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Old 09-12-2012, 06:44 AM   #1
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Out of copyright ebooks/writers you'd most like to see digitized?

Here are a few of my recommendations/authors. All of these should be freely available, but some are completely AWOL, and others are out there on the Web, but in dismally illegible formats (shame on you, Archive.org).

Admittedly, this list reflects my prejudice towards epub. But the other versions in many cases aren't much better.

Ronald Firbank
Frederick Rolfe/a.k.a. Baron Corvo
Edmund Wilson - Axel's Castle is available from Archive.org, but the epub version is terrible
Walter de la Mare - classic ghost story author, but most of his classics are nowhere to be seen
August Strindberg - also available mostly in dismal facsimiles
George Macaulay Trevelyan - great British historian also available from Archive.org only in terrible epub versions


Anyone else have some suggestions?
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Old 09-12-2012, 06:58 AM   #2
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All of these should be freely available
Should??? If, then all of these are available only because of the generous unpaid work of many volunteers. Please, don't take this for granted!

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August Strindberg
In which language do you want to read Strindberg? It may be that only the original is in the public domain but not the translation.
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Old 09-12-2012, 07:44 AM   #3
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Actually, it seems that for Archive.org at least, these texts are not provided by hardworking volunteers, but simply scanned wholesale and then digitized by machine without any checking of the result. That's my main beef. I could well be wrong, but that's how it looks.

And Strindberg translations are in ebook format, but alas with the same formatting issues.
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Old 09-12-2012, 09:32 AM   #4
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Actually, it seems that for Archive.org at least, these texts are not provided by hardworking volunteers, but simply scanned wholesale and then digitized by machine without any checking of the result. That's my main beef. I could well be wrong, but that's how it looks.
You could also take on the job of proofreading the material yourself.
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Old 09-12-2012, 11:48 AM   #5
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Actually, it seems that for Archive.org at least, these texts are not provided by hardworking volunteers, but simply scanned wholesale and then digitized by machine without any checking of the result. That's my main beef.
That proves my point - these books are still lacking the human labour to make them a fine reading experience.

By the way, you can always ask politely in this thread
http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?t=76205
if someone wants to make a fine ebook based on the archive.org-files.

But I think we are drifting a little bit aside, you wanted to know about other authors who's works are in the public domain but are not or only in a poor state available.
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Old 09-12-2012, 12:11 PM   #6
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Actually, it seems that for Archive.org at least, these texts are not provided by hardworking volunteers, but simply scanned wholesale and then digitized by machine without any checking of the result. That's my main beef. I could well be wrong, but that's how it looks.

And Strindberg translations are in ebook format, but alas with the same formatting issues.
Use the page scans to proof and correct the OCR'd text, then upload a nice corrected book to the MR library for others to enjoy. If you like the book, it's perhaps worth considering a small investment of time to create a nice eBook? Not only do you benefit, but everyone else does, too.
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Old 09-12-2012, 02:36 PM   #7
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Walter de la Mare - classic ghost story author, but most of his classics are nowhere to be seen
Interesting that you regard Walter de la Mare as a writer of classic ghost stories. I always thought of him as a poet and author of children's stories.

We live and learn.

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Last edited by Mike L; 09-12-2012 at 02:37 PM. Reason: Because we all make mistakes
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Old 09-13-2012, 03:10 AM   #8
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I'd love to see Mark Clifton's science fiction stories, especially his short stories. He had distinctive approach. I'm in the throes of preparing a short story collection for the MR library, but can only find ten of his twenty or so short stories in digital form.
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Old 09-13-2012, 03:17 AM   #9
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I'd love to see Mark Clifton's science fiction stories, especially his short stories. He had distinctive approach. I'm in the throes of preparing a short story collection for the MR library, but can only find ten of his twenty or so short stories in digital form.
Mark Clifton died in 1963, so his work is NOT in the public domain. The only exception to this would be magazine stories for which US copyright was not renewed, and these would be in the public domain in the US only. His work is assuredly not in the public domain in Australia!
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Old 09-13-2012, 03:30 AM   #10
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I have plenty of out of print books I'd like to see as ebooks but I don't think there are any out of copyright books that I'd be interested in that isn't already in ebook format.
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Old 09-13-2012, 04:41 AM   #11
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Mark Clifton died in 1963, so his work is NOT in the public domain. The only exception to this would be magazine stories for which US copyright was not renewed, and these would be in the public domain in the US only. His work is assuredly not in the public domain in Australia!
Oh dear. I don't suppose it matters that he died intestate, that I've already uploaded one of his novels to the MR library as have several other people, and that some of the short stories are on Project Gutenberg? Oh well, I guess I'll wait a few months.
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Old 09-13-2012, 05:29 AM   #12
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Oh dear. I don't suppose it matters that he died intestate, that I've already uploaded one of his novels to the MR library as have several other people, and that some of the short stories are on Project Gutenberg? Oh well, I guess I'll wait a few months.
His work will be in the public domain in "Life+50" countries on 1st Jan 2014. (But not in the Australian public domain until 2034, since Australia has a "Life+70" copyright law.)

No, the fact that he died intestate doesn't affect copyright in the least, and the fact that something is on the US PG site simply means that it's in the public domain in the US, not elsewhere. That's why PG tells you to check before downloading whether or not it's in the public domain in your country.

Last edited by HarryT; 09-13-2012 at 05:48 AM.
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Old 09-13-2012, 06:50 AM   #13
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I checked in Project Gutenberg Australia, and he's not there, I'm afraid: http://gutenberg.net.au/plusfifty.html

It's a great place to check out other writers hard to find elsewhere, such as George Orwell, Josephine Tey, etc ...


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His work will be in the public domain in "Life+50" countries on 1st Jan 2014. (But not in the Australian public domain until 2034, since Australia has a "Life+70" copyright law.)

No, the fact that he died intestate doesn't affect copyright in the least, and the fact that something is on the US PG site simply means that it's in the public domain in the US, not elsewhere. That's why PG tells you to check before downloading whether or not it's in the public domain in your country.
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Old 09-13-2012, 07:02 AM   #14
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De la Mare wrote some fabulous ones - no wonder his poetry was sometimes so creepy. According to the Wikipedia entry on him: 'De la Mare was also a significant writer of ghost stories. John Clute comments that "in his long career, De la Mare seems to have published about 100 stories, of which about eighty-five have been collected. At least forty of these have supernatural content".'

Interestingly, very little of this stuff is still in print, either public domain or commercial. Now *that* sounds like a case for some serious digitizing ...


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Interesting that you regard Walter de la Mare as a writer of classic ghost stories. I always thought of him as a poet and author of children's stories.

We live and learn.

Mike
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Old 09-13-2012, 07:42 AM   #15
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De la Mare wrote some fabulous ones - no wonder his poetry was sometimes so creepy. According to the Wikipedia entry on him: 'De la Mare was also a significant writer of ghost stories. John Clute comments that "in his long career, De la Mare seems to have published about 100 stories, of which about eighty-five have been collected. At least forty of these have supernatural content".'

Interestingly, very little of this stuff is still in print, either public domain or commercial. Now *that* sounds like a case for some serious digitizing ...
BBC Radio did a very good series of readings of the ghost stories of Walter de la Mare. It's repeated fairly regularly on BBC Radio 4 Extra (their "audiobooks and drama" station).
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