In 1971, Michael S. Hart invented the eBook by typing the United States Declaration of Independence on a mainframe computer. This was the start of Project Gutenberg, an ambitious effort to create a free public library of 10,000 electronic books or eBooks.
In October 2003, Project Gutenberg added the 10,000th eBook to it's collection, The Magna Carta. Not content to rest, Hart announced a new goal: "We want to grow the collection to one million free eBooks, and distribute them to one billion people, for a total of one quadrillion eBooks to be given away by the end of the year 2015."
Prof. Hart will give two presentations in the San Francisco area this week, outlining his plans for the future, as well as reflecting on the past and present state of eBooks. Both will feature CDs and DVDs with thousands of eBooks, free for duplication or redistribution.
- Wednesday December 10 7:00 pm at the Golden Gate Club in the Presidio of San Francisco.
- Thursday December 11 7:00 pm at the Berkeley Public Library.
Both talks are free, and open to the public and members of the press. Prof. Hart will also be taping television appearances, and participating in a Project Gutenberg capacity building conference hosted at the Internet Archive over the weekend.
Prof. Hart will discuss his invention of the eBook, and explain why he does not believe that simple scans or raw OCR (optical character recognition) output are true eBooks. He will explain advantages of eBooks over paper books, and show how a rich and vibrant public domain is the best possible path to creating greater opportunities for literacy.
ABOUT PROJECT GUTENBERG
Project Gutenberg's mission is to break down the bars of ignorance and illiteracy, by creating and distributing free eBooks. During 2003, an average of over 80 new eBooks per week have been created, with the help of thousands of volunteers from around the world.
The collection includes dozens of file formats, and 21 different languages, with over 46,000 files in 110 gigabytes. Project Gutenberg seeks to include all of the world's great literature, in all languages. Volunteers choose books that interest them, and work to turn books into eBooks by scanning or typing, then proofreading and preparing the final eBook. Nearly all Project Gutenberg eBooks are available in plain text format, in addition to any others, to insure their usability for future generations.
ABOUT THE PROJECT GUTENBERG LITERARY ARCHIVE FOUNDATION
The Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation (PGLAF) was formed in 2000 to operate as the legal entity supporting Project Gutenberg. PGLAF receives donations, employs Prof. Hart and part-time office staff, and maintains organizational records. Dr. Gregory Newby volunteers as PGLAF's CEO.
"We are pleased to host our first capacity building conference, and excited about Michael Hart's presentations in the San Francisco area. As Project Gutenberg embarks on the next phase in its creation of free eBooks, we will work to support a growing volunteer base, more partnerships, and a broader range of literary works," said Dr. Newby.
PGLAF is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION:Email inquiries to "firstname.lastname@example.org". Prof. Hart will be available for telephone interviews and personal appearances while in San Francisco. From there, he will be visiting Hawaii, then Europe in February for scheduled presentations to UNESCO and other EU bodies, to encourage placing national literatures online and resisting copyright extension.
Reach the PGLAF business office at (801) 596 1887.
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