Some months ago I wrote about Google Book Search
. But Google was not the first to digitize books and other documents and make them available online. Thirty-three years before Google scanned their first book, in 1971, Michael S. Hart
digitized a copy of the American Declaration of Independence
. This was barely two years after the first ARPANET
message was transmitted, which means the precursor of the internet as we know it had only taken its very first baby steps. Yet, Mr. Hart had the vision to see into the future, when books and other important documents of our culture would be freely available to all, regardless of their location. Thus was born Project Gutenberg
, named for the man who first used moveable type to print books in Europe, Johannes Gutenberg
And what does all of this have to do with the history of Regency England?