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Apr 12 2007   1:18PM GMT

Project Gutenberg: More than 19,000 free ebooks from the public domain

GuyPardon Guy Pardon Profile: GuyPardon

Project Gutenberg is the first and largest single collection of free electronic books, or eBooks. Michael Hart founded Project Gutenberg when he was granted an account with $100,000,000 of computer time in 1971 by the operators of the Xerox Sigma V mainframe at the Materials Research Lab at the University of Illinois.

PG_Button_104x40.gifThe Project Gutenberg Philosophy is “to make information, books and other materials available to the general public in forms a vast majority of the computers, programs and people can easily read, use, quote, and search.”

Only books that have entered the public domain are entered into the database of 19,000 titles, of which nearly 2 million are downloaded every month. That means the database is full of the classics of Western literature, with names like Twain, Doyle, Shakespeare, Dickens, Kleiser, Poe, Wells, Austen and Verne dominating the top 10 most downloaded list.

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