I've started exploring some of the texts on Project Gutenberg and the first happens to be the Douay-Rheims bible. I'm looking at the Text section and just see a blob of documents not divided by any semantic order, seemingly just a linearly spaced indexing of the document into uniform chunks. Does anybody have any insight to their document creation approach? Is there some performance reasons to do the above? Each text seems to be about 1400 odd lines of html. I'm thinking about editing the subtexts to be ordered around the actual books of the Bible but wonder if I would be unwittingly breaking/violating something.

editing Douay-Rheims bible from Project Gutenberg

  • 1
    I think that the epub at PG are created with some automatic tool, not by hand; that's why they look like that.
    – Sekhemty
    Commented Oct 3, 2017 at 12:47

1 Answer 1


Looks like indeed this was created with some automatic tool. I was snooping around the file in the Miscellaneous folder and found content.opf which has a bunch of traces of this Split on p operation showing up in the comments along with a relatively uniform chunk size.

Furthermore I emailed them about an error in the table of contents and got this response...

David Widger via RT
7:05 AM (3 hours ago)
Hi jxramos,

I find that this was one of the early PG productions which were only in the
ASCII format and had no accompanying html file made by the producer of the text
file. The html file listed with this ebook was one autogenerated and these are
often quite unsatisfactory.

A much better PG edition is:


The html file was manually produced and the mobile viewer files appear

I would refer you to PG #8300


Project Gutenberg

content.opf enumerating chunk size

  • PG content leaves much to be desired in many instances, an alternative that curates similar public domain materials is through standardebooks.org
    – jxramos
    Commented Nov 28, 2017 at 19:53

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