Whether you are searching for “The Mabinogion” or “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” series, the desire for reading classical literature can be accessed with internet connection with no other payments. However, Project Gutenberg is a site that is rarely if ever talked about in my English academic field.
What definitely makes Project Gutenberg important is that almost all of the literature posted is free, either for personal or commercial use. The reason for this is because they are within the public domain since their authors’ deaths happened within a specific time frame. Although it depends on which country from where the literature was published, in the United States, the authors’ works enter the public domain at least 70 years after the authors’ deaths.
The website’s namesake is also a major innovator in democratizing literature to the masses. Prior to publication in Europe, literacy was limited to the clerical class. Then in 1450, a man by the name of Johann Gutenberg invented a way to mass-produce copies of the Holy Bible. Originally working with wood-cutting prints, Gutenberg used the mirrored text to make engravings, which therefore led to the mass replication of letters and punctuation marks using printer’s ink. This invention was what removed the monopoly of the Roman Catholic Church on literacy.
The founder of Project Gutenberg, Michael Stern Hart, who also pioneered the use of electronic books in 1971, wanted to innovate the use of the public domain through technology. He was inspired upon visiting a computer lab in the University of Wisconsin and the digitization of the Declaration of Independence, so he spent his life from those points to a dedication to bringing literature to a new platform.
This website might also be important for school districts that do not have the right amount of funds for literature textbooks. So, the literature classrooms would spend a lot of time in the computer lab room.
If you are genuinely interested in reading classical works, but do not have the time to wait to choose or the money to spend, you would consider using internet time to explore a great asset to the reading world.