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As I understand it, ProjectGutenberg? has published what they call the "Project Gutenberg Encyclopedia". What this actually is, is the classic 11th edition of the EncyclopediaBritannica?. However, because 'Britannica' is a trademark, even though the text is now public domain (because it is so old), they were unable to call it EncyclopediaBritannica?.

Call it what you will, it is available, and we should consider putting the entire text here, in the Wikipedia. This may be a lot of work (like my own pet project, which is cutting and pasting all of the public domain CIAWorldFactbook? over in CountriesOfTheWorld -- please help me!), but it sure would be a fun thing to have in here. People could start updating/replacing the articles with ProjectGutenbergEncyclopedia? as the foundation.

Also, I bet there are a lot of instances where the text of the article could be wikified by cramming words together. -- JimboWales

Whoa, WhatACoincidence?. I just now was downloading vol#1 from it and seeing what it'd take to put it in. :-)

The license says it's in the public domain and we can do whatever we please with it...

I will volunteer to work on chopping out all of the articles from volume 1 and posting them in the appropriate places. Other than really basic stuff, I'm not going to fiddle with the formatting nor update any inaccuracies contained in them, so anyone seeing things to change, correct, or update should lay into it.

The two MAJOR concerns I have in doing this is a¤ the information may be WAY out of date in some cases, maybe even to the point of uselessness, and b¤ the articles may be too long for the average wikitizen to get into - they may feel too intimidated by the length and tone of the article to add or correct as we'll need.

But, I guess we'll never know unless we try, so here goes... ;-) -- BryceHarrington

I would suggest adding "PG" or "EB" or "11" at the end of the name of any page that is taken from EBİ Then we could edit versions of that, while the original is preservedİ -- LarrySanger
It appears that only the first volume of this encyclopedia was entered into PG... It occurs to me that if people are interested in the original, then they can always just go to the project gutenberg site, and then be certain they're getting the straight stuff. Or they can trust my cut-and-paste skill and look at revision 0...

I think our purpose in using that material is just as a starting point for our own encyclopedia... Thus I think it'd be better if I just plugged them right into the topics, without putting 'EB' on the topicname. So we'd have just one copy of each article, plus any commentary placed on top of them by subsequent editing. Does that sound okay? -- BryceHarrington

Sounds alright -- WojPob
In looking it over, there's two rules we'll have to follow. First, we cannot use the name "Britannica" because that is a trademark. Second, Project Gutenberg requires that NO mention is made of Project Gutenberg if the text is altered from what they supply. We are free to copy and reuse the text, and edit it as we wish, but can't claim it is from Encyclopedia Britannica nor from Project Gutenberg. Weird, eh? Anyway... Correct me if I've misinterpreted the various bits of small text. -- BryceHarrington

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Last edited January 28, 2001 5:51 am by BryceHarrington (diff)