michael-hart.jpgLast week marked the beginning of Project Gutenberg’s 40th year. The first producer of free eBooks, the visionary Project Gutenberg was started in 1971 by Michael Hart (pictured) and slowly but steadily produced–often by hand-typing–eBook versions of public domain titles. In 2009, the project produced its 35,000th eBook. Here’s more from the Project Gutenberg blog:

“In 2009 we saw our 35,000th internally produced eBook go out, and our 25,000 in English, our 1,500th in French, 600th in German and 500th in Finnish. We also saw Dutch and Chinese pass 400 eBooks. (We still need to find ways to do more in Spanish and Portuguese.)

“These 35,000+ eBooks, which represent over 50 languages are all at www.gutenberg.org. There are also over 75,000 Donated eBooks representing over 100 languages are at www.gutenberg.cc. In total, counting the eBooks donated to us from other eLibraries, individuals and schools Gutenberg.cc now has well over 100,000 titles, though it is probably closer to an even 100,000, given various duplications, etc.”