Heal Your Church WebSite

Teaching, rebuking, correcting & training in righteous web design.

Happy Birthday Project Gutenberg

Project Gutenberg is the brainchild of Michael Hart, who on July 4, 1971 decided that it would be a really good idea if lots of famous and important texts were freely available to everyone in the world. Starting with an all-caps version of the Declaration of Independence

Since then, he has been joined by hundreds of volunteers who share his vision. Now, more than thirty years later, Project Gutenberg has the following figures (as of November 8th 2002): 203 New eBooks released during October 2002, 1975 New eBooks produced in 2002 (they were 1240 in 2001) for a total of 6267 Total Project Gutenberg eBooks.

What does this mean for you and your church web site? Compelling content. For example, some of the documents freely accessible from their digital library include:

How would you implement this? Well, that’s up to you and your creativity. And to the good folks who’ve volunteered their time to the Distributed Proofreaders leg of the project.

Now compare this to Microsoft’s annoucement yesterday of their own “Free eBooks” initiative. One which BlackMask Online refers to in an article yesterday as “Passport on, give us your data, let us control your device, Windows-only, here’s some free best-sellers if you have any doubts about our good intentions” measure.

Indeed. Why don’t we shelve this topic for 32 years and see how it plays out.


  1. Thanks for this, Dean. Project Gutenberg is a great resource.

  2. Hi Dean,

    Good stuff! And – grrrr- Micro$oft. Typical marketing-driven company. “It’s free! No, really! Well, it’ll cost you your privacy, but – hey! – you get free stuff!”

  3. If you like Project Gutenberg (and i do), you’ll LOVE the Christian Classics Ethereal Library (www.ccel.org), sort of a Project Gutenburg for the church run out of Calvin College. In addition to a broad variety of classic texts on spirituality, a number of them have audio versions that you can download. And don’t let your MP3 player be fooled like my Rio was: you can just rename the .mpga’s to .mp3′s. A very hot two hours mowing the lawn Saturday was much improved by listening to a sermon by Jonathan Edwards (no, not the one you’re thinking of, though it might have been appropriate!).