Category Archives: Cool items

Ted Nelson Launches His Autobiography at Internet Archive


Ted Nelson discusses Xanadu


On October 8, 2010, Brewster Kahle and Internet Archive hosted Ted Nelson’s book launch for his autobiography “Possiplex.” It was a special evening. There was a wide array of guests, including some of Ted’s closest collaborators.

Ted Nelson spent over two hours reading from his book “Possiplex” and answering questions from the audience. He discussed his many projects and gave a demonstration of Xanadu. He also thrilled us with a screening of his movie that he wrote, directed and filmed in the 1950’s. I found it hilarious. He was both gracious and opinionated, which made for a rousing event.

Visit the Possiplex collection page to see photos and video from the event:
Photos from the event,
Video of Ted Nelson’s talk
Doug Englebart interview

Roger Gregory interview
Paul Saffo interview

Ted Nelson has been a computer and information visionary for 50 years. He coined the concept and term hypertext. There are many quotes about Ted and his book on the collection page at Here are a few:

“Tesla:Electricity = Nelson:Digital. … All of the web is in essence a pale shadow of just one of Ted Nelson’s dreams. Now do I have your attention?…” — Mitch Kapor, founder of Lotus

“Ted Nelson is the Thomas Paine of the Information Revolution.” – Stewart Brand, creator of the Whole Earth Catalog

“A truly first-class mind … one of the dozen or so most brilliant people I’ve met in a lifetime of hanging out with geniuses and the highly gifted”– Eric Raymond, Open Software Initiative

Thanks to the folks who organized the event: June Goldsmith, Laura Milvy, Jeff Ubois, and of course Brewster Kahle and Ted Nelson.

-Jeff Kaplan

Little Known Classics You NEED To Watch!

The classic, the rare, the obscure…you movie junkies love this stuff. It’s always cool to discover the weird films made by familiar faces. Kudos Matt Holmes and Peter Willis of Obssessed With Film for assembling a Top 10 of little known classics.

You can watch 5 of them right now at Internet Archive. Whoa, is that Telly Savalas!? I’m going to watch Quicksand! now…it has Peter Lorre and Mickey Rooney together.

Check them out:

Horror Express
Too Late For Tears

-Jeff Kaplan

Top 40 best free legal movies you can download right now

Sean P. Aune at tech.blorge has put together a great list of movies on  From his blog:

The Internet Archive works to bring together anything and everything that resides in the public domain, and that includes movies.  We’ve gathered together 40 of the best ones that will keep you entertained for hours on end, all without costing you a dime outside of using some of your bandwidth.  Enjoy!

I haven’t seen a lot of these and didn’t even know we had some of them. This is a great list. Gotta watch one of the Hitchcock movies right now.

Sean, thanks for doing the heavy lifting!

-Jeff Kaplan

New Open Library Search Engine add-on for Firefox

We’ve developed a Firefox add-on that allows you to directly search Open Library from your browser’s toolbar search field.

To install it:
1. Go to:
2. Check the “Let me install this experimental add-on.” button
3. Click “Add to Firefox” button
4. Click “Add” in the pop-up window (check “Start using it right away” if you want to use it immediately.)
5. Lastly, if you’re registered with Mozilla please log in and write a review of it here:

I hope you find it useful. Please use it often.

-Jeff Kaplan

NASA partners with Internet Archive to archive digital imagery

nasaimages - thousands of images to discoverFrom Jon Hornstein at Internet Archive’s NASA images:

NASA gave a nice shout-out to the Internet Archive for helping them address their Open Government Initiative requirements.

Here’s a couple of choice quotes . . .

“. . . (the Internet Archive) serves as custodian of much of NASA’s current and legacy digital imagery records. In addition, IA will help digitize NASA’s historically significant, analog images for inclusion on the Web site, enabling digital archiving with the National Archives and greater public access to these records via the IA Website.”

“Strictly on its own initiative, IA recently began to capture NASA’s publicly posted social media content. NASA is considering exploration of how this activity might be leveraged for records management purposes.”

There’s always cool stuff to be discovered at NASA images:

-Jeff Kaplan

Relax, You're at an Intermission in a Drive-In

These days, a good drive-in theater is a relatively rare gem to find. Although many have recently been resurrected and a DIY drive-in movement has even occurred, a drive-in is still often seen through nostalgic eyes rather than considered to be an everyday venue for movie screening. The collection of Drive-In movie ads that is on Internet Archive can bring you back to a time when you could watch a movie from the comfort of your car, visit the snack stand at intermission, and hang speakers from your car window.

Take a peek at some of the films shown during intermission:

  • “Step right this way, folks, for the most extravagant array of refreshment goodies ever assembled under one roof!”
  • “Public Demonstration of Affection } Will Not Be Tolerated Here (‘Nuff Said?)”
  • “If you like hot dogs, you’ll love corn dogs. Everybody does!”
  • The management urges you to go to church on Sunday
  • “Music to the ears of the hungry: the sizzle of a mouthwatering hamburger.”
  • Now go get yourself a snack, refrain from PDA, and visit your place of worship on Sunday.

    –Cara Binder

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    NaBloPoMo, Librarian Style

    It’s likely you’ve heard of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), that time in November when it’s starting to get cold and hundreds of people make a pact together to write a novel in the period of one month. Many fail, some succeed, some get published, and some of the work is actually really good (which begs the question, “Did you really write this in one month, or have you been cheating all year?”).

    Well, it was news to me that there is now NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month). As November seems like the ideal month to cuddle up by the fire and furiously write a novel in a month, July seems just as fit to grab your laptop, go to an outdoor cafe and write a blog. The deal is you have to blog once a day for a month, but just as not everyone finishes their novel by December 1, not everyone who celebrates NaBloPoMo will blog each day in July. You’re still allowed to celebrate all things blog. And (technically speaking) this runs all year long, so have fun with it!

    Here’s a round up of some of our favorite library blogs to keep you satiated during the last couple weeks of NaBloPoMo:

  • Harford County Public Library’s blog
  • The Pelham Public Library’s blog on banned books
  • Las Vegas – Clark County Library’s blog
  • Memphis Public Library’s blog
  • Oregon State University Libraries Special Collection: The Pauling Blog
  • UC Berkeley’s blog collection
  • For a very extensive collection of library blogs, check out the blogging libraries wiki.

    Happy blogging!

    –Cara Binder

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    The Library of Congress at Your Fingertips

    To visit The Library of Congress has long been thought of as a distinguished event for the privileged few. Most people throughout the world are unable to get to Washington D.C., so the plethora of resources housed in the library has remained untapped for the general population. However, as the Library of Congress continues to digitize more and more of the material in their collections, universal access to human knowledge seems in much closer reach. A child on the coast of Oregon or a CEO in Russia will be able to browse the material in the Library of Congress without the expensive plane ticket to D.C. Furthermore, books that were once considered too fragile to lend out will be available for use digitally.

    The Library of Congress officially opened its scanning center this past January, and footage from the launch is now available on Internet Archive. The current holdings of Library of Congress books on Internet Archive can be found within their collection page, which now boasts more than 30,000 items.

    Internet Archive is extremely pleased to be a part of this wonderful project, which we see as a perfect example of the far-reaching possibilities of digital archiving and open sharing.

    –Cara Binder

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    Swirl, Sniff, Sip With The Bancroft Library

    The Bancroft Library at the University of California, Berkeley preserves some of the most intriguing rare and hard-to-find books in the country. According to their Web site, their holdings include 60,000 manuscript items, 8,000,000 photographs/pictorial materials, 43,000 microforms, and 23,000 maps. On the Archive, their digitized materials include classics like Joyce’s Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man, issues of Pacific Science Monthly, and a copy of Grammar of the Mikmaque Language of Nova Scotia.

    The scope of the collection is large, with arguably some of the best sub-collections sitting in the Regional Oral History Office collection. ROHO is a department preserving Californian and West Coat history based primarily on interviews conducted, recorded, and transcribed. One such topic that ROHO has researched and preserved is wine, vinters, and Napa Valley.

    Below is some required reading for all who wish to out-snob their friends at the next wine night:

  • Creating classic wines in the Napa Valley
  • Launching Bordeaux style wines in the Napa Valley
  • Sonoma County wine making
  • Marketing California wine and brandy
  • Fumé blanc and mertiage wines in Sonoma County: Dry Creek Vineyard’s pioneer winemaking
  • Wines, music, and lifelong education
  • Six decades of making wine in Mendocino County
  • Cheers!

    –Cara Binder

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    Home of the Brave

    Gentlemen and ladies, please remove your hats for the singing of our national anthem.

    We sing it at the beginning of sporting events, during worship services, at memorials for veterans, and in grade school music class. The first verse of this song gets all the fame, oftentimes springing from the throats of our most talented singers who are chosen to step up to a mic and belt the tune. The rest of us stand and face the flag while mumbling the familiar words, bursting in applause as soon as the singer draws out “hooooome of the braaaaaaaave.”

    The Star-Spangled Banner, words penned by Francis Scott Key, has become synonymous with patriotism. The poem was written in 1814 and was put to the tune of a British drinking song by John Stafford Smith. By President Herbert Hoover’s signature, it became officially recognized as the United State’s national anthem on March 3, 1931. In 2009, nationalism has certainly changed if not dwindled in the U.S.A., but, for many of us, The Star-Spangled Banner will always hold a special spot in our hearts, if only for it signaling the start of a baseball game in the middle of the summer.

    Here are some recommended items on Internet Archive focused on the national song:


  • An oral history of Francis Scott Key followed by the song
  • A classic instrumental rendition of the anthem
  • Blues Travelers’ version performed in 1989
  • The Star-Spangled Banner, 1915
  • A version performed by Guster in 2006
  • Watch

  • A short film from the 1940s, a sort of ode to the American flag
  • A film from 1942 showcasing military clips and fireworks
  • Read

  • The Centenary of the Star-Spangled Banner
  • An Essay on the Star-Spangled Banner and National Songs
  • Francis Scott Key Author of the Star Spangled Banner: What Else He Was and Who
  • Poems of the Late Francis S. Key
  • –Cara Binder

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