Project GutenbergOne of the texts that I am working with for my dissertation is made available, free of charge, as an eText thanks to Project Gutenberg.  I just discovered that this egalitarian...

Project Gutenberg

One of the texts that I am working with for my dissertation is made available, free of charge, as an eText thanks to Project Gutenberg

I just discovered that this egalitarian effort is one we can all be a part of, helping to make books in public domain available to everyone. 

Here is the link to check it out, and a brief bit from the introduction to (hopefully) tempt you to participate:

Distributed Proofreaders provides a web-based method to ease the conversion of Public Domain books into e-books. By dividing the workload into individual pages, many volunteers can work on a book at the same time, which significantly speeds up the creation process.

During proofreading, volunteers are presented with a scanned page image and the corresponding OCR text on a single web page. This allows the text to be easily compared to the image, proofread, and sent back to the site. A second volunteer is then presented with the first volunteer's work and the same page image, verifies and corrects the work as necessary, and submits it back to the site. The book then similarly progresses through two formatting rounds using the same web interface.

Once all the pages have completed these steps, a post-processor carefully assembles them into an e-book, optionally makes it available to interested parties for 'smooth reading', and submits it to the Project Gutenberg archive.

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litteacher8's profile pic

litteacher8 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

There are several etexts available on enotes, and many of them are annotated.  Anything out of copyright, I guess.  I am looking forward to To Kill a Mockingbird being out of copyright!  Hah.  Someday I would love to have a searchable text.  Not during my career I guess.  I do have Kindle for Laptops, and although you have to pay for many of the books at least you can still search them.

accessteacher's profile pic

accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

Really great resource - thanks so much! Will definitely be using this Project Gutenberg to encourage students to enage with online texts of the works we study in class. And thanks to all of those volunteers who do the proofing! You are doing a great job that will be useful for eons to come. Keep up the good work!

amy-lepore's profile pic

amy-lepore | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

I discovered Project Gutenberg several years ago and have had it posted as a place my students can go to download the classics we read in class--it really helps out the pocketbook for those of us who read voraciously.

I never realized it was volunteers out in cyberspace who did all the proofing.  Neat!

jamie-wheeler's profile pic

Jamie Wheeler | College Teacher | eNotes Employee

Posted on

I've been proofreading on Project Gutenburg for a couple of months now. Most of the projects aren't great literature, but they're important for researchers. What I like about them is that they don't just scan a book in and leave all the errors the scanner introduces but actually proofread each book.

As Jamie suggested, give it a try. I just wish I had a large screen monitor!!

As Linda mentioned, Project Gutenberg is making eTexts of interest to scholars.  The one I am using, McGuffey's First Reader would not be available to me without their efforts.  It is no longer in print and the one copy I found as an antique offering was several hundred dollars.

As a poor scholar (is there any other kind?) I am grateful to the foundation and those who worked to make it available.  So, if you do choose to participate and you are given a text that may make you think, "Who on earth is going to read/care about this?" there is probably some poor post-grad student going without food and shelter trying to find that exact text, haunting libraries and used book stores... :) 

linda-allen's profile pic

linda-allen | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted on

I've been proofreading on Project Gutenburg for a couple of months now. Most of the projects aren't great literature, but they're important for researchers. What I like about them is that they don't just scan a book in and leave all the errors the scanner introduces but actually proofread each book.

As Jamie suggested, give it a try. I just wish I had a large screen monitor!!

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