May 27, 2022 Unglues Its First Book, “Oral Literature in Africa” Will Be Released as CC License Ebook Soon

Congrats to Eric Hellman and the team on their first ungluing.

From a News Release:

Two hundred and fifty-nine supporters pledged a total of $7,578 to a campaign to “unglue” Ruth Finnegan’s 1970 classic, “Oral Literature in Africa”. The campaign, which lasted 33 days, topped the campaign’s target at 12:30AM EDT on June 20 with a little under two days to spare. As a result the book will be issued as an ebook with a Creative Commons Attribution license, opening it up to free use and reuse by scholars and readers around the world., the website that hosted the campaign, launched on May 17th with the goal of “giving ebooks to the world”. allows rights holders of already published books to present “ungluing campaigns”. Site members can then pledge towards making the book available as Creative Commons licensed ebooks. If the campaign meets its goal, the ebook becomes freely available to everyone. launched with five campaigns, but Finnegan’s book quickly emerged as the most attractive to‘s base of support in the library world. As Robert Wolven, Associate University Librarian for Bibliographic Services and Collection Development at Columbia University, noted in the campaign comments, “If this new edition were published by standard means, Columbia’s library would almost certainly buy it at any reasonable price”. A surge of support emerged as the campaign neared its end, with 20% of the total coming in the 24 hours before reaching the goal.

The new edition will be published by Open Book Publishers of Cambridge, England, and made available to the world through the Internet Archive. Rupert Gatti, a co-founder of Open Book Publishers, commented: “We are very grateful to the hundreds of “ungluers” who have contributed to making this classic work and associated archival material freely available for the world to use, and re-use – and look forward to now making it happen.”


Eric Hellman, President of Gluejar, Inc., the company behind, added: “Yesterday was amazing. When Weezer (yes, the band) tweeted about us, we knew the momentum would be unstoppable. We had a flood of people from all around the world signing up to advocate and contribute. The entire team is deeply honored to help make this possible.

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About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.