On Project Gutenberg, Math Books and Google Books and DJVU.
As many of you know Project Gutenberg is the brain child of Michael S. Hart.
The web site for Project Gutenberg is at
It collects in one place public domain works. The number of works of literature they have collected so far at Project Gutenberg is about 22,000. They use volunteers to proof read the converted works. The current process is a laborious one even with the use of very sophisticated technology.
A book is scanned and the imaged pages are feed into a computer OCR program usually ABBY Reader then a text file is produce and the page images and the text file are presented to volunteers in a process called distributed proof reading.
The Project Gutenberg mainly includes works in the English languages, only very few works on other languages are included. Another big disappointment with Project Gutenberg is that very few mathematical works are part of the project. This is not for lack of available material but I will guess for the difficulty in translating mathematical notations into or MathML.
Meanwhile some other options have appear that are trying to filled this vacuum. One other choice is the project initiated by Google. The project that I am referring to here is the Google Books. In this project Google has put a large collection of works this time including a big collection of mathematical books. The books from big university libraries are being scanned. Giving us back this treasures of old.
The works available for free on the net in Adobe PDF Reader format are the works of the greatest mathematicians in history. From the completed works of Gauss to Euler’s to Augustin L Cauchy,Evariste Galois, J Lagrange, Camille Jordan, Serre etc.
While the work done by Google is commendable they are still some issues. Some of the works have not being scanned properly and the pages are crooked and some of the pages the fonts are not readable. On the other hand it is great to be able to do a Google search on all the available classical books! There will be hopefully a day when we can just do research on existing material from the comfort of one’s own home.
Another similar effort is done by
similar in spirit to Google Books and to Project Gutenberg. Mainly all this projects are using the established Adobe PDF file format to publish the works. Unfortunately the file size for adobe PDF files is quite large since most of them are stored as images. For the average book the file size goes from 10 to 25 megabytes. This will be a problem for those with very slow connections to the internet to be able to access this great works!
On the other hand another technology similar to Adobe PDF have emerge. It’s produced by Lizardtech and name of the file format is DJVU (Pronounced “Deja Vu”!)
Their reader can be downloaded freely from
A big collection of mathematical works using the DJVU technology is freely accessible to those able to read Russian.
One is able to find a wonderful collection of math and physics Russian books at
there you can find books like
translation to the Russian of Courant and Robbins What is Mathematics? and many more jewels for free.
The majority of the books in the collection are oriented towards elementary mathematics.
You may encounter wonderful books by Yaglom, Perelman, Kolmogorov, Lovachevsky , Euclid even more modern books by Prasolov on Geometry and Topology and all that is needed is the DJVU reader a good internet connection and a bit of patience.
Below you will find a few samples of some classics available at Google Books.
Euler’s Differential Calculus
Agustin Louis Cauchy Cours D’Analyse
Joseph Louis Lagrange Traité de la résolution des équations numériques de tous les degrés.
Camille Jordan Traité des substitutions et des équations algébriques
and many more classics works by N. H. Abel, Jacobi, S. Lie, just to name a few more.
Another important source of mathematical classics is at
Hope you will enjoy the free availability of very hight quality mathematical material!
This is a blog posting from www.isallaboutmath.com