Project Gutenberg

Top 25 Project Gutenberg eBook Titles Excerpted and adapted from an August 29, 2011, blog posting by Jason Sockel, a Content Sales Associate at OverDrive

When Michael Hart endeavored to create Project Gutenberg 40 years ago, he probably did not envision the #1 downloaded title being the Kama Sutra, but a surprising search revealed just that.

Project Gutenberg is an expansive set of free eBooks, digitized and assembled by Hart (who, incidentally, is the inventor of the eBook) when he was a college student in Illinois.  Since that time, his team has digitized more than 30,000 titles that are available in the public domain, allowing free download access to anyone in the United States with an eReader. 

Most titles in the Gutenberg collection are free of copyrights in the U.S., meaning they can not only be downloaded for reading, they can also be used for distribution, recreation and adaptation.  Teachers can print and distribute excerpts for their classes; artists can perform the works in front of an audience; and titles can be transferred to audio or other formats.  Each title provides licensing information when it is downloaded, so be sure to check the rights prior to utilizing the books for commercial benefit.

Now that you know a little about Project Gutenberg, here are the 25 most downloaded titles.  How many have you read?

  1. The Kama Sutra of Vatsyayana by Vatsyayana (25732)
  2. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (18298)
  3. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (15090)
  4. The Best American Humorous Short Stories (13854)
  5. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll (12106)
  6. Ulysses by James Joyce (11361)
  7. How to Analyze People on Sight by Elsie Lincoln Benedict and Ralph Paine Benedict (11248)
  8. Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain (11063)
  9. The Art of War by Sunzi (10303)
  10. Secret Adversary by Agatha Christie (9228)
  11. War and Peace by graf Leo Tolstoy (8694)
  12. The Bible, Old and New Testaments, King James Version (8626)
  13. The Complete Works of William Shakespeare by William Shakespeare (8367)
  14. The Notebooks of Leonardo Da Vinci — Complete by Leonardo da Vinci (8313)
  15. A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens (8249)
  16. The 2010 CIA World Factbook by United States. Central Intelligence Agency (8130)
  17. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas (8105)
  18. Grimm’s Fairy Tales by Jacob Grimm and Wilhelm Grimm (7717)
  19. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain (7681)
  20. The Time Machine by H. G. Wells (7330)
  21. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë (7087)
  22. Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman (7055)
  23. The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie (6982)
  24. Dracula by Bram Stoker (6927)
  25. A Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs (6859)


Cave of Forgotten Dreams

There’s a great documentary playing at the Grand Theatres this week (showings end Thursday, September 1) — Cave of Forgotten Dreams.  It’s a MUST SEE film in 3-D by Werner Herzog about the prehistoric paintings in the Chauvet caves of southern France.

Art history and archaeology buffs will especially enjoy seeing this film. 

After you see the film and want to find out more about ancient cave art, stop by the BSC Library and check out these items:

Happy 40th Birthday, WorldCat!

Happy 40th Birthday, WorldCat!

Note: BSC Library is a contributing library – Find us (and more!) on WorldCat

Today marks the 40th anniversary of the launch of WorldCat, the world’s most comprehensive online library database. Few of those involved in the creation of WorldCat would have guessed that 40 years later, thousands of librarians and catalogers around the world would have cataloged more than 1.7 billion items.

Contributions to WorldCat from individual libraries and other partners in the community allow many libraries to get most of the records in their local catalogs from this shared resource. While records come in to WorldCat from a variety of sources, it is the ongoing partnership between dedicated catalogers and the WorldCat team at OCLC that keeps collection data accurate and useful to information seekers.

WorldCat is a singular achievement. It represents the cooperative spirit at the heart of what makes libraries unique among cultural, educational and civic services. It is a shared resource that is built and maintained by thousands of members for the good of all. We who work at OCLC are proud to have been a part of this remarkable story, and I want to thank our member institutions and employees for the years of dedicated effort that helped build this unique resource. Fred Kilgour’s vision—improving access to information through library cooperation—is every bit as vital today as it was in 1971. This anniversary is an important milestone in a shared journey that, I believe, will continue for many decades to come.

At one point in our history, OCLC used Irascope LTE terminals to send message traffic at 2400 baud over dedicated, leased telephone lines. Our network people tell me that information moves in and out of WorldCat via the Web at approximately 416,000 times that speed today. People now access WorldCat from desktop computers and  laptops that are far more powerful than the dedicated servers of the 1970s and ’80s. And with tablets and smartphones, our users are staying connected to member libraries at any time, from almost anywhere on the globe.

The technology has obviously changed, but the vision has not: furthering access to the information in the world’s libraries. WorldCat may be one of the world’s oldest databases, but our libraries’ commitment to its health and improvement keeps it truly young at heart. And that heart, still beating strongly, is at the center of a unique, global bibliographic system.

Happy 40th birthday, WorldCat. And congratulations to everyone who had a hand in building this marvelous resource, one record at a time. You’re truly part of something extraordinary.

— Jay Jordan, OCLC President and CEO

eBooks: Libraries & Publishers Not Always on the Same Page

Libraries and publishers have an uneasy relationship when it comes to ebook purchasing and lending.   

In March 2011, HarperCollins announced a controversial decision related to their ebook policies for libraries.   Since then, many libraries have boycotted purchasing HarperCollins titles (in any format).   The ALA (American Library Association) response to the Harper Collins decision was swift.

Now, Hachette Books is rethinking a decision that has kept Hachette’s frontlist ebook titles out of library hands since July 2010. 

How will it all play out?   Stay tuned …  

For myself, I’m excited to learn more about these kinds of issues at Ebooks: the New Normal, a virtual conference I’m attending in October. — Marlene Anderson, Director of Library Services

BSC Library – Gearing Up for Another Year!

The BSC Library will typically observe these hours during the 2011-12 academic year:     

  • Monday – Thursday — 7:30 a.m. – 9 p.m.
  • Friday — 7:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.
  • Saturday — CLOSED
  • Sunday — 3-7 p.m.

During the first few weeks of Fall Semester, there will be some variations to the usual schedule.  Specifically:

  • Saturday, August 27 — CLOSED
  • Sunday, August 28 — CLOSED
  • Saturday, September 3 — CLOSED (Labor Day holiday weekend)
  • Sunday, September 4 — CLOSED (Labor Day holiday weekend)
  • Monday, September 5 — CLOSED (Labor Day holiday weekend)

The Library’s ODIN catalog and databases are available 24/7. 

Beginning Sunday, September 11, the Library’s lab (Information Skills Classroom, Room 101H) will serve as the open lab for the campus on Sundays.  Hours will be 3-7 p.m.

Touched and Untouched – Gannon Gallery

Touched and Untouched
Invitational Print Exchange
August 15 – September 15
Gannon Gallery, BSC Library

Reception: Wednesday, August 24, 4-6 p.m.

About Touched and Untouched
Through support from the UND Meyers Foundations, the UND Alumni Association, and the UND Department of Art and Design, an invitational print exchange was organized for North Dakota printmakers and artists.  Through the exchange, participants created an edition of their own prints to share with the other invited artists, UND’s Art Collections, and the region. 

The prints range from traditional lithography to photo silkscreen and beyond.  While some artists incorporated other mediums and some used digital technology to assist in creating their print edition, all work was hand-pulled specifically for the exchange.

The Touched and Untouched exchange includes work from 16 North Dakota artists.  One of those artists is BSC’s Michelle Lindblom, associate professor of art and chair of the Arts and Communication Department.

Here’s a sampling of prints from the show.  Do stop by to see them in person!

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