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LibriVox is a hope, an experiment, and a question: can the net harness a bunch of volunteers to help bring books in the public domain to life through podcasting?

LibriVox volunteers record chapters of books in the public domain, and then we release the audio files back onto the net (podcast, catalog, and bit torrent). We are a totally volunteer, open source, free content, public domain project.

We get most of our texts from from Project Gutenberg, Internet Archive, or through other sources of scanned texts showing the publication date may be used. The Internet Archive hosts our audio files and website.

The LibriVox Objective

Our objective is to make all books in the public domain available, for free, in audio format on the internet.

Fundamental Principles

We have five core values, which help guide us in achieving our objective:

  1. Librivox is a non-commercial, non-profit and ad-free project
  2. Librivox donates its recordings to the public domain
  3. Librivox is powered by volunteers
  4. Librivox maintains a loose and open structure
  5. Librivox welcomes all volunteers from across the globe

Brief History

  • August 10, 2005 - LibriVox created, by Hugh McGuire, on
  • August 11, 2005 - first book selected, and fully subscribed: Secret Agent, by Joseph Conrad. Readers include: Hugh McGuire, Neal Foley, Fling93, Branko Collin, Greg Schwartz, Lloyd Davis, Mitchell Dwyer, Michèle Pacey, Gina, Mark Bradford, Derek Elliot, Paula Berinstein
  • September 12, 2005 - LibriVox posted on Boing Boing
  • September 15, 2005 - domain name registered
  • September 26, 2005 - LibriVox Forums began with 6 books in progress: Frankenstein, Call of the Wild, Psmith in the City, Notes from the Underground, The Secret Agent, and The Mysterious Affair at Styles.
  • October 25, 2005 - LibriVox invited by the Internet Archive to attend launch of the Open Library, where LibriVox presents An International Episode, by Henry James.
  • November 16, 2005 - The Validator (LibriVox MC file upload tool) first becomes available.
  • January 8, 2006 - The "Proof-Listening" forum is opened.
  • August 7, 2006 - The Importance of Being Earnest is LibriVox's first audio-play completed and cataloged.
  • January 4, 2007 - The new LibriVox catalog/search engine is made public.
  • April 23, 2007 - LibriVox reaches 1000 readers.
  • October 10, 2008 - The LibriVox catalog totals a full year (8760 hours) of audio.
  • December 31, 2008 - LibriVox releases its 2000th audiobook. The event is announced in this post.
  • February 17, 2009 - LibriVox releases its 1000th solo audiobook.
  • July 2009 - LibriVox releases its 2500th audiobook. The event is announced in this thread.
  • December 2009 - LibriVox begins to implement dynamic catalog pages.
  • December 26, 2009 - LibriVox releases its 3000th audiobook: The Red Planet, by William John Locke.
  • February 4, 2010 - The LibriVox catalog totals 2 years (17520 hours) of audio, after having cataloged The Brothers Karamazov.
  • February 24, 2010 - LibriVox launches its first fundraising drive. The goal is to raise $20K, to cover expenses for the next couple of years. It was announced in this blog post:
  • March 09, 2010 - LibriVox's first fundraising is closed, after raising $23K. The even was announced in this post: