Goodbye, Mr. E-book….
“So, as I fumbled through my backpack for something to eat, I found the US Declaration of Independence and had a lightbulb moment…”
Last week, I came across an article on the Guardian website which caught my interest. Michael Hart, inventor of the e-book and founder of Project Gutenberg, died last Tuesday aged just 64.
In 1971, at the University of Illinois in America, Michael Hart spontaneously decided to type up the US Declaration of Independence into a computer network of about 100 people. And so began Project Gutenberg, a huge online library run by volunteers that now provides free access to over 36,000 e-books online.
“What allowed me to think of this particular use for computers so long before anyone else did is the same thing that allows every other inventor to create their inventions: being at the right place, at the right time, with the right background.”
Now, forty years on, millions of books are being digitized and Kindles are becoming ever more popular – and we have Mr. Hart to thank for all of it! May he rest in peace.
Kirstine Bowen, currently doing work experience at A&B