Web Masters

Greg Newby shares the story of how Project Gutenberg was founded and how it's grown into the world's largest collection of free ebooks.

Show Notes

Project Gutenberg began in 1971 when Michael Hart created the first ebook by digitizing a copy of the US Declaration of Independence and sharing it on ARPANET, precursor to the Internet. He'd go on to launch an ambitious project to digitize as many (public domain) books as possible.

Unfortunately, Michael passed away in 2011, but his legacy lives on through Greg Newby. Greg is the CEO of the not-profit Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation, Inc., which oversees Project Gutenberg and has helped grow it into a collection of over 62,000 ebooks that have been digitized and curated by volunteers. Every ebook is freely downloadable on the Project Gutenberg website, making it the oldest digital resource library in the world.

While Greg didn't start Project Gutenberg, he's been instrumental in its growth and global success. In this episode of Web Masters, he shares the story of how he got involved, how it's grown, and how it impacts and will continue impacting the world for generations to come.

For a complete transcript of the episode, click here.

What is Web Masters?

Web Masters is an original podcast that explores the history of the Internet through the stories of some of its most important innovators. In each episode, host Aaron Dinin, a serial entrepreneur and digital media scholar, talks with Internet entrepreneurs who created important websites, tools, services, and features. Some are hugely popular, some you’ve never heard of, and all of them have impacted everything you do online. You’ll get a behind-the-scenes look at how the Internet has enabled -- and continues to create -- some of the greatest business opportunities in history from the people who have proven they know how to build successful Internet businesses.