Project Gutenberg was the first project focused on creating and distributing ebooks for free. It was founded in 1971 by Michael S. Hart as a volunteer effort. Long before the existence of today’s version of the internet, Mr. Hart decided that the knowledge contained in classical works is too important and valuable not to be available freely without any strings attached to the public.
Currently, there are almost 50,000 ebooks available at Project Gutenberg.
It is possible to search the Project Gutenberg catalog online in a number of ways:
- alphabetically by authors
- alphabetically by titles
- by special categories — human-read audio books, computer-generated audio books, recorded music, sheet music, still pictures, other recordings, moving pictures, data, compilations
- by recently published ebooks — last 24 hours, 7 days, 30 days
- by top 100 ebooks by numbers of downloads
- by browsing the ebook catalog
Most ebooks are published in English, but there are quite a few other languages in which ebooks are published, too. There are currently 16 languages listed in which more than 50 ebooks are published.
You can also search Project Gutenberg’s content full-text using Google Search.
You can then search for a book within this offline catalog.
For example, if you search for The Complete Works of William Shakespeare published in English, you get the following result:
The Complete Works of William Shakespeare 100
The number next to the title is the publication number at Project Gutenberg.
This is a handy system, because to read the ebook online or to download the plain-text, HTML or PDF version of the ebook, all you need to do is to go to:
number, put the actual publication number of the ebook into the URL address. So for the above listed Complete Works of William Shakespeare, the actual link is: https://www.gutenberg.org/files/100.
And here is the link to Mr. Hart’s vision of Project Gutenberg.
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