100 Million Downloads and a Mellon Foundation Grant

Posted on April 5, 2012 by | Posted in about LibriVox, News | Comments: 26 Comments on 100 Million Downloads and a Mellon Foundation Grant

LibriVox.org, the world’s largest producer of free public domain audiobooks, and the Internet Archive are pleased to announce a generous grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, on the heels of a recent landmark achievement: 100 million downloads free LibriVox audiobooks from the Internet Archive.

A Tech Infrastructure Overhaul

The Mellon grant will go towards rebuilding LibriVox’s technical infrastructure, and improving accessibility of the LibriVox website (we’re hiring a dev and project manager on contract, if interested, please apply, info here: LibriVox hiring).

“It’s fantastic to get this support from the Mellon Foundation,” said LibriVox founder Hugh McGuire. “It will be put to good use, helping our hard-working volunteers create many more free audiobooks. We’ve made 5,500 free audiobooks to date, and we hope to make many more in the future.”

LibriVox, a volunteer project of the Internet Archive, gets volunteers from around the world to make audio recordings of public domain texts, and gives those recordings away for free. All LibriVox audiobooks are hosted at the Internet Archive.

5,467 Free Audiobooks

Founded in 2005, LibriVox has to date produced 5,467 free audiobooks, in 31 languages. Popular audiobooks include “The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes,” by Arthur Conan Doyle, “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” by Mark Twain, and “Jane Eyre,” by Charlotte Brontë. In addition to novels, the LibriVox collection includes numerous texts of importance from philosophers such as Kant, Descartes, and Hume, political documents such as the “Universal Declaration of Human Rights,” and scientific texts including as Einstein’s “Relativity,” and Darwin’s “Origin of the Species.”

100 Million Downloads

“The LibriVox collection is one of the most popular on the Internet Archive,” said Brewster Kahle, Founder and Director of the Internet Archive. “100 million downloads is awesome. LibriVox is an integral part of our commitment to making important texts available to the world in the best format for people, and we are thrilled at the support from the Mellon Foundation.”

Cori Samuel, a long-time LibriVox volunteer, who has recorded some of the project’s more popular books, was in shock at the numbers. “It’s hard to believe that what started out as a small project among some passionate people on the web has turned into something so big. It’s incredible to imagine that we could have touched the lives of 100 million listeners.”

For More Information

For more information, please contact Hugh McGuire, LibriVox founder: hughmcguire@gmail.com.



  1. Jenny says:

    Congratulations to us!!! I am so truly honored to be a part of this site!

  2. Jason Mills says:

    Is that 100 million individual files? Assuming an average of 20 chapters per text, that would be more like 5 million texts; and a given listener might download numerous texts. It’s still a great landmark, but it needn’t mean anything like 100 million individual listeners, as Cori suggests.

  3. Chris Mear says:

    Congratulations! Well-deserved recognition, and good to see useful work coming out of it.

  4. hugh says:

    @jason: not sure… in any case, the IA stats are not exactly robustly dependable …

  5. Nicholas Clfford says:

    Good for you, and good for Mellon for recognizing you. (Now, if only you could break through the public domain wall into the promised land after 1924!)

  6. Eden says:

    How awesome is this??!!! :D

  7. Lars Rolander says:

    It is really more than amazing and fantastic that Librivox has developed into what it is today in such a relatively short time, and the impact it has had and has on so many people today from all over the world. And all done by volunteers who give of their time and and love for literature to make all these audio-books available for anyone to use. Being a volunteer among so very very, very many makes me feel very humble and privileged at the same time. And now we Librivoxers may look forward with confidence to an even stronger future.

  8. James K. White says:

    We bad!

  9. Tom Weiss says:

    Congratulations to all the LV volunteers. Your hard work and commitment is what has made LV so successful and a model of what the Internet should be.

  10. ronks says:

    Good news; congratulations! Am enjoying “Tom Brown’s School Days” from LV this week.

  11. Lucy_k_p says:

    Hurrah. That is fantastic news. Well done everyone!

  12. Elizabeth McAndrew says:

    Wonderful news!

  13. Myles C. Thompson says:

    Congratulations to you all!

  14. Hans Otto Kroeger says:

    A fantastic work; Thanks to all.
    Eine Wundervolle Arbeit. Danke an alle, auch an alle freiwillige Helfer.
    Gracias a todos, también a los voluntarios. Necesitamos más lectores voluntarios en castellano.
    É um trabalho fantástico. Obrigado a todos. Necesitamos mais voluntarios em portuges.

  15. Ilianthe says:

    It’s so cool what volunteers can do. I love working with people from other countries on Librivox recordings. Well done to all & many thanks to our founder!

  16. April G. says:

    Good job LV guys! To infinity and beyond! :)

  17. Meisie says:

    Great job and big thanks to all the volunteers who make this place possible and thank you to the Mellon Foundation for a generous grant! Here’s to many more ‘delicious’ audio books!

  18. subas says:

    Great achievement. This is what the internet should truly be. A gift to the humanity. Thanks to the Mellon foundation. I am strongly considering becoming a volunteer in this noble project. There are many more languages and dialects we can contribute to grow.

  19. Listener says:

    Congrats, WELL deserved.

  20. Wesseling says:

    It’s awesome to be a part of this project!

  21. Jose F. Fernandez says:

    Congratulations!!! And thank you for all that good work done!!

  22. Aaron says:

    I have a couple of suggestions for the new website (specifically the use of the forum). Rather than share the ideas here, I’ll share the link to the forum post where I made the suggestions, so that you can comment on them there:


  23. edondine says:

    I’m so happy to find this site.
    I really appreciate to you!!
    And Congratulations!!

  24. Carole says:

    After enjoying a real treasury in classics, you even got to my early childhood fave…Robert Service

    . Thank you to everyone…..the “voices” and the “staging”. A special thank you to the brains who thought up ‘public domain.’

  25. George Paulose says:

    I have been so much benefited by this site and have introduced it to many people.

    I have downloaded many books and heard them. I have also downloaded my favourite poem, ‘hound of heaven’ by Francis Thompson.



  26. link says:

    Muito boa! nota 10!

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