LibriVox.org, the world’s largest producer of free public domain audiobooks, and the Internet Archive are pleased to announce a generous grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, on the heels of a recent landmark achievement: 100 million downloads of the over 5,000 free LibriVox audiobooks from the Internet Archive.
The Mellon grant will go towards rebuilding LibriVox’s technical infrastructure, and improving accessibility of the LibriVox website.
“It’s fantastic to get this support from the Mellon Foundation,” said LibriVox founder Hugh McGuire. “It will be put to good use, helping our hard-working volunteers create many more free audiobooks.”
LibriVox, a volunteer project of the Internet Archive, gets volunteers from around the world to make audio recordings of public domain texts, and gives those recordings away for free. All LibriVox audiobooks are hosted at the Internet Archive.
Founded in 2005, LirbiVox has to date produced 5,371 free audiobooks, in 31 languages. Popular audiobooks include “The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes,” by Arthur Conan Doyle, “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” by Mark Twain, and “Jane Eyre,” by Charlotte Brontë. In addition to novels, the LibriVox collection includes numerous texts of importance from philosophers such as Kant, Descartes, and Hume, political documents such as the “Universal Declaration of Human Rights,” and scientific texts including Einstein’s “Relativity,” and Darwin’s “Origin of the Species.”
“The LibriVox collection is one of the most popular on the Internet Archive,” said Brewster Kahle, Founder and Director of the Internet Archive. “100 million downloads is awesome. LibriVox is an integral part of our commitment to making important texts available to the world in the best format for people, and we are thrilled at the support from the Mellon Foundation.”
Cori Samuel, a long-time LibriVox volunteer, who has recorded some of the project’s more popular books, was in shock at the numbers. “It’s hard to believe that what started out as a small project among some passionate people on the web has turned into something so big. It’s incredible to imagine that we could have touched the lives of 100 million listeners.”