“The Internet Archive…is building a home for Universal Access to All Knowledge, open to everyone, everywhere, to use as they like. Open to all societies of the future that care to build on our triumphs and learn from our mistakes.”
– Lawrence Lessig
Last night in New York City, we put on our best duds and donned our fanciest archivist hats for a once in a lifetime event. The Internet Archive was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 21st annual Webbys, hailed by the New York Times as “one of the Internet’s highest honors.” The Webby Awards lauded the Internet Archive for being “the web’s most knowledgeable historian.”
Three of our veteran staff members, Tracey Jaquith, TV Archive Architect, Internet Archive founder and Digital Librarian, Brewster Kahle, and Alexis Rossi, Director of Media and Access, accepted the award. Kahle delivered the five-word acceptance speech with panache: “Universal Access to All Knowledge.”
Perhaps the greatest honor of the evening came in the form of a video narrated by Open Knowledge champion, Lawrence Lessig. He said, “Creativity and innovation built on the past. The Internet Archive is the foundation preserving that past, so that perhaps, one can at least hope that our children and their children can shape a future that knows our joys and learns from our many mistakes.”
The award was presented by Nancy Lublin, CEO of the Crisis Text Line and DoSomething.org, who pointed out that in this chaotic political year, the Internet Archive has saved “200 terabytes of government data that could have otherwise been lost in the transition from blue light saber to red light saber.”
The award reads:
Webby Lifetime Achievement: Archive.org for its commitment to making the world’s knowledge available online and preserving the history of the Internet itself. With a vast collection of digitized materials and tools like the Wayback Machine, Archive.org has become a vital resource not only to catalogue an ever-changing medium, but to safeguard a free and open Internet for everyone.
The complete list of Webby Award winners is available here.