Leo Tolstoy’s works to go online

The multi-volume collection by Tolstoy includes his novels, diaries, letters, articles and religious and philosophical texts. Source: RIA Novosti / Boris Prikhodko

The multi-volume collection by Tolstoy includes his novels, diaries, letters, articles and religious and philosophical texts. Source: RIA Novosti / Boris Prikhodko

‘All Tolstoy in One Click,’ is a Russian effort on the lines of Project Guttenberg that will digitise the 90-volume collection of works by the iconic writer.

Following the footsteps of Project Guttenberg, a volunteer effort to digitise and archive cultural works, the Leo Tolstoy State Museum and Russian software company ABBYY will put the entire collection of works by the great writer online.

The multi-volume collection by Tolstoy includes his novels, diaries, letters, articles and religious and philosophical texts. When the project is launched, these texts will be legally available for free on the website http://readingtolstoy.ru both for online reading and downloading to mobiles.

The texts have been scanned, and volunteers engaged to proofread the electronic version and correct any mistakes. Anyone can become a volunteer by visiting the project’s website and signing in. First-time volunteers get a 20-page abstract. The processed texts will be proofread by professional editors.

The idea to make the works by the great writer available to the public for free on the internet was put forward by his great-granddaughter Fyokla Tolstaya, head of the development department at the Leo Tolstoy State Museum. “When I discussed the project with my friends, many of them said: ‘That’s a good idea, you should make sure that no one steals it from you.’ But my main objective is different: you can take whatever you like and reprint it, she told Vedmosti. “I guess Leo Nikolayevich would approve of what we are doing and support the free distribution of his works. His publishing activity and refusal to accept fees prove this.”

The steering committee of the project, told RIR that internet users have responded to the initiative enthusiastically, and within five hours of its launch, the ‘All Tolstoy in One Click project’ had more than 100 volunteers, who downloaded more than five volumes for proofreading. 24 hours later, more than 500 volunteers were working on the project. According to ABBYY estimates, the project will require about 2500 volunteers.  There will be greater clarity over the next fortnight as to how much time will be needed to proofread all of the 90 volumes. The company hopes to have a number of volumes ready for September 9, Tolstoy’s birth anniversary.

The texts will only be available in Russian at the moment.

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