Open Content Alliance (or, Boing Boing’d again)

Posted on October 26, 2005 by | Posted in News | Comments: 3 Comments on Open Content Alliance (or, Boing Boing’d again)

I’ll tell you more soon about this very cool event & LibriVox participation, but here’s Cory Doctorow’s write-up:

The Open Content Alliance is scanning in hundreds of thousands of public-domain books. According to Internet Archive founder Brewster Kahle, “At an Internet Archive event in San Francisco tonight 14 libraries and MSN joined the Open Content Alliance. MSN kicked off their association by committing to scan 150k books in 2006! (this is a big deal, in my opinion). ”

As if that’s not cool enough, there’s a preview of one of the ways that you’ll be able to read the Alliance’s output that’s just gone live. It has a gorgeous in-browser book-viewer that combines the best elements of a physical book (tactility, the idiosyncracies of printed type) with an electronic book (zoomability, searchability, text-to-speech audio). It’s gorgeous. Link (Thanks, Brewster and Beatrice!)

Update: Gord sez, “readings are done by volunteers. For example ‘International Episode’ was read by the Librivox Project which you mentioned in BoingBoing previously. By the way, Librivox now has 7 books completed and available for download with 18 additional books in process. Here’s the current Librivox catalog.

(via Boing Boing)



  1. Maureen says:

    It would be nice if you could see and use the controls for turning pages, etc. At least on IE, they are nearly invisible on most books. On the Open Library book, they have vanished altogether. If this is a size problem, the recommended size should be specified on the frontpage of the site.

    Oh, and I liked how there was no way to contact anyone about these problems from the frontpage of the site. Such beautiful and useless web design is a real achievement of art for art’s sake.

  2. hugh says:

    hi maureen,

    I think they were scrambling to get everything up&running in time for launch. You should let them know if you’ve had troubles with the site, though. The controls seem fine on Firefox, have not checked Safari.

  3. Maureen says:

    Yes, when I got home and could use my own Firefox, all was well. (It was also somewhat amusing not to be able to read a site in IE, given all the IE-only sites I’ve tangled with….)

    And yes, I realize these things are a scramble. My own web stuff is scarcely perfect. (Understatement….) But cross-systems paranoia should be a way of life for folks who do serious Web projects.

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