Author Archives: Wendy Hanamura

Betting on Bitcoin? Better see this film — Monday, February 26

We all know this person: the friend who bought a new car with her Bitcoin earnings during the boom. The uncle who moved his retirement funds into cryptocurrencies and lost his shirt after the bust. So why is everyone suddenly buzzing about Bitcoin? What do they know that you don’t?

For an evening of Bitcoin 101, come to the Internet Archive Headquarters in San Francisco on Monday, February 26 for a screening of the documentary, “BANKING ON BITCOIN,” directed by Christopher Cannucciari.  

Doors open at 6 p.m. for drinks and snacks along with interactive workshops. Bitcoin community members will be on hand to answer your questions and help you set up your own digital currency wallets. At 7 p.m., join us for a panel discussion before the film with experts explaining the current state of the Bitcoin bubble. At 7:30 pm, we’ll screen the 90-minute independent film, “BANKING ON BITCOIN.”

Directed by Christopher Cannucciari , this independent film “features interviews with enthusiasts and experts, covering Bitcoin’s roots, its future and the technology that makes it tick.” Ticket prices are a suggested donation of $5 or more, but no one will be turned away for lack of funds. The Internet Archive warmly accepts donations in many currencies, including dollars, Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Zcash and Ethereum.

Get Tickets Here

Or Pay with Bitcoin

Monday, February 26, 2018

6:00 pm—Reception and Bitcoin 101 Workshops

7:00 pm— Introduction/Q&A with Panel of Bitcoin Experts

7:30 pm— “BANKING ON BITCOIN” screening (90 minutes)

Trailer

At the Internet Archive

300 Funston Avenue

San Francisco, CA  94118

Reserve Now!  

PINEAPPLE FUND CHALLENGES DONORS WITH $1 MILLION MATCHING GRANT TO THE INTERNET ARCHIVE

Why name a project giving away millions of dollars in Bitcoin “The Pineapple Fund?” “I really like pineapple,” explains this the crypto-philanthropist behind it all.

Cryptocurrency investors may be on a vertiginous ride right now, but one early Bitcoin believer is turning crypto gains into social good. The anonymous philanthropist behind the Pineapple Fund wants to inspire others to support the Internet Archive by matching every donation with up to $1 million in Bitcoin through April 30, 2018. That’s right, when you donate to the Internet Archive right now, you can double your impact thanks to the early Bitcoin miner behind the Pineapple Fund.

In December of 2017, a mysterious donor nicknamed “Pine” made a generous contribution to the Internet Archive: $1 million worth of Bitcoin. Now our Bitcoin benefactor is offering to “double down” with this challenge grant. “Preservation of the World Wide Web and digital media has so much important utility to the world,” Pine wrote to us in December. “Especially as time passes and link rot exponentially increases. (I personally extremely appreciate Archive Team’s work on archiving communities or apps that are shutting down.)”

As Pine notes, the Internet Archive team is working diligently behind-the scenes to ensure you can always access reliable information. In 2017 alone we:

  • saved 200 terabytes of government data that might have disappeared
  • fixed more than 3 million broken links in Wikipedia using the Wayback Machine
  • archived 757 million tweets

The Internet Archive is the digital library for the world—a trusted source of reference for everyone, free of charge.

The Pineapple Fund keeps a running tally of organizations and donations made to date.

We are one of 48 organizations who have received Pineapple Fund support thus far. Overall, the Pineapple Fund aims to give away 5057 Bitcoin (valued at $86 million at the time of announcement) to worthy charities; to date the fund has donated more than $44.5 million to organizations including the ACLU, MAPS, the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the Open Medicine Foundation.

The Internet Archive was an early experimenter in Bitcoin, accepting donations in the cryptocurrency as early as 2011. Indeed, Ethereum founder, Vitalik Buterin, helped us get set up. Today, we gratefully accept cryptocurrency donations in Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Zcash and Ethereum. (Stay tuned, there’s more on the way.) And right now thanks to the Pineapple Fund, donations in all currencies are being matched 1-to-1.

 

 

Why We Do What We Do

This month we were powered by 75,000 donations big and small.  One supporter in Zimbabwe even sent us Twenty Billion dollars!  But what keeps us going is, quite simply, you.  Your words of encouragement and support remind us why we do what we do.  They make us want to do more.

We asked our supporters “Why do you donate to the Internet Archive?” Here’s a selection of recent replies:

I love the Archive and I love the Wayback Machine. What is true may not always be clear. But by looking at the past we can see what is and isn’t true. You enable that vital process to occur. Thank you! — Jack

I donated because, “we can only keep what we have by giving it away.”  — Joe

I have used your site many times. I was homeless and broke. Said if I ever had anything to give, I would be sure to do so. So here I am.  –Rebecca

Where would any of us be without the Wayback Machine? — Melissa

I’m a university professor and depend heavily on the Internet for my required readings. In this case, I am having my students read a book published in 1838. How else would I get them access to such a text?  – Madeleine

With the impending closure of Storify and the Library of Congress’s decision to stop archiving Twitter, I was reminded just how vital this service is.  — Lee

You are filling a serious need, the Internet isn’t a safe place for sensitive information and it’s good to know you have our backs.  — Tony

The most trusted name in knowledge for free. What Google wanted to be. I do hope you get the major foundational support you deserve. And support from Old Time Radio and Jazz aficionados like I am. Great literature as well. And film, cartoons.  Archive.org is the cultural library for “the rest of us.”  –Dennis

I’m an amateur historian and writer. I appreciate being able to find information on your site that would otherwise require trips around the country to dusty archives or libraries!  –Rita

Downloaded a few really great live shows from archive.org (especially from Songs: Ohia, Magnolia Electric Co & Cowboy Junkies). With my small donation I wanted to give a little something back to you.  –Roland

Love your old time radio & television programs. You are preserving our history while so many others are trying to change or erase it. I feel your preservation efforts are important to our culture & freedom. Those who forget (or erase) history are doomed to repeat it. Keep up the good work. Wish I could afford more. –-Randy

Why I donated? This pretty much sums it up for me:  “Fixed more than 3 million broken links in Wikipedia using the Wayback Machine.  Saved 200 terabytes of government data that might have disappeared.”  –JVK

Books from your archive have been a big help for my genealogical research. –Jim

It is a great initiative and I’ve saved 50 times the amount I donated with this site. I am more than happy to chip in where I can.  –Em

Hiding society’s collective knowledge away behind copyright paywalls is an enormous problem.  I want to thank you for making it more accessible, and support your effort.       –Jerry

For the love of this site over the years and the continual availability of great live music by incredible musicians…and their fans! — A Fan

Want to hear programs I’ve missed on KPFA Radio, especially Democracy Now!                –Jeanne

KBCA was a Los Angeles radio station in my youth.  Just being able to hear a program broadcast again is a rare, but welcome treat to me.  –Byron

Dear Internet Archive, I have been using this service for years and found all the classic scientific work from the leading scientists of the 20th century. I could not have found these books anywhere else, not even big university libraries.  Excellent efforts,  –Farooq

Your service is extraordinary, necessary and a gift.  Thank you. — Bella

A small gift can go a long way if everyone does so. –Richard

For some extremely obscure but historically important publications, I can now download, thanks to you and similar digitising archives, a digital copy straight to my computer from Melbourne, Australia. Only a decade or two ago, I would have needed to locate one of the few copies that exists, travel to the library in which the copy was held, and sit in a reading room taking notes, or taking one-off photocopies, still not keyword searchable.  Thanks so much.  –Kale

I believe knowledge needs to be preserved, and shared.  Censorship whether it is by government, corporations or individuals, through legislation, fascist threats or economic censorship (ie youtube)  is a detriment to all humankind.  — TD

I get both pleasure and (sometimes) insight from being able to read texts from the original editions, where the visual impact of the content is what the author most probably intended.  One cannot get this in any other way, apart from the very occasional good luck to be given (or to purchase) old editions. The Internet Archive is a wonderful resource.  — Jeremy

Thank you for keeping Venketaramana’s talk on Bhagavad Geetha…it changed my way of thinking. I am still growing. — Nunu

Born in the 1960s but stumbled on old radio as a kid—these shows are my Prozac.  Thank you.  –Julie

I’ve listened to Theatre Five, and MindWebs and other Old Time Radio for years now and couldn’t afford donate. I would push the donate button and turn back every time. I finally can now, and I will again.  –Derrick

I listen to Libra Vox and benefit from finding books online for free in family history work.  You are very valuable.  I appreciate donations that don’t just go to large overhead in top heavy charities.  Thank You for all you do.  –Janeal

I love learning and am so grateful to have a place to learn anything I want!  Thank you for this gift! –Judi

To the Internet Archive & Open Library Communities:  You are an amazing bunch!  Thank YOU for using knowledge in all its many forms to inspire, learn, and enjoy life more fully.  Here’s to growing,  improving, and sharing even more in 2018.

 

Why I Work for the Internet Archive

Wendy Hanamura, Director of Partnerships

This year something magical happened.

Our film curator, Rick Prelinger, noticed a film for sale on eBay. The description said “taken at a Japanese Internment Camp,” so Rick bought it, suspecting it might be of historical significance. In October, when he digitized the 16mm reel and showed it to me, I couldn’t believe it.  

On the screen was a home movie shot in 1944 at the WWII camp in Jerome, Arkansas where 8,500 Japanese Americans were incarcerated. This American concentration camp was once the fifth largest town in Arkansas. Rick thinks the film was shot by a camp administrator and hidden away for the last 73 years.

There are only a handful of movies ever shot inside the camps—I know, because my mother and grandparents were locked up in a similar camp for three and a half years.

Sab Masada at the Internet Archive, October 2017

What a miracle, then, that the Internet Archive found this film and preserved it while there are still people who can bear witness to what we see on screen. One of them, Sab Masada, was 12 years old when a truck came to haul his family away from their farm in Fresno. At our annual event, Sab remembered:

We were shipped to Jerome, Arkansas. It turned extremely cold, the beginning of November. In fact, we had some snow. The camp was still being completed so our barracks had no heat and my father caught pneumonia. 21 days after we arrived, he died in a makeshift barrack hospital…

This film will tell America that these concentration camps we were in—it wasn’t a myth! They were real. So it’s a historical record: proof of what really happened to 120,000 Americans and legal residents.

The best part for me?  That this film will live on at archive.org, accessible to the public, forever, for free.  Filmmakers can download it. Scholars can study it.  Teachers can weave it into their lessons.

Educator, Andi Wong, teaching the lessons of Japanese American incarceration at Rooftop School in San Francisco.

Here’s our promise to you: the Internet Archive will keep updating these files every time a major, new format emerges. We will preserve them for the long term, against fire, neglect and all types of more human disaster. We will cherish your stories as if they were our own.  

I’m part of a small staff of 150, running a site the whole world depends on. I’ve worked at huge media corporations where the only things that matter are the ratings, because ratings = profits. At the end of the day, I couldn’t stomach it. I wanted to do more. I wanted to work at a place aligned with my values: creating a world where everyone has equal access to knowledge, because knowledge equals power. It’s society’s great leveler—at least that’s how it worked for my family. 

This is why I give to the Internet Archive:  because I believe every story deserves to be saved for the future.   

When you give, you’re helping make sure the whole world can access the books, concerts, radio shows, web pages and yes, the home movies, that tell our human story.

So please, support our mission by donating today. Right now, a very generous supporter will match your donation 3-to-1, so you can triple your impact.

Think of it as an investment in our children, and their children, so that one day in the future, they might understand our joys and learn from our mistakes.

Wendy Hanamura, Director of Partnerships, Internet Archive

Hewlett Foundation Commissions New Work by DJ Spooky & Internet Archive

We are honored to announce that the Internet Archive and artists Paul D. Miller (aka DJ Spooky) and Greg Niemeyer have been awarded one of the first Hewlett 50 Art Commissions to support the creation of “Sonic Web”—an acoustic portrait of the Internet.  Sampling from the millions of hours of audio preserved in the Internet Archive, these experimental composers and artists will collaborate to create an 11-movement multimedia production for a string quartet, vocalist and original electronic instruments about the origins of the Internet and what needs to happen to keep it accessible, neutral, and free.

“Art is always a reflection of the changing dynamics of any society. Leonardo Da Vinci once said ‘Learning never exhausts the mind,'” explained DJ Spooky. “I think that we have so many things to learn from these kinds of interdisciplinary projects, and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation is collaborating with Artists to show how these initiatives can affect the entire spectrum of the creative economy.”

The Internet Archive team is among the first 10 recipients of the Hewlett 50 Arts Commissions, an $8 million commissioning initiative that is the largest of its kind in the United States.  These $150,000 grants support Bay Area nonprofits working with world-class artists on major new music compositions spanning myriad genres including chamber, electronic, jazz, opera, and hip hop. These commissions honor the Hewlett Foundation’s 50th anniversary, commemorating decades of leadership in the Bay Area arts world.

“The Hewlett 50 Arts Commissions are a symbol of the foundation’s longstanding commitment to performing arts in the Bay Area,” said Larry Kramer, president of the Hewlett Foundation. “We believe the awards will fund the creation of new musical works of lasting significance that are as dynamic and diverse as the Bay Area communities where they will premiere.”

New media artist and UC Berkeley arts practice associate professor, Greg Niemeyer, presenting his new work, “Memory Palace,” at the Internet Archive in 2016.

“Sonic Web” is conceived to push boundaries in both music and technology.  New media artist, Greg Niemeyer, will build an original Sonic Web Instrument —a large touchscreen with a software tool to draw network diagrams. It will enable DJ Spooky to build and take apart simple networks using sampled sounds from the Internet Archive, further layered by a vocalist and string quartet.

“Sonic Web will dig into the big crate of the Internet Archive and remix internet history in a new, networked way,” says Greg Niemeyer.  “We will break out of linear musical structures towards a more networked and connected sound.”

 

The artists will also take these tools on the road, partnering with Berkeley Center for New Media, Stanford Live, Youth Radio, and Bay Area high schools for music and technology workshops and a service learning course at UC Berkeley.

The work will premiere at the Internet Archive Great Room during the summer of 2018.  We will also provide  free global access to a downloadable Sonic Web album with music videos and the livestream of the premiere  at archive.org.

NOTE: DJ Spooky, Niemeyer and the Internet Archive collaborated in 2016 to create “Memory Palace,” a new multimedia work performed at our own 20th anniversary celebration. For a taste of what’s to come, watch this.

 

 

Boston Public Library’s Sound Archives Coming to the Internet Archive for Preservation & Public Access

Today, the Boston Public Library announced the transfer of significant holdings from its Sound Archives Collection to the Internet Archive, which will digitize, preserve and make these recordings accessible to the public. The Boston Public Library (BPL) sound collection includes hundreds of thousands of audio recordings in a variety of historical formats, including wax cylinders, 78 rpms, and LPs. The recordings span many genres, including classical, pop, rock, jazz, and opera – from 78s produced in the early 1900s to LPs from the 1980s. These recordings have never been circulated and were in storage for several decades, uncataloged and inaccessible to the public. By collaborating with the Internet Archive, Boston Public Libraries audio collection can be heard by new audiences of scholars, researchers and music lovers worldwide.

Some of the thousands of 20th century recordings in the Boston Public Library’s Sound Archives Collection.

“Through this innovative collaboration, the Internet Archive will bring significant portions of these sound archives online and to life in a way that we couldn’t do alone, and we are thrilled to have this historic collection curated and cared for by our longtime partners for all to enjoy going forward,” said David Leonard, President of the Boston Public Library.

78 rpm recordings from the Boston Public Library Sound Archive Collection

Listening to the 78 rpm recording of “Please Pass the Biscuits, Pappy,” by W. Lee O’Daniel and his Hillbilly Boys from the BPL Sound Archive, what do you hear? Internet Archive Founder, Brewster Kahle, hears part of a soundscape of America in 1938.  That’s why he believes Boston Public Library’s transfer is so significant.

Boston Public Library is once again leading in providing public access to their holdings. Their Sound Archive Collection includes hillbilly music, early brass bands and accordion recordings from the turn of the last century, offering an authentic audio portrait of how America sounded a century ago.” says Brewster Kahle, Internet Archive’s Digital Librarian. “Every time I walk through Boston Public Library’s doors, I’m inspired to read what is carved above it: ‘Free to All.’”

The 78 rpm records from the BPL’s Sound Archives Collection fit into the Internet Archive’s larger initiative called The Great 78 Project. This community effort seeks to digitize all the 78 rpm records ever produced, supporting their  preservationresearch and discovery. From about 1898 to the 1950s, an estimated 3 million sides were published on 78 rpm discs. While commercially viable recordings will have been restored or remastered onto LP’s or CD, there is significant research value in the remaining artifacts which include often rare 78rpm recordings.

“The simple fact of the matter is most audiovisual recordings will be lost,” says George Blood, an internationally renowned expert on audio preservation. “These 78s are disappearing right and left. It is important that we do a good job preserving what we can get to, because there won’t be a second chance.”

George Blood LP’s 4-arm turntable used for 78 digitization.

The Internet Archive is working with George Blood LP, and the IA’s Music Curator, Bob George of the Archive of Contemporary Music  to discover, transfer, digitize, catalog and preserve these often fragile discs.  This team has already digitized more than 35,000 sides.  The BPL collection joins more than 20 collections  already transferred to the Internet Archive for physical and digital preservation and access. Curated by many volunteer collectors, these collections will be preserved for future generations.

The Internet Archive began working with the Boston Public Library in 2007, and our scanning center is housed at its Central Library in Copley Square.  There, as a digital-partner-in-residence, the Internet Archive is scanning bound materials for Boston Public Library, including the John Adams Library, one of the BPL’s Collections of Distinction.

To honor Boston Public Library’s long legacy and pioneering role in making its valuable holdings available to an ever wider public online, we will be awarding the 2017 Internet Archive Hero Award to David Leonard, the President of BPL, at a public celebration tonight at the Internet Archive headquarters in San Francisco.

MacArthur Foundation’s $100 Million Award Finalists

Today, the MacArthur Foundation announced the finalists for its 100&Change competition, awarding a single organization $100 million to solve one of the world’s biggest problems. The Internet Archive’s Open Libraries project, one of eight semifinalists, did not make the cut to the final round. Today we want congratulate the 100&Change finalists and thank the MacArthur Foundation for inspiring us to think big. For the last 15 months, the Internet Archive team has been building the partnerships that can transform US libraries for the digital age and put millions of ebooks in the hands of more than a billion learners. We’ve collaborated with the world’s top copyright experts to clarify the legal framework for libraries to digitize and lend their collections. And we’ve learned an amazing amount from the leading organizations serving the blind and people with disabilities that impact reading.  

To us, that feels like a win.

In the words of MacArthur Managing Director, Cecilia Conrad:

The Internet Archive project will unlock and make accessible bodies of knowledge currently located on library shelves across the country. The proposal for curation, with the selection of books driven not by commercial interests but by intellectual and cultural significance, is exciting. Though the legal theory regarding controlled digital lending has not been tested in the courts, we found the testimony from legal experts compelling. The project has an experienced, thoughtful and passionate team capable of redefining the role of the public library in the 21st Century.

Copyright scholar and Berkeley Law professor, Pam Samuelson (center), convenes a gathering of more than twenty legal experts to help clarify the legal basis for libraries digitizing and lending physical books in their collections.

So, the Internet Archive and our partners are continuing to build upon the 100&Change momentum. We are meeting October 11-13 to refine our plans, and we invite interested stakeholders to join us at the Library Leaders Forum. If you are a philanthropist interested in leveraging technology to provide more open access to information—well, we have a project for you.

For 20 years, at the Internet Archive we have passionately pursued one goal: providing universal access to knowledge. But there is almost a century of books missing from our digital shelves, beyond the reach of so many who need them. So we cannot stop. We now have the technology, the partners and the plan to transform library hard copies into digital books and lend them as libraries always have. So all of us building Open Libraries are moving ahead.

Members of the Open Libraries Team at the Internet Archive headquarters, part of a global movement to provide more equitable access to knowledge.

Remember: a century ago, Andrew Carnegie funded a vast network of public libraries because he recognized democracy can only exist when citizens have equal access to diverse information. Libraries are more important than ever, welcoming all of society to use their free resources, while respecting readers’ privacy and dignity. Our goal is to build an enduring asset for libraries across this nation, ensuring that all citizens—including our most vulnerable—have equal and unfettered access to knowledge.

Thank you, MacArthur Foundation, for inspiring us to turn that idea into a well thought-out project.

Onward!

–The Open Libraries Team

Connect with Internet Archive at ALA 2017—Chicago

Come meet Internet Archive Founder, Brewster Kahle and Director of Partnerships, Wendy Hanamura at ALA Annual 2017 in Chicago.

Saturday, June 24

10:30-11:30 a.m.  Making your library a digital library by 2020

  • Where:  McCormick Place W194b
  • Who:     Brewster Kahle, Founder & Digital Librarian and Wendy Hanamura, Director of Partnerships

Description:  Come hear the Internet Archive team discuss OpenLibraries—a project that will enable every US library to become a more digital library. Working with library partners and organizations serving the print disabled, the Internet Archive proposes bringing 4 million books online, through purchase or digitization, starting with the century of books missing from our digital shelves. Our plan includes at-scale circulation of these e-books, enabling libraries owning the physical works to lend digital copies to their patrons. This will enable thousands of libraries to unlock their analog collections for a new generation of learners, enabling free, long-term, public access to knowledge.

Semifinalist in MacArthur Foundation’s 100&Change:  This Internet Archive project has been selected as one of the eight semifinalists in the 100&Change MacArthur Foundation Challenge which will provide $100 million over five years to an organization trying to solve one of the world’s toughest problems.  In our case: providing free access to the best knowledge available. Brewster and Wendy will describe the current state of project planning and listen to your feedback to ensure this project has transformative impact on the communities you serve.

Monday, June 26

1:30-2:15  Conversation Starter:  The Library of 2020 – Building A Collaborative Digital Collection of 4 Million Books

  • Where:  McCormick Place W183a
  • Who:     Wendy Hanamura, Dir. of Partnerships & Brewster Kahle, Digital Librarian

Description:  Even in this digital age, millions of books are not accessible to online learners and the print disabled. We in the library community haven’t been able to keep up with this digital demand, stymied by costs, eBook restrictions, and missing infrastructure. By making millions of books digitally available, we can unlock them for communities with severely limited or no access to those books. Because of distance, cost, time-constraints, or disability, people in many communities are too often unable to access physical books. Digital content is instantly available to people at a distance, at all hours, and with widely ranging physical abilities. Together with library and accessibility partners, the Internet Archive proposes bringing 4 million books online, through purchase or digitization. Our plan includes at-scale circulation of these eBooks, enabling libraries owning the physical works to lend digital copies. As 1 of 8 semifinalists for MacArthur’s 100&Change award, we seek your feedback. The goal: bringing libraries and learners 4 million eBooks, enabling the free, long-term, public access to knowledge.

NOTE:  To be live streamed via Facebook Live at https://www.facebook.com/internetnetarchive/

All times are in Central Daylight Time. For full schedule, visit https://www.eventscribe.com/2017/ALA-Annual/.  

AMA about OpenLibraries–our proposal for MacArthur’s 100&Change

Live Chat on YouTube Live, Thursday, June 15 from 10-11:30 a.m. PT

with

Brewster Kahle, Founder and Digital Librarian
Wendy Hanamura, Director of Partnerships
John Gonzalez, Director of Engineering

What would it mean if you had easy online access to 4 million modern books–the equivalent of a great public or university library?  What would that mean for the print disabled and those unable to reach their public libraries? How would that change innovation and scholarship? In an era of misinformation, how can we tie information to the published works of humankind?

Those are some of the questions we’ve been asking ourselves at the Internet Archive as we hone our plans for Open Libraries–our proposal to the MacArthur Foundation’s 100&Change competition to tackle one of the world’s toughest problems. We are now one of eight semifinalists vying for $100 million grant to carry out our goal: democratizing access to knowledge by providing free, long-term access to a digital library of 4 million modern books. We call our project Open Libraries because we want to help every library in the nation to provide its members with digital access to its rich collections.

The Internet Archive, working with library and accessibility partners, has a plan to bring 4 million books online, through purchase or digitization, starting with the 20th century books missing from our digital shelves. Our plan includes at-scale circulation of these e-books, enabling libraries owning the physical works to lend digital copies to their patrons. Working with our accessibility partners, we will also make this collection available to the print disabled around the world.  And our team of curators will help make sure we create an inclusive, diverse collection of 20th century texts.

We now have the technology and legal frameworks to transform our library system by 2023 to provide more democratic access to knowledge–for library patrons, scholars, students and the print disabled.

We want to hear what you think.  Help us hone our plans, test our hypotheses, and dream big!

Ask us a question or post an idea in the comments below. We will answer them during our YouTube Live.  Or tweet us using #OpenLibrariesAMA.

MIT Press Classics Available Soon at Archive.org

For more than eighty years, MIT Press has been publishing acclaimed titles in science, technology, art and architecture.  Now, thanks to a new partnership between the Internet Archive and MIT Press, readers will be able to borrow these classics online for the first time. With generous support from Arcadia, a charitable fund of Peter Baldwin and Lisbet Rausing, this partnership represents an important advance in providing free, long-term public access to knowledge.

“These books represent some of the finest scholarship ever produced, but right now they are very hard to find,” said Brewster Kahle, founder and Digital Librarian of the Internet Archive. “Together with MIT Press, we will enable the patrons of every library that owns one of these books to borrow it online–one copy at a time.”

This joint initiative is a crucial early step in Internet Archive’s ambitious plans to digitize, preserve and provide public access to four million books, by partnering widely with university presses and other publishers, authors, and libraries.  The Internet Archive is one of eight groups named semi-finalists in 100&Change, a global competition for a single $100 million grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. The competition seeks bold solutions to critical problems of our time.

MIT Press’ Kelly McDougall (l) and Editor, Amy Brand, holding one of the publisher’s classic books.

MIT Press Director, Amy Brand said, “One of my top ambitions for the MIT Press has been to ensure that our entire legacy of publications is digitized, accessible, searchable, discoverable now and in perpetuity. Partnering with Internet Archive to achieve this objective is a dream come true not only for me and my colleagues at the Press, but also for many of our authors whose earlier works are completely unavailable or not easily accessible.”  

Lending online permits libraries to fulfill their mission in the digital age, allowing anyone  to borrow through the ether copies of works they own,” said Professor Peter Baldwin, co-founder of Arcadia.  “The IA-MIT collaboration is a big step in the direction of realizing a universal library, accessible to anyone, anywhere.”

One of the hundreds of titles coming soon to archive.org

We will be scanning an initial group of 1,500 MIT Press titles at Internet Archive’s Boston Public Library facility, including Cyril Stanley Smith’s 1980 book, From Art to Science: Seventy-Two Objects Illustrating the Nature of Discovery, and Frederick Law Olmsted and Theodora Kimball’s Forty Years of Landscape Architecture: Central Park, which was published in 1973. The oldest title in the group is Arthur C. Hardy’s 1936 Handbook of Colorimetry.

John Palfrey, Head of School at Phillips Academy Andover and well-known public access advocate, described the partnership as “a truly ground-breaking development in open scholarship that I hope will inspire other university presses to follow suit, since so many excellent and important books are effectively out of circulation by virtue of being analog-only in a digital world.”

The Internet Archive has already begun digitizing MIT Press’ backlist and they will be available at archive.org soon. The set of 1500 deep backlist works should be available by the end of 2017.