Wednesday, September 29

Half a century of the world’s oldest digital library | Digital Trends Spanish

Thanks to Internet we have access to an almost infinite amount of cultural content. We can watch movies, documentaries and series, read books and magazines, and listen to music like never before in history.

We owe this to the pioneers who saw the web as an interesting vehicle for spreading culture, even when the internet was in its infancy.

An important milestone in this matter was marked by the writer and philanthropist Michael Hart, who on July 4, 1971 decided to launch the Gutenberg Project.

This initiative sought to offer a free book collection through the internet with the aim of contributing to the public literacy process.

At the time, Hart was a student at the University of Illinois working on one of the most important computers in the Materials Research Laboratory, which later became part of the computer network that brought the Internet to life.

The student wanted that, one day, the general public could also have access to this tool, so he decided to use it to share literary works.

Thus, as part of his project, the first thing Hart shared was the United States Declaration of Independence. Later, he did the same with the Bill of Rights, the Constitution of his country, the Bible and various classic literary works, such as Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland or Peter and wendy.

At that time, the first works that were shared had to be typed word for word. Today, the system has changed and titles can be entered in a faster and more practical way.

Also, the number of works, the formats and languages ​​in which they are available is increasing.

Today, this vast digital library is estimated to hold more than 50,000 works. It is an open project, operated by online volunteers. On the platform, anyone can be a proofreader and offer to proofread, for example, a daily page.

In this way, that old wish of Michael Hart of 1971 is fulfilled, when he launched this project with the intention of “cutting the bars of ignorance and illiteracy”.

Editor’s Recommendations

var stage = decodeURIComponent(0); var options = JSON.parse(decodeURIComponent('')); var allOptions = {};

if (stage > 0 && window.DTOptions) { allOptions = window.DTOptions.getAll();

Object.keys(options).forEach(function(groupK) { if (options[groupK] && typeof options[groupK] === 'object') { Object.keys(options[groupK]).forEach(function(k) { if (!allOptions[groupK] || typeof allOptions[groupK] !== 'object') { allOptions[groupK] = {}; }

allOptions[groupK][k] = options[groupK][k]; }); } }); } else { allOptions = options; }

var getAll = function () { return allOptions; };

var get = function (key, group, def) { key = key || ''; group = group || decodeURIComponent('qnqb92BhrzmkpqGx'); def = (typeof def !== 'undefined') ? def : null;

if (typeof allOptions[group] !== 'undefined') { if (key && typeof allOptions[group][key] !== 'undefined') { return allOptions[group][key]; } }

return def; };

var set = function (key, group, data) { key = key || ''; group = group || decodeURIComponent('qnqb92BhrzmkpqGx'); data = data || null;

if (key) { if (typeof allOptions[group] === 'undefined') { allOptions[group] = {}; }

allOptions[group][key] = data; } };

var del = function (key, group) { key = key || ''; group = group || decodeURIComponent('qnqb92BhrzmkpqGx');

if (typeof allOptions[group] !== 'undefined') { if (key && typeof allOptions[group][key] !== 'undefined') { allOptions[group][key] = null; } } };

window.DTOptions = { get: get, getAll: getAll, set: set, del: del, }; }());