15 Years of Distributed Proofreaders


I know, I’m a day late. I meant to do a blogpost yesterday, but a cold prevented it — my head just wasn’t up to any coherence.

If you haven’t heard about DP yet, never fear, there is the website explaining things.

And of course, there is a blog, which will enlighten you for the whole month of October with tidbits and stuff about DP. You can find the first blog post in that series here.

The banner above was created by Donovan, a PD volunteer.

I joined DP a bit more than five years ago–at first as a proofer, then I became a P2 mentor–that means, I welcome newbies and provide feedback on the pages they have done in specific projects.


Then, there are various forum threads, one of them is dedicated to giving birthday greetings to all the DPers who have a DP anniversary. Others used to run this thread, but for various reasons (health, work, etc) had to stop doing it, so now I try to keep it going.

In the running up to 1st October, there was a flurry of activities, like a countdown thread, the selection and preparation of special projects (which will pass through the rounds in hope of getting them finished by the end of October), etc.

Every volunteer was asked to join in and contribute whatever they saw fit. Jokes and bonmots made the rounds, and they’ll be collated somewhere, so they can be printed as flyers, bookmarks, or whatever.

My favourite was:

Q:How many Distributed Proofreaders does it take to change a lightbulb?
A: We wouldn’t change a lightbulb; we’d just leave a note: [** lightbulb broken].*

(*The thing about proofreading at DP is, that we don’t ‘correct’ the original scan, we leave it as we find it, but can leave a note as shown above. Find out more about it here. )

People added to that joke, so it was nearly a short story in the end, and it was a lot of fun.

One book project was chosen to be published as the 50,000th unique title at Project Gutenberg.

The whole community pulled together to bring


John Gutenberg, First Master Printer by Franz von Dingelstedt through the rounds, and it was finished within two days.

Since I’m a member of Librivox , I thought it might be a good idea, to have this project available as audio book, too, so I recorded it. My dedicated proof listener was a volunteer who, like me, is on DP and LV, so the collaboration continued.

If you are interested, you can find the audio file here. It is my fourth solo recording, and it took me more than two days from start to finish (I needed 13 days), but I think it’s the fastest solo I have ever done. 🙂


The celebrations aren’t finished yet, as mentioned above, there are various special projects going through the rounds, and we have a Smooothaton. For info, follow the link and read what it is all about.


You don’t need to sign up to take part in the smoothaton, however, you’d need to know a DP member if you’d like to transmit your findings.

So, why don’t you join in the celebrations, grab a book form the smoothreading pool, and get reading?


If you have any questions, please post below.




2 thoughts on “15 Years of Distributed Proofreaders

    1. ja, ich denke, eine Menge Aufnahmen beruhen auf Texten von PG, und ca 2/3 der Texte auf PG wurden von DP bearbeitet. ich finde es toll, dass das alles übergreifend funktioniert. 🙂


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