What it is

Project Gutenberg is a repository of public domain texts. This covers thousands of books from the works of Shakespeare, Dickens, Poe and Twain to The Radio Boys in the Thousand Islands and L. Frank Baum's American Fairy Tales

This browser provides a quick and easy way to browse through the Gutenberg collection without needing to hit their site for each book lookup.

It works by downloading the text files that describe the books on the Gutenberg site and creating a local database to query.

When you've found a book you are interested in, you can download it to your system, and either read it in a new window, save it as a text file to read later, or save it as a PDB file to download to a PDA and read with C-Spot-Run or PalmReader.

Non-text files (audio books, images, Edison recordings, etc) can be saved in their native formats to be played or viewed with other software.


The current revision is 1.15. Full History

Using Gutenbrowse

When you start gutenbrowse for the first time, it will display a warning message like this:

If your system is not behind a firewall that requires http proxies, you can select Yes and the GutenBrowser will display a red screen, and spend several minutes (depending on your connection speed) downloading files.

If you need to define a proxy host, this can be done using the Options/Preferences menu. After changing the proxy host it's best to restart gutenbrowser. The proxy host code is not tested, for lack of a system to test it on. If it works for you, (or not) let me know, and I'll change it to work differently. (Well, maybe I won't get around to changing it right away if it works.)

The gutenbrowser will download and process the entire Project Gutenberg catalog. The upper blue bar will show how much of the process is complete. When it is complete, the update window will be replaced by a screen like this:

You can type in sections of an author's name into the Creator field, or parts of a title into the title field, select specific types of documents to view, or select only certain languages to view.

The selection is an "AND" of the constraints. Thus, typing Baum and Oz gets the Oz books written by L. Frank Baum, but not other Oz books, or other books written by Baum.

Hitting the Enter will select what you've typed and perform a search, or you can click the Books icon to the right, or clear the viewing area with the Erase icon further to the right.

After you've selected something and hit the button, the screen might look like this:

Clicking a book title will download the book, and display it in a new screen like this:

The button-bar controls will allow you to:

On the right of the text window is the normal scrollbar, and on the left is a jump-bar that supports jumping to bookmarks. You can set bookmarks by hand, or with the Find utility under the Edit menu.

Getting Gutenbrowse

Download the Windows or Linux version, as appropriate. The Windows version is packaged as a zip or plain exe, the Linux version is gzipped.

Create a directory (or folder, if you prefer) for the Gutenberg browser, and download to that location. Windows user may not want to put this on the desktop, since it will create a new folder. Once you've downloaded the executable, unzip it and run. No other installation required.

Right-Click and select Save As to download one of these.

Happy Reading...

Techie Details

Gutenbrowse is written in Tcl/Tk and C, packaged with StarPack. The Windows version is compiled with gcc using cygwin and mingw.

These files are created in the .gutenbrowse folder either below the gutenbrowse executable or in your $HOME.

catalog.rdf, catalog.rdf.bz2
XML text files of author/title/etextID info
MetaKit database used by gutenbrowse
Any books you decide to save as text
Any books you decide to save for Palm format
Any audio books or other recordings you download.