November 12 6:00 PM UTC
Opening Old Books
There are tens of thousands of books in the public domain, with more entering it each year. Project Gutenberg alone hosts more than 60,000 texts spanning centuries, continents, and languages of origin. This unprecedented and ever-expanding access to the literature of the past raises exciting possibilities and questions for readers, educators, and libraries all over the world. Books by writers of color, women, queer authors—many of which saw high readership when published but were not kept alive in the public consciousness by gatekeepers —are now available to anyone with interest and an internet connection. What are the implications of this on our understanding of how writing and reading shapes communities? How can open access tools reinvigorate and reshape the literary canon? And how might we make the most of these possibilities and connect readers to old words using new technologies?