History of the Ebook: The Changing Face of Books

History of the Ebook: The Changing Face of Books

Laura Manley & Robert P. Holley. Technical Services Quarterly. Volume 29, Issue 4, 2012

DOI:10.1080/07317131.2012.705731

The history of the ebook and e-readers began before World War II with Vannevar Bush, who conceived the memex as a way for individuals to store and read increasing amounts of available information. Project Gutenberg started digitizing texts in 1971. In this article the authors trace the history of ebooks and e-readers from these early beginnings to the current explosion of ebook use. While libraries started to experiment with ebooks relatively late, they have jumped upon the ebook bandwagon within the last few years. Problems have arisen with proprietary formats, licensing rather than ownership, and the mechanics of ebook circulation.