January 18, 2022

The Internet Archive Agrees to Buy the Entire Collection (500,000 Recordings) of Seattle’s Bop Street Records

UPDATE June 11, 2020 From The NY Times:

“Internet Archive received additional scrutiny this week from the office of Senator Thom Tillis, a North Carolina Republican and the chairman of the intellectual property subcommittee on the Senate Judiciary Committee. Mr. Tillis sent a letter to the organization Wednesday questioning its plan to digitize and publish 500,000 sound recordings from Bop Street Records, a store in Seattle. His office also raised concerns about the National Emergency Library in April.

“I recognize the value in preserving culture and ensuring that it is accessible by future generations,” Mr. Tillis wrote in the letter Wednesday. “But I am concerned that the Internet Archive thinks that it — not Congress — gets to determine the scope of copyright law.”


From the The Seattle Times:

When Dave Voorhees, owner of Seattle’s Bop Street Records, announced last month that the store was closing at the end of June in part because of the COVID-19 pandemic, he wasn’t sure if he would be able to sell his enormous collection of 500,000 recordings, sales he had hoped would fund his retirement.

This past Sunday, Voorhees stopped worrying. A San Francisco nonprofit called the Internet Archive agreed to purchase the entire collection, sight unseen.


[The purchase is] also quite unusual, in that the Internet Archive is not another record store or collector looking to turn a profit, but a library that intends to digitize the recordings and put them online, where they can be streamed for free.


In a phone interview confirming the sale, [Brewster] Kahle said the goal of his organization is “to build the Library of Alexandria for the digital age,” referring to the library in ancient Egypt that famously burned down.

Read the Complete Article

See Also: The Internet Archive Launches a New Music Player: Access 1 Million+ Recordings, View Liner Notes, Discover Related Tracks, and More (October 2019)

See Also: During  Fall 2019, the Internet Archive Became the Owner of Better World Books

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.