eBook visionary and Project Gutenberg founder, Michael Hart, takes a look back in this PG News post.
From 1971 to 1976 it was an uphill struggle for permission to put The U.S. Constitution online as an eBook because it was so much larger than all the previous eBooks, but it is still standing as one of the great early Net achievements, not only because it was larger than previous ones but also because the person who made it available was anonymous and remained so in spite of all of my efforts to locate and to send my thanks.
40 years ago…one title available at Project Gutenberg.
Today…one hundred thousand titles available at PG, and 2.1 million available at The World Public Library, and 2.9 million at The Internet Archive, 1.6 million at Wattpad. That’s 6.7 million just off the top of my head and without adding in all of the Google eBooks, which is hard to do as Google doesn’t have an index for counting eBooks.
A 15 page PDF eBook with discussing a few highlights from Project Gutenberg’s 40 years is also available.
Finally, , the World eBook Fair is now underway. Details and access here.