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Just realized that while I've been doing this for awhile, I hadn't mentioned it in here. Those of you if any who don't know about Project Gutenberg, go here right now. We'll wait. :)

OK, all this etext has to get into the computer somehow, which is where the Distributed Proofreaders come in. This is the army of proofreaders and formatters who attack the scanned text, boot all the scanos, disentangle tables, and turn out a readable result in text or html. Strictly volunteer, and anybody interested need only go over to here for details. You never know what'll turn up (other than that it'll be out of copyright), the book I just finished proofing a few pages of was the Encyclopedia Brittanica, 11th edition, volume 7 #5, Costume to Crocodile. I happened to get most of the article on the Cretaceous period in the handful of pages I just finished proofing. A few days ago I did some work on a western, before that a book on Scottish border legends, a space opera, and volume 2 of the Life and Work of Susan B. Anthony. Among other things.


( 14 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 13th, 2006 06:17 am (UTC)
Oh I love Project Gutenberg!! I've been reading and downloading George MacDonald's wonderful stories, and now Edgar Rice Burroughs stuff is showing up! W00t! Many gold stars to you for helping with such a worthy cause.

The Cretaceous... when the world meant business! (vaguely remember quote from Calvin and Hobbes) :D
Aug. 13th, 2006 07:13 am (UTC)
FWIW, Skylark III is in the pipeline. I did some of the proofing for that, too, though not much because an entire flock of us appear to have swooped down on that one. Good thing, too; the scan (of the magazine version) wasn't very good and a lot of it needed retyping. Since I happen to have a copy of the hardback version published in 1950, I just kept it open next to me when a word wasn't clear. There were subtle differences btw; looks like Doc Smith grabbed the opportunity to do a little editing before letting that version loose.

There's a lot of ERB there already; I downloaded a lot of Tarzan awhile back, having never read the first book, let alone the rest. Also some Mars books though I've read most of those. There are all of the original (Baum) Oz books there too. When you work on a book, they let you leave a request to be automatically informed when it's all done and released. I'm looking forward to that Susan B. Anthony volume coming out - most of what I did was work on the index which was one of those wordy things that give you something of an outline of the book and now I want to read what all those references were to.

The Cretaceous was particularly apt as it happens - I've been rereading At The Mountains of Madness.
Aug. 13th, 2006 05:34 pm (UTC)
You know, I've got a book here that I thought Project Guttenberg might be interested in. It's from 1897 or so and called "The Physical Life of Woman." Don't know whether to laugh or scream, but it's rapidly falling apart and should be scanned. It's so positively dreadful it ought to be saved for posterity as a warning to future generations.
Aug. 13th, 2006 10:29 pm (UTC)
See the Content Provider's FAQ and All Will Be Revealed To You!

I'd like to contribute (also falling apart) The Danish Resistance, but being post WWII it's probably too early thanks to our Disneyfried Copyright Laws... :(
Aug. 14th, 2006 02:36 pm (UTC)
I read in the New York Times a couple of years ago that virtually nothing created since 1900 has entered the public domain.
Aug. 15th, 2006 08:47 am (UTC)
Actually it's not quite that bad (and then again if that couple of years was actually 10 or 20 it may have been true). Apparently it's more complicated than that.

OTOH, I would dearly like to kick DizCo AND the pols that let them do it for expanding copyright far beyond rational duration. For one thing, it's a recipe for letting lesser-known works vanish beyond recall. I agree with Eric Flint on this one - the whole thing sucks.
Aug. 15th, 2006 12:32 pm (UTC)
There is something about Disney -- and there always has been -- that skeeves me. I wouldn't be surprised if "letting lesser-known works vanish beyond recall" was part of the plan all along. You're right. The whole thing does suck. Copyright should last the lifetime of the author and not be transferable.
Aug. 15th, 2006 11:50 pm (UTC)
I agree about Disneycorp.. but I suspect the true motive was the obvious one - to keep "Steamboat Willie" and its near relatives from going into the public domain and perhaps, oh heavens!, having bits or all of them being used to embarass Diz-co by making fun of it. Or in a porn flick.
Aug. 14th, 2006 08:47 am (UTC)
My blog
Kay - did you email me at Hotmail with a comment on my blog (my post about filk)? If so, please re-send, because I accidentally deleted it without reading - it was in the junkmail folder, along with the spam - I have a blocker on anything that isn't in my address book.

Sue Bursztynski

PS Nice to know someone is actually reading my blog, I did wonder.
Aug. 15th, 2006 07:45 am (UTC)
Re: My blog
I did, and I didn't keep a copy, so I'll just go ahead and post here where it can't vanish by accident as easily. Anyway, I thought you'd like to know the truth about where the term "filk" came from, and since I happen to be friends with the person who first applied it to fannish folk, Karen Anderson, I can tell you. :)

Way back in the early '50s, Lee Jacobs wrote a fanzine for Spectator Amateur Press Association which was supposed to be entitled something like "The Effect of Science Fiction on Modern Folk Songs", and consisted of some of the filthiest songs in the English language, with all the bawdy metaphor taken literally. The zine itself never made it into the APA, being judged with some justice as "unmailable" by the Official Editor (I'd dearly love to see a copy, in the unlikely event someone has one these days). The typo, however, was too good not to mention and when Karen heard it, she decided that the term really should mean something, and applied it to the fannish parodies people had already been generating for quite some time. Of course, the parody element is still there but the genre has long since expanded past it - like all living traditions, as soon as you attempt to define it it crawls out past the boundaries. The first song ever specifically designated as a filk song was Barbarous Allen, written by Karen's husband, the late (drattit) Poul Anderson. See Lee Gold's article Tracking Down The First Deliberate Use Of "Filk Song" for more.

I also wanted to alert you to the fact that some of the old tapes are available on CD these days, including Roberta Rogow's "Recycled Rogow" (I don't know if it's still available, but you can check her web page for her eddress.) Leslie Fish and the DeHorn Crew's two filk records (vinyl!) have been remastered onto a CD as "Folk Songs for Solar Sailors", available from Random Factors. Other stuff too, and there's also a lot of new stuff, of course - you may want to take a look at the rec.music.filk FAQ Filk Sellers page for, what else, filk dealers.

Anyway, stick around. I'm going to have to find where your blog is again - I stumbled on it whilest looking for something else and got interrupted before I could bookmark it. Thanks for the note!
Aug. 15th, 2006 11:44 pm (UTC)
Re: My blog
Thanks, Kay! I have heard about the Lee Jacobs thing - believe it or not, it's in Wikipedia these days! - but not the Karen Anderson follow-up. Wow, you're a friend of hers! I am such a fan of her late husband. SF, fantasy, anything I happened to be in the mood for, AND he did such lovely filks.

I'd be glad to have your comment on my blog, but it wasn't there. I have it set up so I have to approve, because I was getting spam in my comments on another blog. I will now approve it and, if you're willing, put in a link to your Livejournal or your web site or both, because filk is an interest of mine, though I have only put in the one post on the subject. My blog is called The Great Raven and you'll find it at http://suebursztynski.blogspot. com

Aug. 15th, 2006 11:52 pm (UTC)
Re: My blog
I found it last night, and made a comment with a link to my post. I can copy the lot over if you'd prefer.
Aug. 14th, 2006 12:47 pm (UTC)
Aug. 15th, 2006 07:48 am (UTC)

Timing is all - I wrote the above comment about filk whilst I had a lot of filksongs playing on the computer in the background. It has now switched to Babylon 5 music. I do so enjoy this thing - I've got RAM enough to do all sorts of stuff at once.
( 14 comments — Leave a comment )

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