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Day 10 - OverDrive and the Gutenberg collection

This guest post is by Jane Richard, Wisconsin Library Services -- one of the managers for WPLC   (Thanks, Jane!)
----------------------------------Project Gutenberg Collection

Gutenberg Collection in WPLC OverDrive Collection
Have you found the Gutenberg collection tucked into the WPLC OverDrive collection site? These titles are not integrated into the regular search, but are a standalone collection under the link marked “Always Available” way near the bottom of the left hand column. Patrons can discover and download (rather than checkout) thousands of DRM-free EPUB eBooks without holds, waiting lists, or authentication. No library card/account is needed for these downloads, either. Since these titles are in the public domain, they never expire, and, while these titles will not count against a specific patron’s checkout limit, they will count toward WPLC's circulation.*

The 34,000+ out-of-copyright titles can be used for distribution, recreation and adaptation, so 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. Some of the pluses and minuses include:

  • no preview available: whole download or nothing
  • many languages are represented, though no way to filter by language
  • EPUBs font can be changed-- instant large print!
  • selections include popular pre-1923 authors, such as Jane Austen, Jane Eyre, and Arthur Conan Doyle; and titles A Christmas Carol, The Count of Monte Cristo, and David Copperfield
  • Few Wisconsin libraries have MARC records for Gutenberg titles in their catalogs, but the Colorado Libraries in E-Discovering the Classics project (http://www.clicweb.org/e-discover-home) offers free MARC record downloads for nearly 500 classics

*The Wisconsin Digital Download Center's Gutenberg title activity for January-mid-December 2011:
(click to enlarge)

Because patrons are not required to log in to download Gutenberg titles, the public domain checkouts cannot be tracked by specific library. 

Information drawn from:


25 most popular downloads: http://overdriveblogs.com/library/2011/08/29/top-25-project-gutenberg-ebook-titles-us-edition/


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