Project Gutenberg, a non-profit organization, was founded in 1971 by Michael Hart, who, in order to display a passage of a book, would type the text, pasting it onto a photograph of the work. Nowadays, digital copies of scanned books are made available for many books of the public domain, and this effort has led to many people becoming accustomed to the idea of reading on the Internet. In 2001, Project Gutenberg published its first eBook, with 1,008 works in nine languages. Since then, Project Gutenberg has remained an independent copyright-watchdog, searching for and publishing illegally-copied books in public domain. In late 2009, the Internet Archive agreed to collect all links to Project Gutenberg's e-books, and to guarantee their availability. On January 1st, 2014, Project Gutenberg partnered with the Internet Archive's Wayback Machine, where the World Wide Web is stored.
The Epoken Project is a German based, non-profit organization that started in 2013 collecting thousands of e-books from the German public domain, and is now up to over 45 Mb of books. It is also the name for their free and open source software, which is available on their GitHub repository under the name of "Epoken" (which means "e-book" in German).
WikiBook is an initiative of the Internet Archive between 1997 and 2001; it was one of the first large-scale collaborative text-editing projects. Volunteers, editing nothing but plain text and using plain HTML features, worked in parallel on thousands of books of the public domain in over 100 languages. The first book published under this format was the Book of Kells, an early medieval Latin book of art. d2c66b5586