Project Gutenberg

Chris Steins's picture
Project GutenbergFor those Tech Talk readers who have not yet heard about Project Gutenberg, this is an amazing project that defines the future of the Internet.

Project Gutenberg is the first and largest single collection of free electronic books. They have published over 12,000 eBooks through the collective efforts of hundreds of volunteers. The Magna Carta was the project's 10,000 e-book, published in October, 2003.

Most of the ebooks are older works that are in the public domain, and all can be freely downloaded, read and distributed. Every few months I search their collection for new works that interest me and download them to my Treo 600 for reading when I'm in transit (or in particularly boring meetings).

The founder, Michael Hart, has an essay, History and Philosophy of Project Gutenberg that still is very relevant today, and writer Marie Lebert recently published an article about the effort as well.

It's almost overwhelming to just look as the list of e-books posted in the last 24 hours, such as this title published on August 25th, Title Rides on Railways, by Samuel Sidney (1813-1882), which includes images of rail stations and stories "amusing, instructive, and suggestive to travellers who, not caring particularly where they go, or how long they stay at any particular place, may wish to know something of the towns and districts through which they pass, on their way to Wales, the Lakes of Cumberland, or the Highlands of Scotland."

Birkhamstead Station

I've searched several times for urban planning-related titles. Unfortunately, there is only this one:

Down with the Cities, by Tadashi Nakashima

However, to be honest, I can't think of too many non-copyrighted works about urban planning. Can you? We might consider recommending them for inclusion, if we do.
Chris Steins is co-founder and co-editor-in-chief of Planetizen.


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Book cover of Where Things Are from Near to Far

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