QUEER.ARCHIVE.WORK 2, 1923 INTERNET ARCHIVE EDITION

By Paul Soulellis

We usually think about archives as places of abundance. Deep, rich sites that house a multitude of perspectives. This can certainly be true, but archives are also sites of erasure, allowing some voices or perspectives to be minimized and excluded when they don’t fit into normative narratives.

Traditionally, stories involving people of color, queer people, and other historically-marginalized voices have been left out of archives, or diminished, because of ignorance, homophobia, and racism. Histories aren’t “discovered” in archives; rather, we use archives to actively construct versions of history, stories that accommodate our own subjective positions and ideologies. All too frequently, these stories favor the familiar structures of oppressive power—whiteness, patriarchy, and capitalism.

Likewise, the public domain is a remarkable construction that allows us to define who is or isn’t included in normative narratives. The public domain proclaims certain material as property owned by no one; cultural material in the public domain, theoretically, belongs to everyone. As copyright law enables new content to enter the public domain each year, it’s important to look closely at which voices are amplified in the celebration of open culture. There is no actual public domain. There is no site or territory or designation that reflects an authentic condition of “making public.” 

Rather, it’s a complex, evolving structure defined by the institutions that serve as portals to cultural material—museums, libraries, courts, and archives like this one. They carry a responsibility to give (or deny) access to materials that traverse in and out of the public domain. But as an institutional construct, the public domain can easily fail to reflect any true nature of “the public;” without careful consideration, access to the public domain ends up repeating and perpetuating, in a highly predictable way, the same oppressive structures that govern society and culture.     

What can be done? It’s crucial that we carefully examine our archives and search for lost voices, stories of failure, non-linear trajectories, and other non-conventional perspectives. We must refuse to accept traditional timelines at face value, and work to amplify marginalized material that has otherwise gone unnoticed, or erased. When confronting an archive or any presentation of historic cultural material, it’s irresponsible not to ask urgent questions like: What forces shaped this? Who was excluded? Who else should be included here in order to better understand the material at hand? Once engaged, we can actively work to change the shape of history, giving it dimension and depth and greater representation for all who were involved. This is what I’ve been calling queer archive work.  

I’m really grateful to the Internet Archive for inviting me to help shape their effort to present newly available material in the public domain. During my residency here, for the last 3 weeks, I’ve been searching archive.org for forgotten material — in particular, evidence of African-American culture, Native American culture, early LGBTQ voices, and other artifacts from 1923 that in the past would have been forgotten or actively left out of celebrations of open access culture. If something seemed to be missing, I tried to find it elsewhere and upload it to archive.org. Remarkably, I found the first openly lesbian book of poetry ever published in North America, On A Grey Thread, by the Bay-area poet Elsa Gidlow, from 1923. It had never been digitized, but a PDF from the author’s estate was sent to me for this project and is now online, as of a few days ago.

The result is QUEER.ARCHIVE.WORK 2, 1923 INTERNET ARCHIVE EDITION. It’s an edition of 100 copies that I edited, designed, and printed myself at a small press in Berkeley, and it features 15 lesser-known historical artifacts. All of it is now available on archive.org. I’m very proud that the Internet Archive enabled me to create this project. By bringing these items together in a loose assemblage, in the form of a publication, my hope is to create a place for forgotten voices to co-mingle. I think by doing more of this work, we can challenge what we think or assume we know about the early years of the 20th century, and imagine other kinds of histories.

For more see:
http://soulellis.com
http://queer.archive.work
https://queer.archive.work/2/index.html
https://archive.org/details/soulellis


Posted in Announcements, News | 5 Comments

Helping us judge a book by its cover: software help request

The Internet Archive would appreciate some help from a volunteer programmer to create software that would help determine if a book cover is useful to our users as a thumbnail or if we should use the title page instead. For many of our older books, they have cloth covers that are not useful, for instance:

But others are useful:

Just telling by age is not enough, because even 1923 cloth covers are sometimes good indicators of what the book is about (and are nice looking):

We would like a piece of code that can help us determine if the cover is useful or not to display as the thumbnail of a book. It does not have to be exact, but it would be useful if it knew when it didn’t have a good determination so we could run it by a person.

To help any potential programmer volunteers, we have created folders of hundreds of examples in 3 catatories: year 1923 books with not-very-useful covers, year 1923 books with useful covers, and year 2000 books with useful covers. The filenames of the images are the Internet Archive item identifier that can be used to find the full item:  1922forniaminera00bradrich.jpg would come from https://archive.org/details/1922forniaminera00bradrich.   We would like a program (hopefully fast, small, and free/open source) that would say useful or not-useful and a confidence. 

Interested in helping? Brenton at archive.org is a good point of contact on this project.   Thank you for considering this. We can use the help. You can also use the comments on this post for any questions.

FYI: To create these datasets, I ran these command lines, and then by hand pulled some of the 1923 covers into the “useful” folder.

bash-3.2$ ia search "date:1923 AND mediatype:texts AND NOT collection:opensource AND NOT collection:universallibrary AND scanningcenter:*" --itemlist --sort=downloads\ desc | he\
ad -1000 | parallel --will-cite -j10 "curl -Ls https://archive.org/download/{}/page/cover_.jpg?fail=soon.jpg\&cnt=0 >> ~/tmp/cloth/{}.jpg"

bash-3.2$ ia search "date:2000 AND mediatype:texts AND scanningcenter:cebu" --itemlist --sort=downloads\ desc | head -1000 | parallel --will-cite -j10 "curl -Ls https://archive.\
org/download/{}/page/cover_.jpg?fail=soon.jpg\&cnt=0 >> ~/tmp/picture/{}.jpg"
Posted in Announcements, News | 21 Comments

A Public Peek into 1923

Commercial radio broadcasting began in the 1920s, bringing entertainment, news and music into people’s homes. Now, instead of needing to play a 78rpm disc on your phonograph, you could just tune in to listen to popular songs.

And in 1923 that means you would have been listening to one of the many versions of “Yes! We Have No Bananas” written by Frank Silver and Irving Cohn.  

You could listen to the Billy Jones version (play below), the Billy Murray version, a Yiddish version, or an Italian version, among others.

Yes! We Have No Bananas by Billy Jones from the 78rpm collection

Then you could have moved on to dancing the Charleston, popularized by the song of the same name from the 1923 musical “Runnin’ Wild.”   And with the explosion of recordings by African American musicians, you could also enjoy “Baby Won’t You Please Come Home” by Bessie Smith and “Dipper Mouth Blues” by Louis Armstrong.

Autogyro (1934)

In the news of the day you saw the first flight of an autogyro (the precursor to the helicopter).

Jack Dempsey defended his World Heavyweight Championship title against Tommy Gibbons and Luis Firpo.

And Howard Carter’s team finally entered the burial chamber of King Tutankhamen, as covered in books, sheet music and song

But why are we focusing on 1923? Because for the first time in 20 years, new works are entering the public domain in the United States (read more: 1, 2, 3). And those works were all published in, you guessed it, 1923.

Settle in with a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup, a Butterfinger, or a refreshing Popsicle (all invented in 1923!) while you watch Cecil B. DeMille’s The Ten CommandmentsThe White Sister starring Lillian Gish, or The Hunchback of Notre Dame starring Lon Chaney. Or any one of 50 other films available on archive.org from that year.

After your movie marathon, you can turn to your “new” reading materials to learn about sewing the latest women’s fashions, try an old recipe from a cook book (we recommend the Marshmallow Loaf), learn about theatrical lighting, construct yourself a bungalow (um, check the lastest building codes first), grab some sheet music, read up on Benito Mussolini, and learn “How You Can Keep Fit” from Rudolph Valentino (!).

Finally, settle in to read some Robert Frost, Virginia Woolf, Edith Wharton, or Kahlil Gibran. And while you’re here, take a look at the 20,000 other texts we have available from 1923. 

We look forward to introducing you to 1924 NEXT January!

Posted in 78rpm, Announcements, Audio Archive, Books Archive, Cool items, Movie Archive, Music, News | 3 Comments

CRYPTO CHALLENGE: 3 Donors will match any Crypto Donation this week, 3-to-1!

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us…

Opening line from “A Tale of Two Cities”  by Charles Dickens


For those deeply engaged in cryptocurrencies, the words of Charles Dickens, written 160 years ago, have the ring of prophecy. 2018 was the best and worst of times for those holding bitcoin, ether, OMG or XRP. And yet, for some savvy community members who donated their currencies for good, 2018 was also a “season of light.”  This year Ripple founder, Chris Larsen, donated $29 million in XRP to fulfill the wishes of every classroom teacher on DonorsChoose.org. In March, OmiseGO and Ethereum co-founder, Vitalik Buterin donated $1 million in crypto to help refugees in Uganda. The anonymous philanthropist behind the Pineapple Fund gave away 5,104 bitcoins to 60 charities, including us. Pine writes, “I consider this project a success. If you’re ever blessed with crypto fortune, consider supporting what you aspire our world to be :).”

Now, to close out the year, three generous supporters of the Internet Archive are offering to match any cryptocurrency donation up to a total of $25,000, made before the end of 2018. For the next few days, you can quadruple your impact for good. What better way to put your cryptocurrencies to work this year than by ensuring everyone will have access to world’s knowledge, for free and with complete reader privacy on archive.org?

DONATE CRYPTO NOW & QUADRUPLE YOUR IMPACT

So why should crypto communities support the Internet Archive? Well, we’ve been experimenting alongside crypto founders, developers and dreamers since 2011. Five years ago, the Internet Archive’s founder, Brewster Kahle, wrote this reflection on Dreams Reflected in Bitcoin.  Back then, Kahle wrote about early bitcoiners, “Love the dreamers– they make life worth living.”  

The first bitcoin “ATM” in the Internet Archive offices.  Honor system only. 

Who else but the Internet Archive would set up its own Bitcoin-to-cash converter box in the middle of its office? We convinced the sushi joint next door, Sake Zone, to accept bitcoin. (The owners closed down the sushi restaurant a few years ago, but when we reconnected last year the owner had hodled and said he was starting a bitcoin business!) Meanwhile, we will accept your cryptocurrencies in exchange for Internet Archive beanies and t-shirts.  And back in 2013, a reporter for Bitcoin Magazine wrote an Op-Ed about us paying our employees in BTC, urging others to donate to the Archive. His name was Vitalik Buterin.

Bitcoin Magazine Op-Ed by Vitalik Buterin from February 22, 2013

Back in 2013, Buterin wrote:

When asked why he is so interested in accepting and promoting Bitcoin, Kahle’s response is one that many people in the Bitcoin community can relate to. “I think that at the Internet Archive,” Kahle said in a phone interview, “we see ourselves as coming from the net. As an organization we exist because of the internet, and I think of Bitcoin as a creature of the net. It’s a fantastically interesting idea, and to the extent that we’re all trying to build a new future, a better future, let’s try and round it out.”

So as we wind down our 2018 fundraising campaign, we ask our friends in the crypto community to help the Internet Archive “round it out.”  We’re about $460,000 from reaching our year-end goal. And right now your crypto donation will be matched 3-to-1. We accept dozens of altcoins now, thanks to a partnership with Changelly. Your support will go to building a new and better future on the net. We promise you, it will be crypto well spent.


Posted in Announcements, News | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off on CRYPTO CHALLENGE: 3 Donors will match any Crypto Donation this week, 3-to-1!

The 12 Games of Christmas (And Nearby Holidays)

The Internet Archive has had thousands of games available to play in your browser for over five years now, but the joy of booting up these items immediately never seems to grow old. In fact, the main issue is there’s so many, and they’re from all different eras and times, that it might be worth it to point out 12 Christmas (and general Holiday Season) themed games just to try out.

(Most of these should work fine in most modern browsers, including Chrome, Firefox, and Edge, along with browsers that use the same engines. Safari and Internet Explorer, as well as others, might have issues here and there. Always give Jason Scott, our Software Curator, a heads-up as to what problems you might have.)

DAZE BEFORE CHRISTMAS

The Daze Before Christmas is a platformer for the Sega Genesis. 

This is a pretty wild game, made in 1994 by a Norwegian game studio and featuring a very santa-like character who fights a huge range of enemies across a wide range of levels. Your command buttons are ARROW KEYS for movement, the CTRL key for the A button, ALT/OPTION key for B button, and the SPACE bar for C. The manual for this game is located here.

COMMANDER KEEN: XMAS 2010


A conversion mod was done for an earlier iD Software creation, Commander Keen; again, all the usual sprites and graphics have been totally redone to give us holiday cheer. You can play the redone Commander Keen here.

The commands are the usual ARROW KEYS to move and CTRL to take actions. After a top-down view, it switches to a fast paced platform for everyone’s favorite kid, wearing a Santa hat.

SANTA’S XMAS CAPER

This 1993 platformer game has it all – stunning MS-DOS graphics, slick and easy controls, and a sense of real craft put into every frame. Complete all seven levels and Christmas will be saved.

When you start the game, there’s a small selection screen. Be sure to hit the F key, so you get that rocking Christmas music in the background. Use ARROW KEYS to move and SPACE to… throw snowballs.

NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS: THE HANDHELD

Nightmare Before Christmas ~ Handheld Electronic Game

Trust me, this sounds a lot better than it looks. Part of our larger handheld collection, this license of the original Burton-Selick movie has Jack walking, minding his own business while avoiding snowballs and other creatures. You use the ARROW KEYS as well as the CTRL key to take action, although you’ll be hard pressed to enjoy it! Unless the Pumpkin King holds such a sway with you that you’ll take the effort…

OFFICIAL FATHER CHRISTMAS GAME

This ZX game has a lovely set of colors and graphics as you guide santa through finding pieces of his sleigh, then riding through the night. If you’ve never played a game on the ZX Spectrum (a fascinating machine in its own right) then the controls are going to seem a little bit odd. Be sure to select 1. KEYBOARD at the selection screen, and then check out these controls:

Use the O KEY for left, the P KEY for right, A KEY for down and Q KEY for up. Press SPACE for action and fire. Trust me, the keyboard was very small and your hands would have thanked you, back then.

THE ELF’S CHRISTMAS ADVENTURE



If you ever played text adventures in decades past, you’ll have feelings about the fact they’re still around, still accessible to play, and still text-based interactive stories that allow you to play them one sentence at a time. In this case, you can play THE ELF’S CHRISTMAS ADVENTURE, an Adventure Game Toolkit story of a hapless elf pulled back into an emergency back at the North Pole.

Just curl up near a crackling fire, boot the game up, and start typing commands – you’ll fall into the old fun and frustrations of text adventures in no time.

CHRISTMAS WOLFENSTEIN

The groundbreaking Castle Wolfenstein by iD Software (1992) got a holiday makeover in the late 1990s, with the WWII imagery replaced by trees, wreaths, nutcrackers, banners of holiday cheer – you name it.  Just click here to try this version out.

It’s still a first-person shooter, however, so you’re armed and causing mortal damage, although maybe tell yourself it’s evil people wearing Santa suits at the annual Dungeon Holiday Party. The standard keys work: ARROW KEYS to move and CTRL to fire, with SPACE  to open doors and secret wall entrances.

A POPPLES CHRISTMAS ADVENTURE


This Commodore 64 game is rather slow in places (you can wait a long time for it to load), but a parent playing with a child can enjoy the music and graphics a lot. This 1986 interactive christmas card came from American Greetings. There’s even a singalong! 

(Not kidding about how long it takes to load – but the music and graphics make it worth the wait.)

HOLIDAY LEMMINGS 1993

When Lemmings, an incredibly popular game of the early 1990s, decided to release a holiday version with Christmas themes including graphics and sound, it too was an enormous hit. Some people even preferred it to the original, since it was so incredibly festive and the music was a beautiful Amiga soundtrack of holiday hits. Click here to play.

After a grey bootup screen, the game will come up, with you clicking your mouse into the window to activate the little lemming hand/mouse pointer. Choose PLAY and enjoy the game: You’re guiding dozens of little lemmings dropping out of a trap door to send them into an exit. Assign them different duties (building, digging, blocking) by clicking on the tiles at the bottom. (There are numbers to indicate how many times you can assign the lemmings a job). If you get stuck, there’s a little nuclear option to choose too. 

(If you’ve never played Lemmings before, you’ll be in love with the little guys in minutes.)

JAZZ JACKRABBIT: HOLIDAY HARE 1995

This revamping of the classic platformer JAZZ JACKRABBIT came out as a holiday gift, with a green bunny fighting to save the world while dressed for handing out presents. Use the ARROW KEYS to move around, ALT/OPTION to jump, and SPACE to shoot.

This game is fast, an obvious nod to Sonic the Hedgehog, and so once you get going you’ll be hard-pressed to keep track of everything going on the screen. But the festive graphics and sound will keep you coming back. Click here to play it.

JETPACK CHRISTMAS SPECIAL!

JETPACK CHRISTMAS SPECIAL! is a platformer with a small santa running around collecting presents and causing havoc trying to save Christmas. When starting up the game, press I for an excellent included instruction manual about the backstory and how to play the game. Otherwise:

Press S to start, and then the ARROW KEYS to move, SPACE for your status, ALT/OPTION to thrust, and CTRL to “Phase”. Note that this game is all about the Jetpack, allowing you, Santa, to fly all over the place.

Fun fact: If you leave the title/credits screen going, the snow will start to pile up. 25 years ago, this was a big deal, computer graphics-wise. 

Another fun fact: This game has one of the legendary BOSS KEYS that were a staple of videogames of the time – pressing F10 during the game will kick it over to look like just a regular MS-DOS prompt, complete with blinking cursor. Press F10 again to bring the game right back!

SANTA IS BACK!

Finally, a simple 1993 platformer with lovely music, “Santa is Back!” has Santa running between all manner of platforms, collecting snow globes and presents and all sorts of different holiday items to save Christmas. Just use the ARROW KEYS to move around and the SPACE to kneel. There’s multiple screens and a few short levels. 

Have a delightful holidays, enjoy these many strange and fun games, and thanks for being a user at the Internet Archive!

Posted in News | 1 Comment

The Lost Landscapes of San Francisco: A Benefit for the Internet Archive — Monday, January 7

Internet Archive is excited to present the 13th annual event in Rick Prelinger’s series of LOST LANDSCAPES OF SAN FRANCISCO, which just filled the Castro Theater for two nights in December.

Get Tickets Here

Combining favorites from past years with this year’s footage discoveries, this feature-length program shows San Francisco’s neighborhoods, infrastructures, celebrations and people from the early 20th century through the 1970s.

New sequences this year include a spoof of San Francisco’s advertising industry in 1953; Native activists riding a boat to the Alcatraz occupation; family life in the Crocker-Amazon district; a hilarious film promoting the new Union Square Garage; men walking cables on the unfinished Bay Bridge; African American tourists in 1970 SF; elementary-school students doing science projects in 1957, the Year of Sputnik; surreal parade floats on Market Street; the Human Be-In in 1966; a whirlwind ride down Geary Boulevard, 1968; model rockets in Ingleside Terrace; the Stoneson organization building houses in 1941; a 1930s Japanese American family living atop a semi-rural Rincon Hill; and much, much more.

AND, FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER: a short subject precedes the show: the world theatrical premiere of a new high-resolution scan of the legendary pre-quake film A TRIP DOWN MARKET STREET BEFORE THE FIRE (filmed April 1906) made from the best existing material, showing detail that no audience has seen in over one hundred years. As always, the audience makes the soundtrack! Come prepared to identify places, people and events, to ask questions and to engage in spirited real-time repartee with fellow audience members.

Monday, January 7
Doors Open and Reception Starts: 6:30pm
Show Begins: 7:30pm

Tickets:  Sliding scale starting at $15,
but no one turned away for lack of funds.

Internet Archive
300 Funston Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94118

Get Tickets Here

Posted in Announcements, Event, News, Past Event | 1 Comment

New Views Stats for the New Year

We began developing a new system for counting views statistics on archive.org a few years ago. We had received feedback from our partners and users asking for more fine-grained information than the old system could provide. People wanted to know where their views were coming from geographically, and how many came from people vs. robots crawling the site.

The new system will debut in January 2019. Leading up to that in the next couple of weeks you may see some inconsistencies in view counts as the new numbers roll out across tens of millions of items.  

With the new system you will see changes on both items and collections.

Item page changes

An “item” refers to a media item on archive.org – this is a page that features a book, a concert, a movie, etc. Here are some examples of items: Jerky Turkey, Emma, Gunsmoke.

On item pages the lifetime views will change to a new number.  This new number will be a sum of lifetime views from the legacy system through 2016, plus total views from the new system for the past two years (January 2017 through December 2018). Because we are replacing the 2017 and 2018 views numbers with data from the new system, the lifetime views number for that item may go down. I will explain why this occurs further down in this post where we discuss how the new system differs from the legacy system.

Collection page changes

Soon on collection page About tabs (example) you will see 2 separate views graphs. One will be for the old legacy system views through the end of 2018. The other will contain 2 years of views data from the new system (2017 and 2018). Moving forward, only the graph representing the new system will be updated with views numbers. The legacy graph will “freeze” as of December 2018.

Both graphs will be on the page for a limited time, allowing you to compare your collections stats between the old and new systems.  We will not delete the legacy system data, but it may eventually move to another page. The data from both systems is also available through the views API.

People vs. Robots

The graph for new collection views will additionally contain information about whether the views came from known “robots” or “people.”  Known robots include crawlers from major search engines, like Google or Bing. It is important for these robots to crawl your items – search engines are a major source of traffic to all of the items on archive.org. The robots number here is your assurance that search engines know your items exist and can point users to them.  The robots numbers also include access from our own internal robots (which is generally a very small portion of robots traffic).

One note about robots: they like text-based files more than audio/visual files.  This means that text items on the archive that have a publicly accessible text file (the djvu.txt file) get more views from robots than other types of media in the archive. Search engines don’t just want the metadata about the book – they want the book itself.

“People” are a little harder to define. Our confidence about whether a view comes from a person varies – in some cases we are very sure, and in others it’s more fuzzy, but in all cases we know the view is not from a known robot. So we have chosen to class these all together as “people,” as they are likely to represent access by end users.

What counts as a view in the new system

  • Each media item in the archive has a views counter.
  • The view counter is increased by 1 when a user engages with the media file(s) in an item.
    • Media engagement includes experiencing the media through the player in the item page (pressing play on a video or audio player, flipping pages in the online bookreader, emulating software, etc.), downloading files, streaming files, or borrowing a book.
    • All types of engagements are treated in the same way – they are all views.
  • A single user can only increase the view count of a particular item once per day.
    • A user may view multiple media files in a single item, or view the same media file in a single item multiple times, but within one day that engagement will only count as 1 view.
  • Collection views are the sum of all the view counts of the items in the collection.
    • When an item is in more than one collection, the item’s view counts are added to each collection it is in. This includes “parent” collections if the item is in a subcollection.
    • When a user engages with a collection page (sorting, searching, browsing etc.), it does NOT count as a view of the collection.
    • Items sometimes move in or out of collections. The views number on a collection represents the sum of the views of the items that are in the collection at that time (e.g. the September 1, 2018 views number for the collection represents the sum of the views on items that were in the collection on September 1, 2018. If an item moves out of that collection, the collection does not lose the views from September 1, 2018.).

How the new system differs from the legacy system

When we designed the new system, we implemented some changes in what counted as a “view,” added some functionality, and repaired some errors that were discovered.  

  • The legacy system updated item views once per day and collection views once per month. The new system will update both item and collection views once per day.
  • The legacy system updated item views ~24 hours after a view was recorded.  The new system will update the views count ~4 days after the view was recorded. This time delay in the new system will decrease to ~24 hours at some point in the future.
  • The legacy system had no information about geographic location of users. The new system has approximate geolocation for every view. This geographic information is based on obfuscated IP addresses. It is accurate at a general level, but does not represent an individual user’s specific location.
  • The legacy system had no information about how many views were caused by robots crawling the site. The new system shows us how well the site is crawled by breaking out media access by robots (vs. interactions from people).
  • The legacy system did not count all book reader interactions as views.  The new system counts bookreader engagements as a view after 2 interactions (like page flips).
  • On audio and video items, the legacy system sometimes counted views when users saw *any* media in the item (like thumbnail images). The new system only counts engagements with the audio or video media files in an item in those media types, respectively.

In some cases, the differences above can lead to drastic changes in views numbers for both items and collections. While this may be disconcerting, we think the new system more accurately reflects end user behavior on archive.org.

If you have questions regarding the new stats system, you may email us at info@archive.org.

Posted in News, Technical | 7 Comments

Documentation for Public APIs at the Internet Archive

Internet Archive is well-known for our interactive user services.  These include the Wayback Machine, the archive.org website, and OpenLibrary.  Less well known are the programmatic, or API (Application Program Interface) tools that can allow users and computer programs to access archived information “at scale.”

Our APIs evolved over time, adapting to address specific projects and expanding as we introduced new services and capabilities into our operations.  Although not entirely uniform, these APIS were created to encourage developers to add media to archive.org as well as to consume and repurpose metadata and media.

“Items” are the organizational units of Internet Archive.  Our primary APIs interact with items to perform fundamental actions:

  • Write and read metadata to and from Items
  • Write and read media or other files to and from Items

We have recently introduced two new capabilities:

  • Report the interaction and activity that an item has experienced
  • Discover what changes have happened to Internet Archive content

Documentation and examples to use our most important APIs have now been organized at a single location.  We invite our community to review and use this documentation to make use of the information and content in the Internet Archive.

Posted in News | 8 Comments

Working to Keep Positive Copyright Provisions in Canada

We have said previously that Canada is doing a relatively good job of achieving the appropriate balance in its laws between user rights and the rights of authors and publishers.

The Internet Archive joined the Internet Archive Canada today in filing a brief to the Canadian Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Trade (INDU) under that county’s statutory review of its copyright laws.

Our message to INDU is mostly: “don’t back pedal”. We do suggest that if Canada decides to extend its copyright term by 20 years pursuant to the USMCA, that they add a balancing provision allowing libraries to make those older works available to the public.

Our brief here.

Posted in Announcements, News | 5 Comments

Stories that Move Us

Wendy Hanamura, Director of Partnerships, Internet Archive

I have always been a storyteller. It’s how I make sense of the world and share what I value most. And it’s why I have come to love December. Because during this month, when we ask our community to support us, you also take the time to tell us what the Internet Archive means to you.

Thank you!  Thank you for the thousands of messages you send us each day of our campaign. By reading them, I learned what you cherish, how you like to pass your time. I recognize among you poets and pragmatists, idealists and those deeply worried about our future.

Your stories move us to keep improving—to do more.

Here are a few that I’d like to share:

When my boyfriend died, he left behind a ticket stub to a concert that he took me to. I had no idea that he had held on to it for over 30 years. You were able to help me find a recording of that first Grateful Dead concert I ever went to. Listening to it brought back the magic of that night. Thank you.   Robyn

I used free internet resources when I was a penniless student. Now that I have a job, I want to help other penniless students.  Stephen

One of 4 million digital books available on archive.org.

I am a recently retired professor of anthropology, and I am thrilled that I have access to resources that I once only had access to through my university library.  My university ends access to both email accounts and library access upon retirement. Apparently, they assume that retirees immediately lose interest in research when they retire.  Sad. Linda

I am house-bound, reading my only enjoyment. On a fixed income, I appreciate what you provide and wish I could do more to support it.     Barbara

Without BBC radio plays I do not see how I could get through another Canadian winter. . .  Don

I love to read.  I have Chronic Lymphocyctic Leukemia, so it’s hard to go out to shop for books. THANK YOU for this opportunity to read books.  —D.G

I’m a student and I’m doing research about techno, house, clubs and rave culture.  So your site is like a gold mine for me!    Elsa

I’ve searched so many websites for the same opportunities the Internet Archive offers, but was satisfied with none. With the Internet Archive library I feel joyous, happy and calm—cause I know it’s right there. Like my preferred name, I am just a happy reader. Happy Reader

 

Website of the Western Montana Mycological Association, captured in the Wayback Machine on November 22, 2011.

Thanks for helping keep open the only webport our tiny nonprofit has been able to offer since being attacked by WordPress hackers. The information is hard to find and invaluable to educators, poison control centers, and recreationists.   —Western Montana Mycological Association

I donated because civilization devolves into tribal skulduggery when knowledge is allowed to perish. This we must not allow.    —Jamaal

You are like an old hardware store full of vintage nuts and bolts…please stick around!           Happy Surfer

The remedy for Internet Alzheimer’s… Steve

“Wonder in Aliceland” Blog, captured in the Wayback Machine on May 13, 2010.

My daughter’s blog, Wonderinaliceland.blog.com ‘disappeared’ from the web some time ago and my friend Jonathan used your site to retrieve some of her wonderful writing. She has a brain tumor and will not be with us much longer. Her writing was her main way of dealing with her illness over the last eight years.        Peter

I did because I had the option to do, not the obligation, and I love it.  —Tiochan

 

Thank you letters from the Internet Archive to our donors, mailed with vintage stamps.

When your write to us, we like to write back.  So if you find a letter with lots of beautiful stamps in your mailbox, you’ll know who it is from. Although we offer millions of free digital books and billions of Web pages throughout time, at the Internet Archive, we still appreciate a finely crafted 15 cent stamp.

And if you find our services useful, I hope you will make a donation and send us your own stories.  Thank you.

 

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