Monday, February 25, 2013

The Internet Archive's physical book archive

In my campus class on digitization, one student brought this article in for discussion.  In 2011, the Internet Archive announced that it had created a physical archive of books that it has digitized.  According to the Internet Archive, some libraries do not want the books returned after they have been digitized.  Their goal? 
The goal is to preserve one copy of every published work. The universe of unique titles has been estimated at close to one hundred million items. Many of these are rare or unique, so we do not expect most of these to come to the Internet Archive; they will instead remain in their current libraries. But the opportunity to preserve over ten million items is possible, so we have designed a system that will expand to this level. Ten million books is approximately the size of a world-class university library or public library, so we see this as a worthwhile goal. If we are successful, then this set of cultural materials will last for centuries and could be beneficial in ways that we cannot predict.
Read the article for more information on how the books are being stored, which I must admit is interesting.  The phrases "climate controlled" and "shipping containers" are often used together in my world!

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