Making Information Available Online
by FHL Research Team
The advent of computers and the Internet has brought a lot of advantages. Aside from providing better means of communication, it resulted to faster and wider dissemination of information and easier access to such information.
Because of this, there have been efforts from different organizations to use this technological advancement in making information more available to as many people possible. This includes the creation of digital libraries or the development of electronic books or e-books.
One example is Project Gutenberg, an effort to digitally reproduce books that are no longer under copyright. It is the oldest digital library, which was founded by Michael Hart in 1971. The project tries to make the items in its collection as free as possible, in long-lasting, open formats that can be used on almost any computer.
A website came online for a different project, an attempt to use the massive numbers of people on the Internet to proofread OCR documents. Called Project Gutenberg's Distributed Proofreaders, the group designed software allowing a person, using only a web browser, to download a single page of OCR text and its matching page image, make changes to the text, and save it. After two such passes the pages are returned to a project manager who fixes any problems noted by the proofers and then submits the e-text to Project Gutenberg.
There is also a version of Project Gutenberg in the Philippines, which aims to make as many books available to as many people as possible, with a special focus on the Philippines and Philippine languages. Most of their e-books are old and rare materials that are now made easier to find, benefitting students, researchers, and Filipinos who want to know more about their literary and cultural heritage.
Through the efforts of volunteers in these projects, the number of electronic resources available through the Internet continues to increase significantly. It is a means of preserving the literary and cultural history of the country and of the world, made easily accessible for the present and succeeding generations.