Now scrolling: The Gettysburg Address

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this. But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate -- we can not consecrate -- we can not hallow -- this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Week 9, Thing #22: Overdrive vs. Project Gutenberg

Exploring audio ebooks through Overdrive was a learning experience. First I had to install the Overdrive Media Console, then upgrade Windows Media Player before I could check out a title. Because Baltimore County Public Library offers Overdrive titles through their website as well as their catalog, I needed only a library card number to access the account. Some titles are listed as "always available." Others need to be put on hold.

One of the titles always available was "Jefferson's War" by Joseph Wheelan. It could be downloaded as a total volume, or in parts. Once I was able to download this book, it was great to hear Patrick Cullen reading the narration. I can see why people prefer audiobooks in this format. They can be accessed from home and do not have to be returned. After 21 days, they expire.

Project Gutenberg has a better selection of titles on Lincoln, including the biography by John Hay and John Nicolay. Gutenberg offers an option to download in Plucker format, which apparently can be sent to a cellphone. I chose to use the online reader. It was very convenient to be viewing the original text of this biography in a PDF-type file.

Project Gutenberg is free, but asks for donations to keep the project going. Their selection is worth it. They also offer the opportunity for readers to proofread some of their texts.

Both ebook libraries are excellent, with Gutenberg having the edge for more academic volumes. I would recommend Overdrive for popular reading, and Gutenberg for searching harder-to-find works.

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