|Location||Worldwide (USA based)|
|Size||13,537 items (1 January 2020 [update] )|
|Access and use|
|Budget||US$5,000 per annum (As of 2010 [update] )|
LibriVox is a group of worldwide volunteers who read and record public domain texts creating free public domain audiobooks for download from their website and other digital library hosting sites on the internet. It was founded in 2005 by Hugh McGuire to provide "Acoustical liberation of books in the public domain"and the LibriVox objective is "To make all books in the public domain available, for free, in audio format on the internet".
On 6 August 2016, the project completed project number 10,000.and from 2009–2017 was producing about 1,000 items per year. Most releases are in the English language, but many non-English works are also available. There are multiple affiliated projects that are providing additional content. LibriVox is closely affiliated with Project Gutenberg from where the project gets some of its texts, and the Internet Archive that hosts their offerings.
|“||Can the net harness a bunch of volunteers to help bring books in the public domain to life through podcasting?||”|
|— Hugh McGuire|
LibriVox was started in August 2005 by Montreal-based writer Hugh McGuire, who set up a blog, and posed the question.The first recorded book was The Secret Agent by Joseph Conrad.
The main features of the way LibriVox works have changed little since its inception, although the technology that supports it has been improved by the efforts of its volunteers with web-development skills.
LibriVox is an invented word inspired by Latin words liber (book) in its genitive form libri and vox (voice), giving the meaning BookVoice (or voice of the book). The word was also coined because of other connotations: liber also means child and free, independent, unrestricted. As the LibriVox forum says: "We like to think LibriVox might be interpreted as 'child of the voice', and 'free voice'. Finally, the other link we like is 'library' so you could imagine it to mean Library of Voice."
There has been no decision or consensus by LibriVox founders or the community of volunteers for a single pronunciation of LibriVox. It is accepted that any audible pronunciation is accurate.
LibriVox is a volunteer-run, free content, Public Domain project. It has no budget or legal personality. The development of projects is managed through an Internet forum, supported by an admin team, who also maintain a searchable catalogue database of completed works.
In early 2010, LibriVox ran a fundraising drive to raise $20,000 to cover hosting costs for the website of about $5,000/year and improve front- and backend usability.The target was reached in 13 days, and so the fundraising ended and LibriVox suggested that supporters consider making donations to its affiliates and partners, Project Gutenberg and the Internet Archive.
Volunteers can choose new projects to start, either recording on their own or inviting others to join them, or they can contribute to projects that have been started by others. Once a volunteer has recorded his or her contribution, it is uploaded to the site, and proof-listened by members of the LibriVox community.
Finished audiobooks are available from the LibriVox website, and MP3 and Ogg Vorbis files are hosted separately by the Internet Archive. Recordings are also available through other means, such as iTunes, and, being free of copyright, they are frequently distributed independently of LibriVox on the Internet and otherwise.
LibriVox only records material that is in the public domain in the United States, and all LibriVox books are released with a public domain dedication.Because of copyright restrictions, LibriVox produces recordings of only a limited number of contemporary books. These have included, for example, the 9/11 Commission Report which is a work of the US Federal Government therefore in the Public Domain.
The LibriVox catalogue is varied. It contains much popular classic fiction, but also includes less predictable texts, such as Immanuel Kant's Critique of Pure Reason and a recording of the first 500 digits of pi. The collection also features poetry, plays, religious texts (for example, English versions of the Koran and books from various translations of the Bible) and non-fiction of various kinds. In January 2009, the catalogue contained approximately 55 percent fiction and drama, 25 percent non-fiction and 20 percent poetry (calculated by numbers of recordings). By the end of 2019, the most downloaded book (8,1M) was a collaborative reading of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland .
Around 90 percent of the catalogue is recorded in English, but recordings exist in 31 languages altogether (as of February 2010 [update] ). Chinese, French and German are the most popular languages other than English amongst volunteers, but recordings have also been made in languages including Urdu and Tagalog.
LibriVox has garnered significant interest, in particular from those interested in the promotion of volunteer-led content and alternative approaches to copyright ownership on the Internet.
It has received support from the Internet Archive and Project Gutenberg. Intellectual freedom and commons proponent Mike Linksvayer described it in 2008 as "perhaps the most interesting collaborative culture project this side of Wikipedia".
The project has also been featured in press around the world and has been recommended by the BBC's Click, MSNBC's The Today Show, Reason,Wired, the US PC Magazine and the UK Metro and Sunday Times newspapers.
A frequent concern of listeners is the site's policy of allowing any recording to be published as long as it is understandable and faithful to the source text.This means that some recordings are of lower audio fidelity; some feature background noises, non-native accents or other perceived imperfections in comparison to professionally recorded audiobooks. While some listeners may object to those books with chapters read by multiple readers, others find this to be a non-issue or even a feature, though many books are narrated by a single reader.
Project Gutenberg (PG) is a volunteer effort to digitize and archive cultural works, to "encourage the creation and distribution of eBooks". It was founded in 1971 by American writer Michael S. Hart and is the oldest digital library. Most of the items in its collection are the full texts of public domain books. The Project tries to make these as free as possible, in long-lasting, open formats that can be used on almost any computer. As of 23 June 2018, Project Gutenberg reached 57,000 items in its collection of free eBooks.
Anton Giulio Barrili, Italian novelist, was born at Savona, and was educated for the legal profession, which he abandoned for journalism in Genoa. He was a volunteer in the campaign of 1859 and served with Garibaldi in 1866 and 1867. From 1865 onwards he published a large number of books of fiction, which had wide popularity, his work being commonly compared with that of Victor Cherbuliez.
Johann Nikolaus Forkel was a German musician, musicologist and music theorist.
The World English Bible is a free updated revision of the American Standard Version (1901). It is one of the few public domain, present-day English translations of the entire Bible, and it is freely distributed to the public using electronic formats. The Bible was created by volunteers using the ASV as the base text as part of the ebible.org project through Rainbow Missions, Inc., a Colorado nonprofit corporation.
Wikibooks is a wiki-based Wikimedia project hosted by the Wikimedia Foundation for the creation of free content e-book textbooks and annotated texts that anyone can edit.
Théodule-Armand Ribot was a French psychologist. He was born at Guingamp, and was educated at the Lycée de St Brieuc. He is known for Ribot's Law regarding retrograde amnesia.
Maria Susanna Cummins was an American novelist. She was the author of the widely popular novel The Lamplighter.
Orthodoxy (1908) is a book by G. K. Chesterton that has become a classic of Christian apologetics. Chesterton considered this book a companion to his other work, Heretics, writing it expressly in response to G.S. Street's criticism of the earlier work, "that he was not going to bother about his theology until I had really stated mine". In the book's preface Chesterton states the purpose is to "attempt an explanation, not of whether the Christian faith can be believed, but of how he personally has come to believe it." In it, Chesterton presents an original view of Christian religion. He sees it as the answer to natural human needs, the "answer to a riddle" in his own words, and not simply as an arbitrary truth received from somewhere outside the boundaries of human experience.
William Alexander Hunter was a Scottish jurist and Liberal politician.
An audiobook is a recording of a book or other work being read aloud. A reading of the complete text is described as "unabridged", while readings of a shorter version, or abridgement of the text are labeled as "abridged".
Henry Richard Vizetelly was an English publisher and writer. He started the publications Pictorial Times and Illustrated Times, wrote several books while working in Paris and Berlin as correspondent for the Illustrated London News, and in 1887 founded a publishing house in London, Vizetelly and Company.
Willibald Alexis, the pseudonym of Georg Wilhelm Heinrich Häring, was a German historical novelist, considered part of the Young Germany movement.
Samuel Atkins Eliot Jr. was an American author, born in Denver, Colo. and educated at Harvard. He was the son of Samuel Atkins Eliot, a prominent Unitarian clergyman, and the grandson of Charles W. Eliot, a president of Harvard University. Samuel Eliot Jr. wrote books on the theatre and made many translations from the German playwright Frank Wedekind. His works include Little Theatre Classics (four volumes, ; Erdgeist ; Pandora's Box ; and Tragedies of Sex.
John Joseph McGuire was an American author of science fiction.
Edward Everett Evans was an American science fiction author and fan.
F. A. Forbes was the nom de plume of Mother Frances Alice Monica Forbes, RSCJ, a member of the Society of the Sacred Heart from Scotland and a religious author.
Allen French was a historian and children's book author who did major research on the battles of Lexington and Concord, during the American Revolutionary War. He was a founding member and president of the Thoreau Society.
George Burton Adams was an American medievalist historian who taught at Yale University from 1888 to 1925. He was noted for his written works as well as his 1908 address as president of the American Historical Association, which lamented the encroachment of the social sciences on the field of history, a position later challenged by James Harvey Robinson. He also played a key role in the establishment of the American Historical Review. Adams was elected a member of the American Antiquarian Society in 1899, and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1918.
Rock Crystal is a novella by Austrian writer Adalbert Stifter, about two missing children on Christmas Eve. It influenced Thomas Mann and others with its "suspenseful, simple, myth-like story and majestic depictions of nature." Mann said Stifter is "one of the most extraordinary, the most enigmatic, the most secretly daring and the most strangely gripping narrators in world literature." Poet W. H. Auden called Rock Crystal "a quiet and beautiful parable about the relation of people to places, of man to nature."
"Stickeen: An Adventure with a Dog and a Glacier" (1897) is a short memoir by American naturalist John Muir. It is about a trip he took in Alaska (1880) with a dog named Stickeen and their outing together on a glacier. It is one of Muir's best-known writings, and is now considered a classic dog story.
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