Project Gutenberg is the mother of all the digital libraries available on the internet. It was started by an American writer Michael S. Hart in 1971. Back then they did not use OCR scanners, but used to manually type all the books by hand into computers. In the beginning days, the computers that they were using did not come with keyboards having lower case letters and so they typed in all caps. But things sped up since 90’s, they started to use OCR software and scanners.
Now they can boast of a unique digital library having more than 58,000 ebooks. These ebooks are being offered in a variety of formats like HTML, plain text, markdown text, EPUB, Kindle and more. Some books are also available in the PDF format. All of these books are public domain books and it is perfectly legal to download them, read them and share them. You can find very old books on Project Gutenberg, for example the original Latin edition of Newton’s Principia published in 1723 AD or the entire Charles Dickens collection including all of his novels, story collections and even his articles.
Here is how you can download books from Project Gutenberg digital library:
- First of all visit http://www.gutenberg.org in your favorite web browser.
- Search for any books that you are interested in. You can search by book titles or book authors. You can even use advanced search terms to refine your search results. For example, you if you want Shakespeare’s Hamlet, then you can use simple query hamlet shakespeare or advanced query a.shakespeare t.hamlet.
- It will display a big list of result from where you can select the books, authors and more to finally find the ebook that you were looking for.
- On the ebook page, you can find the download links for various formats such as HTML, EPUB, Kindle and more. You can simply click on these links to download the ebooks. Most of the ebooks are very small size and it takes only a few seconds to download them.
If you want a PDF version of the ebook and it is not available on Project Gutenberg, then just download the EPUB format (with images) and then use any online EPUB to PDF converter such as Zamzar Epub to PDF converter to produce a PDF file from the downloaded EPUB file.