If you don’t know Project Guttenberg–and you should–it’s well worth spending your time over there to familiarize yourself with its contents and the way it has gone about creating the collection.

I keep track of it through the RSS feed of recently added books, which is updated nightly. That’s where I find out about new books like, The Pecan and its Culture, published in 1906, which includes the photo shown at left.

On their own, the one image and the one title are perhaps not so interesting or so significant (though I for one love these little snapshots of Americana, especially such primary material). What is significant of course is the mass nature of the digitization, and the care in which it is undertaken.  I compare this care with the sometimes abysmal scanning work being done by Google (and with much more fanfare). The fruits of Project Guttenberg are much more openly available, much easier to access, and much easier to migrate to reading devices like the Kindle.

So as we look at all the eBook and digitization efforts underway today, let’s not forget Project Guttenberg.