Oh, you’re the guy who wants to put Shakespeare on the computer. Aren’t you crazy.” I talked about laptop computers that would hold the entire Library of Congress. The idea is the same today; it’s just that the means of accomplishing the idea have accelerated.

Focusing on public domain works, the Project continues to thrive. We take advantage of this beneficial service several times a year. While Google may be digitizing the world’s libraries, it was Project Gutenberg that showed them the way.

File Under: Our Continuing Fascination With Copyright · The Future of Publishing