Distributed Proofreaders

Distributed Proofreaders (commonly abbreviated as DP or PGDP) is a web-based project that supports the development of e-texts for Project Gutenberg by allowing many people to work together in proofreading drafts of e-texts for errors. As of March 2021, the site had digitized 41,000 titles.[2][3]

Distributed Proofreaders
"Distributed Proofreaders" set in blue serif text, with the second word beginning at the bottom right of the first one. Below the second word, "Preserving History One Page at a Time." in black serif text.
Screenshot of the proofreading interface on Distributed Proofreaders.
Screenshot of the proofreading interface on Distributed Proofreaders.
Type of site
Available in2 languages
List of languages
Country of originUnited States of America
OwnerDistributed Proofreaders Foundation
Founder(s)Charles Franks
General managerLinda Hamilton
ParentDistributed Proofreaders Foundation (DPF)
Launched2000; 23 years ago (2000)
Current statusActive
Content license
Public Domain
Written inPHP[1]
OCLC number1087497129


Distributed Proofreaders was founded by Charles Franks in 2000 as an independent site to assist Project Gutenberg.[4] Distributed Proofreaders became an official Project Gutenberg site in 2002.

On 8 November 2002, Distributed Proofreaders was slashdotted,[5][6] and more than 4,000 new members joined in one day, causing an influx of new proofreaders and software developers, which helped to increase the quantity and quality of e-text production. Distributed Proofreaders posted their 5,000th text to Project Gutenberg in October 2004, in March 2007, the 10,000th DP-produced e-text was posted to Project Gutenberg, in May 2009, the 15,000th DP-produced e-text was posted to Project Gutenberg, in April 2011, the 20,000th DP-produced e-text was posted to Project Gutenberg, and in July 2015, the 30,000th DP-produced e-text was posted to Project Gutenberg. DP-contributed e-texts comprised more than half of works in Project Gutenberg, as of July 2015.

On 31 July 2006, the Distributed Proofreaders Foundation was formed to provide Distributed Proofreaders with its own legal entity and not-for-profit status. IRS approval of section 501(c)(3) status was granted retroactive to 7 April 2006.

Proofreading processEdit

Public domain works, typically books with expired copyright, are scanned by volunteers, or sourced from digitization projects and the images are run through optical character recognition (OCR) software. Since OCR software is far from perfect, many errors often appear in the resulting text. To correct them, pages are made available to volunteers via the Internet; the original page image and the recognized text appear side by side.[7] This process thereby distributes the time-consuming error-correction process, akin to distributed computing.

Each page is proofread and formatted several times, and then a post-processor combines the pages and prepares the text for uploading to Project Gutenberg.

Besides custom software created to support the project, DP also runs a forum and a wiki for project coordinators and participants.

Related projectsEdit

DP EuropeEdit

In January 2004, Distributed Proofreaders Europe started, hosted by Project Rastko, Serbia.[8] This site had the ability to process text in Unicode UTF-8 encoding. Books proofread centered on European culture, with a considerable proportion of non-English texts including Hebrew, Arabic, Urdu, and many others. As of October 2013, DP Europe had produced 787 e-texts, the last of these in November 2011.

The original DP is sometimes referred to as "DP International" by members of DP Europe. However, DP servers are located in the United States, and therefore works must be cleared by Project Gutenberg as being in the public domain according to U.S. copyright law before they can be proofread and eventually published at DP.

DP CanadaEdit

In December 2007, Distributed Proofreaders Canada launched to support the production of e-books for Project Gutenberg Canada and take advantage of shorter Canadian copyright terms. Although it was established by members of the original Distributed Proofreaders site, it is a separate entity. All its projects are posted to Faded Page, their book archive website. In addition, it supplies books to Project Gutenberg Canada (which launched on Canada Day 2007) and (where copyright laws are compatible) to the original Project Gutenberg.

In addition to preserving Canadiana, DP Canada is notable because it is the first major effort to take advantage of Canada's copyright laws which may allow more works to be preserved. Unlike copyright law in some other countries, Canada has a "life plus 50" copyright term. This means that works by authors who died more than fifty years ago may be preserved in Canada, whereas in other parts of the world those works may not be distributed because they are still under copyright.

Notable authors whose works may be preserved in Canada but not in other parts of the world include Clark Ashton Smith, Dashiell Hammett, Ernest Hemingway, Carl Jung, A. A. Milne, Dorothy Sayers, Nevil Shute, Walter de la Mare, Sheila Kaye-Smith and Amy Carmichael.


Milestone Date e-text Source
First 1 Oct 2000 The Odyssey, Homer, Lang tr. (first pages for proofreading) [9]
1,000th 19 Feb 2003 Tales of St. Austin's, P. G. Wodehouse
2,000th 3 Sep 2003 Hamlet — the 'Bad Quarto', William Shakespeare
3,000th 14 Jan 2004 The Anatomy of Melancholy, Robert Burton
4,000th 6 Apr 2004 Aventures du Capitaine Hatteras, Jules Verne
5,000th 24 Aug 2004 A Short Biographical Dictionary of English Literature, John William Cousin
6,000th 2 Feb 2005 The Journal of Sir Walter Scott, Sir Walter Scott
7,000th 23 Jun 2005 Opúsculos por Alexandre Herculano (Vol. I), Alexandre Herculano;
Viage al Parnaso, Miguel de Cervantes;
Leabhráin an Irisleabhair-III, Various.
8,000th 8 Feb 2006 The Suppression of the African slave-trade to the United States of America, 1638-1870, W. E. B. Du Bois
9,000th 8 Sep 2006 History of the World War for Human Rights, Kelly Miller;
Poems, Christina Rossetti;
Hey Diddle Diddle and Baby Bunting, Randolph Caldecott
10,000th 9 Mar 2007 (See 10,000th E-book below)
11,000th 12 Sep 2007 Northern Nut Growers Association Thirty-Fourth Annual Report 1943, Northern Nut Growers Association
12,000th 26 Jan 2008 Zur Psychopathologie des Alltagslebens, Sigmund Freud
13,000th 24 Jun 2008 A World of Girls, L. T. Meade
14,000th 1 Dec 2008 The Art of Stage Dancing, Ned Wayburn
15,000th 12 May 2009 Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society - Vol 1 - 1666, Various. Henry Oldenburg (editor)
16,000th 1 Oct 2009 ABC Petits Contes, Jules Lemaître
17,000th 4 Mar 2010 The Position of Woman in Primitive Society, C. Gasquoine Hartley
18,000th 15 Jun 2010 Area Handbook for Romania, Eugene K. Keefe, et al.
19,000th 10 Nov 2010 Vanden Vos Reinaerde Uitgegeven en Toegelicht (anonymous)
20,000th 10 April 2011 (See 20,000th E-book below)
22,000th 2 Jan 2012 "The Nibelungenlied", William Nanson Lettsom's translation
25,000th 10 April 2013 The Art and Practice of Silver Printing, H. P. Robinson and Capt. Abney
30,000th 7 July 2015 Graded Literature Readers: Fourth Book
35,000th 26 Jan 2018 Shores of the Polar Sea, a Narrative of the Arctic Expedition of 1875–1876
36,000th 7 September 2018 American Missionary
37,000th 16 April 2019 French Painting of the 19th Century in the National Gallery of Art
38,000th 8 November 2019 The Birds of Australia (Vol. 3 of 7)
39,000th 27 April 2020 Wilhelm Hauffs sämtliche Werke in sechs Bänden. Bd. 6
40,000th 10 October 2020 All four volumes of London Labour and the London Poor[10]
41,000th 5 March 2021 Clara Barton's The story of my childhood[11]
42,000th 3 August 2021 Carry On, Jeeves
43,000th 31 January, 2022 Die Sitten der Völker, Zweiter Band[12]

10,000th E-bookEdit

On 9 March 2007, Distributed Proofreaders announced the completion of more than 10,000 titles. In celebration, a collection of fifteen titles was published:

20,000th E-bookEdit

On April 10, 2011, the 20,000th book milestone was celebrated as a group release of bilingual books:[13]

  • The Renaissance in Italy–Italian Literature, Vol 1, John Addington Symonds (English with Italian)
  • Märchen und Erzählungen für Anfänger; erster Teil, H. A. Guerber (German with English)
  • Gedichte und Sprüche, Walther von der Vogelweide (Middle High German (ca. 1050-1500) with German)
  • Studien und Plaudereien im Vaterland, Sigmon Martin Stern (German with English)
  • Caos del Triperuno, Teofilo Folengo (Italian with Latin)
  • Niederländische Volkslieder, Hoffmann von Fallersleben (German with Dutch)
  • A "San Francisco", Salvatore Di Giacomo (Italian with Neapolitan)
  • O' voto, Salvatore Di Giacomo (Italian with Neapolitan)
  • De Latino sine Flexione & Principio de Permanentia, Giuseppe Peano (1858-1932) (Latin with Latino sine Flexione)
  • Cappiddazzu paga tuttu—Nino Martoglio, Luigi Pirandello (Italian with Sicilian)
  • The International Auxiliary Language Esperanto, George Cox (English with Esperanto)
  • Lusitania: canti popolari portoghesi, Ettore Toci (Italian with French)

30,000th E-bookEdit

On 7 July 2015, the 30,000th book milestone was celebrated with a group of thirty texts. One was numbered 30,000:[14]

  • Graded literature readers - Fourth book, editors: Harry Pratt Judson and Ida C. Bender, 1900

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Distributed Proofreaders". github.com. Retrieved 2022-02-01.
  2. ^ "Celebrating 30,000 Titles | Hot off the Press". Blog.pgdp.net. 2015-07-07. Archived from the original on 2016-12-20. Retrieved 2016-09-15.
  3. ^ "Celebrating 39,000 Titles". Blog.pgdp.net. 2020-11-08. Archived from the original on 2020-06-03. Retrieved 2020-04-27.
  4. ^ Lessig, Lawrence (2009). Remix: Making Art and Commerce Thrive in the Hybrid Economy. Penguin. p. 109. ISBN 978-0-14-311613-4.
  5. ^ "Gutenberg:Volunteers' Voices". Project Gutenberg. Archived from the original on 2008-09-18. Retrieved 2008-07-12.
  6. ^ "Distributed Proofreading's slashdotting". Boing Boing. 12 November 2002. Archived from the original on 2007-11-09. Retrieved 2008-07-12.
  7. ^ Gentry, Craig; Ramzan, Zulfikar; Stuart Stubblebine (February 28 – March 3, 2005). "Secure Distributed Human Computation". In Andrew S. Patrick; Moti Yung (eds.). Financial cryptography and data security: 9th International Conference. Lecture Notes in Computer Science. Vol. 3570. Roseau, The Commonwealth of Dominica: Springer. p. 329. doi:10.1145/1064009.1064026. ISBN 3-540-26656-9.
  8. ^ Lebert, Marie (November 4, 2010). "Distributed Proofreaders, producteur des livres du Projet Gutenberg, a 10 ans". Actualitté (in French). Archived from the original on October 5, 2011. Retrieved 2011-06-30.
  9. ^ "DP Timeline - DPWiki". www.pgdp.net. Retrieved 2020-08-13.
  10. ^ "Celebrating 40,000 Titles". Pgdp.net.
  11. ^ "Celebrating 41,000 Titles". Pgdp.net.
  12. ^ "Celebrating 43,000 Titles". blog.pgdp.net. February 1, 2022. Retrieved February 1, 2022.
  13. ^ Distributed Proofreaders celebrates 20,000 books posted Archived 2011-06-19 at the Wayback Machine, Distributed Proofreaders, April 10, 2011
  14. ^ "Distributed Proofreaders • View topic - 30,000 Unique Titles Preserved!". Pgdp.net. Retrieved 2016-09-15.

External linksEdit