December 19, 2014

The Internet Archive's "Physical Archive" Profiled in New York Times

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From the NY Times Article, “In a Flood Tide of Digital Data, an Ark Full of Books”:

Forty-foot shipping containers stacked two by two are stuffed with the most enduring, as well as some of the most forgettable, books of the era. Every week, 20,000 new volumes arrive, many of them donations from libraries and universities thrilled to unload material that has no place in the Internet Age.

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“We want to collect one copy of every book,” said Brewster Kahle, who has spent $3 million to buy and operate this repository situated just north of San Francisco. “You can never tell what is going to paint the portrait of a culture.”

As society embraces all forms of digital entertainment, this latter-day Noah is looking the other way. A Silicon Valley entrepreneur who made his fortune selling a data-mining company to Amazon.com in 1999, Mr. Kahle founded and runs the Internet Archive, a nonprofit organization devoted to preserving Web pages — 150 billion so far — and making texts more widely available.

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An obvious model for the repository is the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, which is buried in the Norwegian permafrost and holds 740,000 seed samples as a safety net for biodiversity. But the repository is also an outgrowth of notions that Mr. Kahle, 51, has had his entire career.

“There used to be all these different models of what the Internet was going to be, and one of them was the great library that would offer universal access to all knowledge,” he said. “I’m still working on it.”

Read the Complete Article

See Also: The Internet Archive’s “Physical Archive” Officially Launched in June, 2011. Here are a Few Additional INFOdocket Posts,

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Gary Price About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.