Conservation DistList Archives [Date] [Subject] [Author] [SEARCH]

Subject: Project Gutenberg

Project Gutenberg

From: Walter Henry <whenry>
Date: Wednesday, May 23, 1990
The following message appeared in PACS-L and may be of some interest:

    Date: 11 May 90
    From: "Michael S. Hart" <HART%UIUCVMD.BITNET [at] Forsythe__Stanford__EDU>
    Subject:      Information About Project Gutenberg

    The following is posted in response to the flood of inquiries we
    have had recently from members of various listservers which directly
    or indirectly carry messages concerning Project Gutenberg.  My
    apologies to those whose names appear on more than one of these
    lists as you receive two copies. ***************

    The purpose of Project Gutenberg is to encourage the creation and
    distribution of English language electronic texts.  We prefer the
    texts to be made available in pure ASCII formats so they would be
    most easily converted to use in various hardware and software.  A
    file of this nature will also be made available in various markup
    formats as it is used in various environments.  However we accept
    files in ANY format, and will do our best to provide them in all.

    We assist in the selection of hardware and software as well as in
    their installation and use.  We also assist in scanning, spelling
    checkers, proofreading, etc.  Our goal is to provide a collection of
    10,000 of the most used books by the year 2000, and to reduce, and
    we do mean reduce, the effective costs to the user to a price of
    approximately one cent per book, plus the cost of media and of
    shipping and handling.  Thus we hope the entire cost of libraries of
    this nature will be about $100 plus the price of the disks and
    CDROMS and mailing.  Currently the price of making CDROMS is said to
    be about $2,000 for mastering and then $5 per copy.  I have it on
    fairly good authority that these prices are negotiable, and as
    actual cost, the price per CDROM is about $2.

    To create such a library would take less than one out of ten of a
    conservatively estimated 100,000 libraries in the U.S. alone:  if
    each created one full text.  If all the libraries co-operated, it
    would be less than 10% of a volume per library.  If there were 10
    members of each library creating electronic texts, then each only
    has to do 1% of a single book to create a truly public library of
    10,000 books which would each be usable on any of the 100 million
    computers available today.

    So far most electronic text work has been carried out by private,
    semi-private or incorporated individuals, with several library or
    college collections being created, but being made mostly from the
    works entered by individuals on their own time and expense.  This
    labor has largely been either a labor of love, or a labor made by
    those who see future libraries as computer searchable collections
    which can be transmitted via disks, phone lines or other media at a
    fraction of the cost in money, time and paper as in present day
    paper media.  These electronic books will not have to be rebound,
    reprinted, reshelved, etc.  They will not have to be reserved and
    restricted to use by one patron at a time.  All materials will be
    available to all patrons from all locations at all times.

    The use of this type of library will benefit even more greatly in
    the presence of librarians, as the amount of information shall be so
    much greater than that available in present day libraries that the
    patron will benefit even more greatly than today from assists in
    their pursuit of knowledge.

    Therefore, we call on all interested parties to get involved with
    the creation and distribution of electronic texts, whether it's a
    commitment to typing, scanning, proofreading, collecting, or what
    ever your pleasure might be.

    Please do not hesitate to send any e-texts you might find to this
    address.  If you prefer sending disks, a mailing address follows.

    We hope to be thanking you soon for your participation.

    405 WEST ELM ST.
    URBANA, IL 61801

    Thank you for your interest,

    Michael S. Hart, Director, Project Gutenberg
    National Clearinghouse for Machine Readable Texts


                   Conservation DistList Instance 3:8
                  Distributed: Wednesday, May 23, 1990
                        Message Id: cdl-3-8-005
Received on Wednesday, 23 May, 1990

[Search all CoOL documents]