I checked out today’s Wiki article of the day and it was on this play by John Vanbrugh. The subject matter interests me (a “repentant” man who falls again to the temptation of adultery) so I thought I’d read it on PG, seeing as it’s certainly old enough to be out of copyright (published 1696) - but it’s not there! Why not, and can I read it on the internet somewhere else for free? (I’m not actually going to go out and buy it, I just wanted a little bedtime reading)
nobody has scanned it.
somebody has scanned it but it’s in a waiting queue somewhere.
Basically. PG is all-voluntary, which means stuff doesn’t get done unless someone feels like doing it. That’s one advantage of the google book-scan thing: they actually pay the people handling the scanners! (Another is that they just scan, no OCR and proofing… which in turn leads to the disadvantage of not being able to read it in any computer, a big point with PG)
“They” being Google, I assume? Because PG does have many proofreaders volunteering their time.
It may be relevant that it was only rarely printed between the eighteenth century and the mid-twentieth century, which won’t, in itself, have prevented it from being scanned, but does make the omission less surprising.
While not at all wanting to deter you from reading it, it may be worth warning you that halfway through Vanbrugh does rather loses interest in the Ned Loveless strand of the plot, even although the whole idea of it as one giant pisstake against Cibber is Vanbrugh’s best joke.