Distributed Proofreaders, a wholly volunteer organization, was established in 2000 for the purpose of producing quality transcriptions of machine-readable texts from public domain sources. The resulting texts are published on Project Gutenberg.
True to its international nature, Distributed Proofreaders, while respecting U.S. copyright laws, does not limit itself to preserving solely English language content. Nearly 15% of completed titles, to date, represent over 20 languages beyond English. A look to DPs 10,000th title set reveals the diversity of world cultural content in the public domain. Among this commemorative collection are a French translation of Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice; the chronicle of Portuguese explorer Serpa Pinto's African expeditions; a pair of illustrated children stories from Germany; the first part of 'Species Plantarum', a 17th century Latin botanical reference work and a translation of a 17th century Guatemalan Maya manuscript.
The fifteen titles released today are not a cheer towards the past accomplishments of Distributed Proofreaders, nor are they pat on the back for deeds fulfilled on this day. What these titles so clearly represent, of their own merits, is the future and what awaits within the world's public domain yet to be rescued from obscurity and re-presented to an audience hungry to rediscover the cultural treasures of previous ages.