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Over 30 years before Google Books or HathiTrust, Michael Hart, a student at the University of Illinois, founded Project Gutenberg in 1971. Mr. Hart thought of the idea of digitizing books and created the first eBook while an undergraduate at the University of Illinois. The purpose of Project Gutenberg is to encourage the creation and distribution of information in order to reduce information illiteracy among users. Since the site’s creation, it has exploded offering over 47,000 items in its online collection, ranging from poetry, novels, short stories, and dramas in multiple languages.

– Seitz Materials and Research Laboratory. This is where Michael Hart typed the Declaration of Independence, made it available for download, and began creating ebooks.


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Project Gutenberg. (n.d.). Free e-books – Project Gutenberg. Retrieved December 11, 2014, from (Image)

Project Gutenberg. (2014, November 12). In Wikipedia. Retrieved December 11, 2014, from