Project Gutenberg Founder Michael Hart Dies at 63

Michael Stearn Hart, founder of Project Gutenberg and inventor of the electronic book, died this week at age 63.

The importance of Project Gutenberg to the history – and to the future – of books would be difficult to overemphasize.

Librarians, archivists, and computer-owning bibliophiles have Hart to thank for his visionary project to enlist the aid of thousands of volunteers around to globe to eventually digitize (and proofread) the texts of every copyright-free book ever published – and make these e-books available to anyone free of charge. (Hart launched his project before Google and Amazon.com decided they’d try something similar as a way of making money off the idea.)

Hart’s obituary is here. Wikipedia’s entry about Project Gutenberg is here.

Found via Shelf Awareness

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