Archive hosts Decentralized Web Meet-Up

On June 13, nearly a hundred developers, technologists and decentralized web enthusiasts met up at the Internet Archive to learn from each other and share their progress towards building towards a new, decentralized web. Fueled by pizza and beer, the conversation segued into a series of presentations by six keynote speakers interspersed with 1-minute lightning talks by eager participants. Filled with both vigor and technical nuance, the demos provided a sneak peek into next month’s Decentralized Web Summit.

Internet Archive founder Brewster Kahle set the tone by welcoming all to the Archive and defining the web as a “radical sharing experiment” that has encountered major issues of privacy, surveillance and manipulation. He challenged the audience with the toughest questions, asking What if we can evolve the Web? What if we can bake our core principles into the Web? What if we can lock the Web open? What if we can build a Decentralized Web?” Brewster’s emphasis on the DWeb’s sharing and collaborative creative process echoed throughout the rest of the night.

Part of the network map of the Decentralized Web ecosystem by the Digital Life Collective’s Christina Bowen.

The Digital Life Collective’s co-founder and knowledge ecologist Christina Bowen was the first keynote speaker up, presenting an interactive map of the decentralized web ecosystem. Sortable by maturity, platforms and other characteristics, the map is a transformational tool for understanding the progress of the DWeb and gaining lateral awareness of our peers. To add your organization to the map, please fill out this survey and check out the map’s progress here!

Feross Aboukhadijeh, Founder of WebTorrent, was up next, informing us about the progress of WebTorrents since the last DWeb Summit in 2016. To much excitement, he explored how P2P torrenting ideas can be integrated into web browsers while also presenting the success of WebTorrent’s desktop application. Feross continually focused on the community aspect of WebTorrent and presented features made by other members. Check out his slides.

Arkadiy Kukarkin of Protocol Labs, the parent organization of IPFS, Filecoin and many other projects, then proceeded to present the recent research they have been conducting, in particular demoing Peerpad, a P2P collaborative editing tool. Other topics presented touched upon IPFS gateways and linking the IPFS network. For more research see here.

The Internet Archive’s Lead for Decentralized technologiesMitra Ardron, presented his progress making the Archive more decentralized, elaborating on how the Archive’s decentralized platforms allows users make copies and use IPFS and WebTorrent links when putting out metadata. Check out for yourself here !

Joachim Lohkamp, founder of Jolocom followed by asking the audience a question: “how many account log-ins do we have online?” With the answer in the hundreds, Joachim presented the case for self-sovereign digital identity to control our online presence and security in a world where we have hundreds of accounts, passwords, and companies holding bits and pieces of our personal identities. Check out Joachim’s open source project.

Mozilla’s Irakli Gozalishvili, Dietrich Ayala and Tantek Çelik presented their work on browser support for decentralized web projects! These new APIs for decentralized development received thunderous applause, especially from the other protocol teams. The overall sense of collaboration and mutual support between groups was best demonstrated in IndieWeb member, Tantek’s call for longevity, for building a sustainable web together.

The lightning talks included an array of projects, from Johannes Ernst’s elucidation on the need for self-hosting and home servers to Devon James’s Open Index Protocol to Christopher Allen’s W3C credentials community. These talks demonstrated the vigor and liveliness of the space, both from the early pioneers and eager new faces.

This was an exciting prologue to what is panning out to be a groundbreaking conference on August 1st and 2nd. To sign up for the Decentralized Web Summit, please visit the conference website !

Video of the event and links towards all the speakers is available here https://archive.org/details/DWebMeetUp

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Library Coalition Letter on Music Copyright Bills

On Monday, the Internet Archive joined a coalition of the library and archives community, including the Society of American Archivists, The Archive of Contemporary Music, the Music Library Association, and the Association for Recorded Sound Collections among others, in sending a letter to Senate leadership addressing two pieces of legislation, each seeking to improve the confusing world of music copyright law. We’ve blogged about each of these bills here before, one is known as the CLASSICS Act and the other as the ACCESS to Recordings Act.

Although both bills seek to remedy the situation for older sound recordings from before 1972, which are not protected by federal copyright law but rather only by a patchwork of state laws, the CLASSICS Act goes about doing so in a one-sided manner that would give away valuable rights to big record labels and leave libraries and the public out. Although attempts are apparently being made in closed-door negotiations to even out the balance, the Internet Archive and the rest of the coalition believe that the CLASSICS Act is beyond fixing, as articulated in detail on our letter, and should be rejected by Congress.

The ACCESS to Recordings Act, on the other hand, would harmonize older sound recordings with every other type of work protected under copyright law, granting rights to performers and the full set of exceptions and limitations, including a robust public domain, allowing researchers, historians and music fans alike to access our cultural heritage. The coalition therefore supports the ACCESS Act as the correct and more sensible path forward on bringing pre-1972 sound recordings under federal copyright protection.

If you care about this issue, the best thing you can do now is pick up the phone and call your own Senators to let them know you oppose the CLASSICS Act and support the ACCESS to Recordings Act. You can also go to EFF’s website to take action opposing CLASSICS and you can go the Public Knowledge’s website to support ACCESS.

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With ShapeShift, Now You Can Donate Your Favorite Altcoin

For all of our donors who prefer Clams to Monero, Ripple over Dash, Dogecoin over Litecoin or vice versa, do we have good news for each and every one of you. The Internet Archive now accepts donations in them all!

We’ve completely redesigned our cryptocurrency donations page to include a ShapeShift ‘Shifty button’ allowing you to choose from over 30 tokens and altcoins and easily make a contribution.

With ShapeShift, you can make a donation in your favorite coin and it magically converts it to the equivalent value in Bitcoin, sending it to the Internet Archive’s public Bitcoin address.

Once you select your coin of choice, ShapeShift will provide a QR code / target address to send your donation. You can set a return coin address to get a refund in the unlikely event that the transaction gets interrupted, and enter your email address to receive a summary of your shifted donation. ShapeShift updates its token choices often, so if your favorite coin isn’t listed, it very well could be soon.

We still happily accept donations in Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum and Zcash – the addresses and QR codes are listed on the newly redesigned site.

As a long-time supporter of the cryptocurrency movement — our community has been donating Bitcoin since 2011 — we have long believed that philanthropy can and should have a place in this evolving peer-to-peer monetary system. We have done what we can to support the evolution of decentralized technologies, and we are thrilled this community is supporting us in the same way. Many thanks to the Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Zcash communities. We hope this Shifty button will help bring to light and further support the various tokens in the ecosystem.

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REGISTER NOW: Decentralized Web Summit 2018

There’s a special feeling at the start of something new. Excitement.  Hope. That glimmer of what might be.

We felt it in 2016 at the Internet Archive’s first Decentralized Web Summit.  Two years later, we’re gathering to celebrate the working code that hints at the true potential of the Decentralized Web. Register here to secure your spot at the Decentralized Web Summit: Global Visions/Working Code, July 31-August 2.  You’ll be joining the founders and builders of decentralized protocols from around the world, along with lawyers, human rights activists, artists, and journalists. We’re all united by one thing—the desire for a Web that is more private, secure, censorship-resistant, and open—this time for good.

Get Your Tickets Here

WHAT TO EXPECT:  We’ll kick off on Tuesday night, July 31st at 6 PM with an Opening Party at the Internet Archive in San Francisco. It’s your chance to learn first-hand about the latest Dweb technologies at our Science Fair in one-on-one conversations with the top builders in the field.

Tim Berners-Lee (left) and Cory Doctorow debate at the 2016 Decentralized Web Summit.

Then, Wednesday-Thursday, August 1-2nd, 8 AM-6 PM, we move to the historic San Francisco Mint for a multi-track Summit with hands-on workshops, talks, art/tech installations, and events exploring how law, policy and markets are impacting the technology. Joseph Poon, founder of the Lightning Network, will unveil a game-changing new crypto-economic experiment that he calls “The Abundance Game.” Meanwhile, science fiction writer, Cory Doctorow, explains how “Big Tech’s Problem is Big, Not Tech,” and experts in governance, including Primavera De Filippi of Harvard’s Berkman-Klein Center, explore ways to ensure that decentralized platforms remain decentralized.  At the same time, artist Taeyoon Choi will be leading workshops on the “Distributed Web of Care,” (DWC).  Choi writes: “Through collaborations with artists, engineers, social scientists and community organizers, DWC imagines distributed networks as a form of interdependence and stewardship, in critical opposition to the networks that dominate the world today.”

Kung Fu master, Young Wong, will teach Chi Gong during the DWeb Summit 2018.

At the Decentralized Web Summit we aim to exercise your head, hands and heart. Stay grounded each lunchtime with Chi Gong (Qigong) lessons in the courtyard with Kung Fu master, Young Wong. Or let the folks from Toronto Mesh teach you to run decentralized protocols Secure Scuttlebutt and the Interplanetary File System (IPFS) on a mesh network of Raspberry Pis—a great example of how to share information in low- or no-bandwidth areas.

Not exhausted yet? On Friday, August 3 at 10 AM-5 PM, we’ll open the doors of the Internet Archive, inviting the first 100 ticketed guests for lunch and a tour. We’ll have tables set up for informal collaborating and hacking. Or take your lunch outside and enjoy just hanging out with pioneers of the internet and Worldwide Web.

August weather? You never know what it will be like at the Internet Archive in San Francisco’s Richmond District in the summer.

Organized by the Internet Archive, the goal of this unique conference is to align the values of the Open Web with principles of decentralization. To bring together global communities to co-create infrastructure and tools we can trust. To write code that supports privacy, security, self-sovereign data and digital memory. All while remembering this: the Web has always been fun!

We recommend you get your tickets now, while they last.

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The Internet Archive’s 2018 Artist in Residency Exhibition

The Internet Archive and Ever Gold [Projects] is pleased to present The Internet Archive’s 2018 Artist in Residence Exhibition, an exhibition organized in collaboration with the Ever Gold [Projects] as the culmination of the second year of the Internet Archive’s visual arts residency program. This year’s exhibition features work by artists Mieke Marple, Chris Sollars, and Taravat Talepasand.

Exhibition Dates and Information:

July 14 – August 11
Opening Reception: Saturday, July 14, 5-8 pm
1275 Minnesota Street First Floor Suite 105, San Francisco, California

The Internet Archive is a San Francisco based nonprofit digital library providing researchers, historians, scholars, people with disabilities, and the general public access to more than 40 petabytes of collections of digitized materials, including websites, software applications/games, music, movies/videos, moving images, and nearly three million public-domain books, as well as the Wayback Machine archive (an archive of almost 300 billion websites preserved over time). The Internet Archive visual arts residency is organized by Amir Saber Esfahani and Andrew McClintock, and is designed to connect emerging and mid-career artists with the archive’s collections and to show what is possible when open access to information meets the arts. The residency is one year in length during which time each artist will develop a body of work that utilizes the resources of the archive’s collections in their own practice.

Image Credit: Mieke Marple

Inspired by a Facebook quiz titled “What Abomination from the Garden of Earthly Delights Are You?” Mieke Marple created a series of drawings loosely based on the masterwork painted by Hieronymus Bosch. By digitally checking out numerous books from the Archive’s library and using imagery contained within them to inspire her work, Marple juxtaposes beautifully painted flora with old world erotic illustrations to create her own Garden of Earthly Delights.

Image Credit: Chris Sollars

Through a series of sculptures, sounds, and video, Chris Sollars will investigate the Internet through a combination of physical and digital representations to address the absurdity of the Sisyphean task of keeping the content of one’s work and society perpetually alive. As a nod to the 1960’s Bay Area’s psychedelic and electronic explorations, Sollars will be sourcing the Internet Archive’s psychedelic screen savers, live recordings of the Grateful Dead, and psychotropic literature while utilizing “slow movement” methods of pickling and preserving for handling data.

Image Credit: Taravat Talepasand

During her residency at the Archive, Taravat Talepasand created the “Vali Mortezaie” archive in collaboration with his son Hushidar Mortezaie. The eBook collection contains vintage publications from pre-revolutionary Iran and contains magazines, propaganda posters, and advertisements that capture the lifestyle at a politically pivotal time in Iranian history. Using the newly formed archive Talepasand created a series of drawn and painted collaged miniatures.

Mieke Marple was born and raised in Palo Alto, CA, among a family of engineers in the heart of the Silicon Valley. She received her B.A. from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2008. She was co-owner of Night Gallery, Los Angeles, from 2011 until 2016, and has been written about by The New York Times and W Magazine, among other publications. In 2012, Marple produced the web series Feast of Burden, directed by filmmaker Eugene Kotlyarenko and distributed by MOCAtv. In 2014, she co-founded the benefit art auction and gala Sexy Beast for Planned Parenthood LA, and remains on the organization’s advisory board. Recent exhibitions include Relocation Tarot at Ever Gold [Projects], San Francisco (2018). She lives and works in San Francisco.

Chris Sollars is an artist based in San Francisco. His work subverts public space through interventions and performance. The results are documented using sculpture, photography, and video that are integrated into mixed-media installations. Sollars is an Assistant Professor in Sculpture, Mills College, Oakland, CA with awards that include a 2013 Guggenheim Fellowship, 2013 San Francisco Arts Commission: Individual Artist Commission Grant, 2007 Eureka Fellowship Award, 2007 San Francisco Bay Area Artadia Grant, 2009 Headlands Center for the Arts residency, and 2015 residency at Recology. Recent projects include White on Red at 1275 Minnesota Street (2017); Goatscapes for Jewish Folktales Retold: Artist as Maggid at the Contemporary Jewish Museum (San Francisco, 2017-2018); and the sculpture band skullture that plays site-specific sets on location.

Taravat Talepasand was born in 1979 in the United States to Iranian parents during the Iranian Revolution. She retained close family and artistic ties to Iran, Esfahan, where she was trained in the challenging discipline of Persian miniature painting. Paying close attention to the cultural taboos identified by distinctly different social groups, particularly those of gender, race and socioeconomic position, her work reflects the cross-pollination, or lack thereof, in our “modern” society. Talepasand has exhibited nationally and internationally, most recently in the exhibition In the Fields of Empty Days: The Intersection of Past and Present in Iranian Art at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (2018), Westoxicated at Zevitas Marcus Gallery (Los Angeles, 2017), and Made in Iran, Born in America at Guerrero Gallery (San Francisco, 2017). She has been featured in the San Francisco Chronicle, Los Angeles Times, New York Times, and Huffington Post.

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Proposed EU Copyright Measure Threatens the Internet

The European Union is set to vote on a copyright proposal that will require platforms hosting user-generated content to automatically scan and filter anything that their users upload (see the EU Commission’s proposed Article 13 of the Copyright Directive) on June 20th or 21st.

We urge the European Parliament to reject this proposal. We encourage Internet users to go to https://saveyourinternet.eu to take action.

The main purpose of Article 13 is to limit music and videos on streaming platforms, based on a theory of a “value gap” between the profits that platforms make on uploaded works, verses those the copyright holders of those works receive. However, the proposal extends far beyond music, requiring platforms to monitor every type of copyrighted work–text, images, audio, video, and even code. Article 13 would have an impact on just about everything that happens online, threatening freedom of expression, privacy, and the free flow of knowledge on the Internet.

We have discussed our concerns with the idea of automated content filters when the idea came up in US copyright conversations in the past. This law is troubling in the same ways. Requiring platforms to monitor content contradicts existing rules that create a shared responsibility between platforms and rightsholders for removal of illegal content. In doing so, the law creates incentives to remove legitimate content; it creates a a troubling “take down first, ask questions later/never” attitude to online content.

Filters are not good at understanding context, and therefore legitimate speech such as commentary, parody, or satire may be removed without any human judgment involved. Legitimate expression may be chilled in the form of overly cautious self-policing as a result. Article 13 also has no penalties for false or misleading claims, leaving the system wide open for abuse.

Further, although Article 13 is intended to prevent uploads that infringe copyright, the same technology could be required for filtering of content for compliance with other EU laws, which would compound the dangers that this measure poses for freedom of expression and privacy online. And, policymakers in other countries, including the United States, may come to view mandating content filters as an acceptable way to regulate the Internet if the EU does it first.

We urge you to take action.

[More from EFF, Public Knowledge, and Wikipedia].

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Internet Archive, Code for Science and Society, and California Digital Library to Partner on a Data Sharing and Preservation Pilot Project

Research and cultural heritage institutions are facing increasing costs to provide long-term public access to historically valuable collections of scientific data, born-digital records, and other digital artifacts. With many institutions moving data to cloud services, data sharing and access costs have become more complex. As leading institutions in decentralization and data preservation, the Internet Archive (IA), Code for Science & Society (CSS) and California Digital Library (CDL) will work together on a proof-of-concept pilot project to demonstrate how decentralized technology could bolster existing institutional infrastructure and provide new tools for efficient data management and preservation. Using the Dat Protocol (developed by CSS), this project aims to test the feasibility of a decentralized network as a new option for organizations to archive and monitor their digital assets.

Dat is already being used by diverse communities, including researchers, developers, and data managers. California Digital Library is building innovative tools for data publication and digital preservation. The Internet Archive is leading efforts to advance the decentralized web community. This joint project will explore the issues that emerge from collecting institutions adopting decentralized technology for storage and preservation activities. The pilot will feature a defined corpus of open data from CDL’s data sharing service. The project aims to demonstrate how members of a cooperative, decentralized network can leverage shared services to ensure data preservation while reducing storage costs and increasing replication counts. By working with the Dat Protocol, the pilot will maximize openness, interoperability, and community input. Linking institutions via cooperative, distributed data sharing networks has the potential to achieve efficiencies of scale not possible through centralized or commercial services. The partners intend to openly share the outcomes of this proof-of-concept work to inform further community efforts to build on this potential.

Want to learn more? Representatives of this project will be at FORCE 2018, Joint Conference on Digital Libraries, Open Repositories, DLF Forum, and the Decentralized Web Summit.

More about CSS: Code for Science & Society is a nonprofit organization committed to building public interest technology and low-cost decentralized tools with the Dat Project to help people share and preserve versioned digital information. Read more about CSS’ Dat in the Lab project, our recent Community Call, and other activities. (Contact: Danielle Robinson)

More about CDL UC3: The University of California Curation Center (UC3) at the California Digital Library (CDL) provides innovative data curation and digital preservation services to the 10-campus University of California system and the wider scholarly and cultural heritage communities. https://uc3.cdlib.org/. (Contact: John Chodacki)

More about IA: The Internet Archive is a non-profit digital library with the mission to provide “universal access to all knowledge.” It works with hundreds of national and international partners providing web, data, and preservation services and maintains an online library comprising millions of freely-accessible books, films, audio, television broadcasts, software, and hundreds of billions of archived websites. https://archive.org/. (Contact: Jefferson Bailey)

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The Lost Landscapes of New York: A Benefit for the Internet Archive — Friday, June 15

by Rick Prelinger

Since 2006, film historian and archivist Rick Prelinger has presented twenty participatory urban history events to enthusiastic audiences in San Francisco, Detroit, Los Angeles, Oakland, and at festivals throughout the world. Now, for the first time, LOST LANDSCAPES visits New York City.

Get Tickets Here

The 83-minute program, which is filled with rare and stunning views of the city shot on 35mm, 16mm, and 8mm film mixes home movies by New Yorkers, tourists, and semi-professional cinematographers with outtakes from feature films and background “process plates” picturing granular details of New York’s cityscape. The combination of intimate moments, memories from many New York neighborhoods, and a variety of rare cinematic perspectives forms a 21st-century city symphony whose soundtrack will be provided by the audience. Viewers will be invited to comment, to ask questions and to interact with one another as the screening unfolds.

Lost Landscapes of New York spans much of the twentieth century, covering daily life, work, celebration, social change, and the city’s changing streetscapes. Almost all of the footage in the film has never been shown publicly. Highlights include: the streets and people of the Lower East Side, Harlem, Brooklyn, and Queens; a 1930s train ride from the Bronx to Grand Central; a visit to pre-demolition Penn Station; street photographers in Times Square; 1931 Times Square scenes in color; Spanish Harlem in the 1960s; housing shortages and civil rights protests in 1940s Harlem; Manhattan’s exuberant neon signage; elevated trains in the 1920s and 1930s; garment strikes in the 1930s; Depression-era hoboes and “Hoovervilles”; crowds at Coney Island in the 1920s; “cutting the rug” at the 1939 New York World’s Fair; Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia reading the comics over the radio during the 1945 newspaper strike; the lost Third Avenue “El”; and much, much more.

“Like an archaeologist, Mr. Prelinger has uncovered…different New Yorks — layer upon layer — and put them together for a singular, complex film experience. It’s an ideal project for this collector extraordinaire, who is one of the great, undersung historians of 20th century cinema.” (Manohla Dargis, New York Times)

Friday, June 15
Doors Open and Reception Starts: 6:30pm
Show Begins: 7:30pm

Tickets: $10-$25 suggested sliding scale,
but no one turned away for lack of funds.

Internet Archive
300 Funston Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94118

Get Tickets Here

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The ACCESS to Recordings Act is the Right Way to Fix Music Copyright

Senator Wyden (D-OR) has introduced a common sense bill to fix a bad mistake made by Congress in the 1970s as an alternative to the bad bill Congress is currently considering. The Accessibility for Curators, Creators, Educators, Scholars, and Society (ACCESS) to Recordings Act would extend full federal copyright to sound recordings created before 1972–works that currently only have state law protection.

ACCESS is good for legacy musicians and good for libraries. This bill would help give legal certainty to library activities such as our Great 78 Project that seeks to preserve and give access to the millions of songs recorded on 78rpm discs from approximately 1900-1950. Many of these important cultural works are not commercially viable, and therefore could be lost forever without library intervention. ACCESS supports libraries’ ability to ensure the continued availability of our sound recording heritage.

“Copyright reform for pre-1972 sound recordings must consider the interests of all stakeholders – not just those of the for-profit record labels,” said Senator Wyden. “The ACCESS to Recordings Act, by applying the same term limits and rights and obligations that apply to other copyrighted works, would help preserve our cultural heritage and open up older works to rediscovery by scholars, creators and the public. I have serious concerns about the lengthy terms in current U.S. copyright law that tip the balance toward limiting rather than promoting creativity and innovation, but until Congress is willing to reconsider it, we shouldn’t go beyond those protections and provide unprecedented federal copyright term for sound recordings.”

The Internet Archive joins Public Knowledge, the Library Copyright Alliance and the Association for Recorded Sound Collections in supporting this bill, and urging Congress to pass it.

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Internet Archive awarded grant from Arcadia Fund to digitize university press collections

Internet Archive has received a $1 million dollar grant from Arcadia – a charitable fund of Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin – to digitize titles from university press collections to make them available via controlled digital lending.  The project, Unlocking University Press Books, will bring more than 15,000 titles online from university presses.  This project extends the successful pilot with MIT Press, which has already made more than 400 books available for digital learners around the world.

Today, for many learners, if a book isn’t digital or discoverable through a web search, it’s as if it doesn’t exist. Large-scale digitization projects have brought millions of books online, largely from the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, but almost a century of knowledge still lives only on the printed page, inaccessible to scholars, journalists and online learners.

To bring important twentieth century scholarship online, the Internet Archive seeks partnerships with university presses to digitize their publications. These materials represent the preeminent scholarly output of research universities, presenting research and analysis of use to policymakers and scholars, and providing materials that help shape and inform a literate culture.

“Every online user should have access to a great digital library,” said Brewster Kahle, Digital Librarian of the Internet Archive, “We are grateful to Arcadia for their support of this project, which will make the unique research published by university presses available to even wider audiences.”

“We are very excited about this transformational program,” said Dean Smith, Director of Cornell University Press. “We take our mission as the nation’s first university press seriously—to make high-quality, peer-reviewed scholarship discoverable and accessible to the world. The Internet Archive is perfectly aligned with that mission and will greatly assist us in taking bold actions to unearth these titles and provide access options.”

To participate in the project, please complete our signup form.  Please contact Chris Freeland, Director of Open Libraries, at chrisfreeland@archive.org with additional questions.

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