Ten Years of Producing Public Domain Ebooks
Today it’s been 10 years since Distributed Proofreaders opened its doors to the public. Our aim is the same now as it was back then: producing electronic versions of public domain books that are free for everybody to enjoy.
As our former General Manager, Juliet Sutherland has been the guiding hand of Distributed Proofreaders over the course of many changes and several years. Currently she is the DP Foundation’s Chair, ensuring that Distributed Proofreaders will continue in its mission for years to come. She shares with us these reflections:
It’s hard for me to believe that DP has reached its 10 year anniversary. Looking back (DP front page from 2001) and looking forward I see a history and future of remarkable dedication to the site and to our purpose of transcribing public domain books. Over 18,000 books is a significant contribution to preserving and making accessible the written works of many countries and languages. To my mind, as important as our actual product is, the community that has grown around our production process is equally important. DP has been blessed with so many people who have dedicated large chunks of time. It is inevitable that over a period of 10 years some have moved on to other things. DP has been fortunate that for each of our most active volunteers who moves on, a new, enthusiastic volunteer has appeared. These new volunteers are the future of DP. To everyone who has volunteered at DP over the last 10 years, to everyone who is still contributing, and to the volunteers yet to come, THANK YOU!
Now let the celebration begin!
Yes, we definitely have reason to celebrate today. There are worlds between the first book DP posted to Project Gutenberg and the ones we post today. Just a couple of days ago an enormous and important work was finally finished, and I invite you to have a look at what producing an ebook can mean today: Principles of Orchestration by Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov. Between those two books, there are more than 18.000 others, an enormous pile of books.
In addition to looking back, today is also a new start. We have more to give to the public than the finished ebooks: what we learn about the books we are working on and the stories that develop around them can be interesting as well. This blog is intended as a way for us to tell those stories, and at the same time to help you to find your way through the enormous amount of free ebooks available by now.