Michael Hart the founder of Project Gutenberg has died. He in many ways is the enventor of the e-book, which for good or bad, has become a definining media of our time. But his interest was in giving free access to e-books and Project Gutenberg is pretty cool, if a bit uneven. I’ve read a few books via Project Gutenberg, most recently a book on Posters from World War I. It is one of those noble, ideas that seemed to come from the early days of computing. If you’ve never been to Project Gutenberg you should check it out.
Tacoma native and electronic book pioneer Michael S. Hart has died at the age of 64. Before Kindle, Nook or iPad entered the lexicon, Hart was tinkering with electronic books.
In 1971 at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Hart created Project Gutenberg with the goal of making electronic copies of books available to the public. It became his life’s work.
After starting with the Declaration of Independence, Hart spent spent the bulk of his career working on ways to make electronic versions of books accessible to people. Today, there are more than 36,000 free eBooks available through Project Gutenberg, allowing customers titles to the PC, Kindle, Android or iOS devices.