Join Us for our Biggest Celebration of the Year!

Building Libraries Logo Black

You are invited to:

Building Libraries Together

     Celebrating the Passionate People Building the Internet Archive  

Wednesday, October 21

at the Internet Archive

300 Funston Avenue, San Francisco

6 p.m. Reception & Hands-on Demo Stations

7 p.m. Program begins

Come honor our partners–the hackers and historians making amazing things with the Internet Archive’s collections.  

And we’ll present the first Internet Archive Hero Award to the Grateful Dead–Pioneers in Sharing.

Come try these Hands-on Demos:

SCAN a book with our next generation Scribe

LISTEN to a vintage recording

EXPLORE political TV ads and funny films

PLAY a 3-D video game with the Oculus Rift

VIEW Grateful Dead memorabilia

ENJOY free food, drink and music!

Get your free ticket here.





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Dynamic New Team Leads the Internet Archive’s Web Group

The Internet Archive is proud to present a dynamic new leadership team at the helm of our growing Web Services group.  Whether you are among the 400 partners capturing the Web through an Archive-it subscription, a national library preserving your digital heritage, or a researcher doing cutting-edge work in web archiving, you will appreciate the passion and professionalism of the Internet Archive’s new web team leaders.


Director of Global Web Services

Helen Hockx-Yu joins us this month in a new position focused on advancing the practices of preserving the web with libraries and national archives around the world.  Born in China, educated in the Netherlands, while developing her professional skills in the United Kingdom, Helen is a strategic thinker who understands the diverse needs of our multi-cultural partners.  Fluent in English, Dutch and Chinese, our newest director will help steer the strategic direction of the Internet Archive’s growing Web Services division as we expand our work with scholars and institutions worldwide.

“I am very excited to be joining the Internet Archive. This is the place where the idea of archiving the global web was born and the team has continued with a visionary approach to preserving and providing access to the world’s digital heritage,” remarked Hockx-Yu.  “ I admire the Internet Archive’s ‘can-do’ attitude and I hope my experience can help break barriers and contribute to more collaboration.  No single organization can be responsible for the digital libraries of the future. We need to work together.”

As Head of Web Archiving at the British Library (BL), Helen led the BL’s web archiving activities from 2008, building the British Library’s capability for archiving the UK web at scale and from 2013, implementing legal deposit of over four million UK websites. She has published and spoken extensively about web archiving, addressing national and international audiences at various academic and professional conferences. Helen was also the Project Manager of the Planets Project, a four-year endeavor co-funded by the European Union under the Sixth Framework Programme to address core digital preservation challenges. Before joining the British Library, she worked as a Programme Manager at the UK Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC), overseeing JISC’s research and development activities in the area of digital preservation.

Hockx-Yu is a member of the British Computer Society and served on the Steering Committee of the International Internet Preservation Consortium (IIPC.)  She will be based in the Internet Archive’s London offices inside the Wellcome Trust.


Director of Web Archiving Programs

Taking the helm of our many web archiving programs is library veteran, Jefferson Bailey.  Moving West to San Francisco to join the Internet Archive in 2014, Jefferson brought with him a host of professional experience with many of our biggest partners, including the Library of Congress and National Archives. He now oversees Archive-It, our subscription web archiving service used by nearly 400 partner organizations to preserve the web and also manages a number of collaborative grant-funded projects. Under Bailey’s stewardship, the Internet Archive is a lead or partner in many research projects supported by the likes of IMLS, NSF, NEH, and the Mellon Foundation, pursuing cutting-edge web archiving technology development, access models, and community building, with partners as diverse as Old Dominion University’s Web Science Group, Stanford University Libraries, New York University Libraries, Virginia Tech, Rutgers University, and the L3S Group in Hanover Germany.

“The web is perhaps the signature communication and publication medium of our era. It offers archivists, memory organizations, and others an unparalleled opportunity to collect and preserve a breadth and plurality of voices not previously possible. Yet it is also highly ephemeral and far too expansive for any one institution to preserve alone,” says Bailey.  “I am thrilled to work internally and especially with partner institutions to preserve as much as possible of the historical, cultural record as published on the web, to build new tools, expand access, and advance the state of web archiving and digital preservation.”

Prior to joining the Internet Archive, Jefferson worked on strategic initiatives, digital preservation, archives, and digital collections at institutions such as Metropolitan New York Library Council, Library of Congress, Brooklyn Public Library, and Frick Art Reference Library and has worked in the archives at NARA, and Atlantic Records. He has a Masters in Library and Information Sciences in Archival Studies from University of Pittsburgh and a BA in English from Oberlin College. Jefferson serves on the Steering Committee of the International Internet Preservation Consortium (IIPC), is a co-chair of the Innovation Working Group of the National Digital Stewardship Alliance (NDSA), and active in the Society of American Archivists. He has taught digital preservation and is a graduate of the Archives Leadership Institute.


Senior Program Manager, Archive-It

It was a passion for open access and long-term preservation that brought Lori Donovan to the Internet Archive in 2009. Starting as an intern, this month Lori assumes the role of Sr. Program Manager of Archive-It, where she will guide the evolution of Archive-It services. Donovan enjoys working directly with Archive-it’s many partner organizations throughout the archival process, establishing and growing their web archiving programs, and bringing the voices of those partners into development of new applications. She is a prolific speaker and has led many workshops and community building opportunities at library, archives and cultural heritage conferences.

Donovan graduated from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor with a Masters of Science in Information, specializing in Archives and Digital Preservation. She previously studied history and political science at Boise State University. In her new role as mom, she is delighted that the hours of sleep and baby smiles continue to increase each day.

CMumma-head-outsideCOURTNEY MUMMA

Program Manager, Web Archiving Programs

Courtney Mumma joined the Internet Archive in September of 2015 as Program Manager, with a focus on web archiving collaborative partnerships, grants management, community development, research initiatives, and new services. Her career has been dedicated to building and fortifying the digital cultural heritage preservation sector. Courtney helped to build the Archivematica open source digital preservation system and community. She has worked to advance the field through multiple collaborative efforts, including Artefactual’s other open source projects, Access To Memory (AtoM) and Binder, InterPARES, Digital Records Forensics, BitCurator, and 4C. Courtney has also been a guest instructor for the MIT Digital Preservation Management Workshop and has taught and lectured in several other cultural heritage venues on topics related to digital preservation, and curation. She earned her MAS and MLIS degrees from the University of British Columbia.

Posted in News | 6 Comments

Peter Schumann and his critically acclaimed Bread and Puppet Theater to Tour the West Coast


FIRE will be performed by the Bread and Puppet Theater in the Bay Area on Oct 7 and 9th. Photo Credit: ©Mark Dannenhauer

For the first time in fourteen years, artist Peter Schumann and the Bread and Puppet Theater will tour the West Coast, from Los Angeles to Seattle, with a series of performances, workshops, lectures, exhibits and parades. In the Bay Area from October 7-13th, Bread and Puppet Theater will be performing its original play, FIRE, which catapulted the company to international acclaim 50 years ago.

Founded by Peter Schumann in the early 1960’s, Bread and Puppet was enmeshed in the radical counterculture and earliest demonstrations against the U.S. involvement in Southeast Asia, becoming a familiar presence in the protest movement. Meanwhile, the puppets grew bigger and bigger—some up to 18 feet high—leading processions that spanned blocks and mobilized hundreds of people. Bread and Puppet became a seminal part of the avant-garde movement that included companies such as the San Francisco Mime Troupe, Living Theater and Robert Wilson.

©2012. Mark Dannenhauer. No commercial use without license. 16 Wilson Road, Shutesbury, MA 01072 413-259-1096.

©2012. Mark Dannenhauer

At a time when an economic divide threatens to tear San Francisco into the haves and the have-nots, Bread and Puppet brings its art and philosophy to everyone—from children to the elderly, artists to tech workers. Not only will members of the troupe lead a hands-on participatory workshop with local teachers and arts coordinators in the SF public schools, interact with theatre students at SF State, but they will also create free community events in San Francisco’s Dolores Park and the Tenderloin.

Bay Area supporters of the troupe’s accessible, radical art making can partake in a feast of events this October: 

  • FIRE Performance, followed by a Bread Reception at Omni Commons, 4799 Shattuck Ave, Oakland Tuesday, October 6th, 7pm.  Tickets $10 or donation. No one will be turned away due to lack of funds.  (This show may not be appropriate for young children.)  Doors open at 6:30 p.m. with music by the Brass Liberation Orchestra.
  • Pop-Up Exhibition:  JINGLES & GIANTS–Bread and Puppet Books at the San Francisco Center for the Book375 Rhode Island St, SFOpening reception with Peter and Elka Schumann, Oct 7, 6-8 p.m.  Pop Up exhibit runs Oct 7-12. Free to the Public.
  • FIRE Performance, followed by a Bread Reception at Sebastopol Grange, 6000 Sebastopol Ave, Hwy 12, Sebastopol.  Wednesday, October 7th, 7pm.  Tickets $20 or donation. No one will be turned away due to lack of funds.  (This show may not be appropriate for young children.)
  • FIRE Performance, preceded by a Fiddle Talk by Peter Schumann, and followed by a Bread Reception at the Internet Archive, 300 Funston Ave, SF.  Friday, Oct 9, 7pm.  (Pre-show reception begins at 6 p.m.) We will also celebrate the dedication of the  Bread & Puppet Archive with filmmaker Dee Dee Halleck.  Tickets $20 or donation. No one will be turned away due to lack of funds.  (This show may not be appropriate for young children.)
  • We are All in the Same BoatParade at Dolores Park, San Francisco, Saturday, Oct 10, 2pm. (Parade participants are welcome–wear white and meet at 10 a.m.., look for the big banners and boat!) Bread and Puppet will lead the We are All in the Same Boat parade with volunteers, musicians and community members, asking a provocative question for the Bay Area in 2015:  “What if we could all swim together?”
  • Bread and Puppet: Play in The Tenderloin, Luggage Store Annex/Tenderloin National Forest, 511 Ellis Street (between Hyde & Leavenworth) on Sunday, October 11, 1-4 p.m.  Bread and Puppet Cantastoria performances in the Tenderloin National Forest with bread and aioli; stew made “Fresh from the Oven” by Amara Tabor Smith; sewing with The Mending Library. In the Luggage Store Annex Gallery: Bread and Puppet’s “Cheap Art” Sale and art activities for children with ArtsEd4All. Free and open to all.

At the Internet Archive on Friday, Oct 9, come early for reception and sale of the company’s “Cheap art” from 6:00 p.m.  At 7 p.m. we will be dedicating the  Bread & Puppet Archive with Internet Archive founder Brewster Kahle and filmmaker Dee Dee Halleck.  Thanks to Halleck’s generosity, the Internet Archive is preserving 150 hours of video of circuses, pageants, passion plays, 250 puppeteers, and making it available to the public.  You can stream Halleck’s documentary, compiled over many years, Ah! The Hopeful Pageantry of Bread and Puppet.  Then Peter Schumann, 81, will perform one of his famous Fiddle Talks, a once-in-a-lifetime chance to experience the philosophy of this visionary artist.  All this is leads up to a performance of FIRE.


“Humans wage war against each other and their own mother: Nature.  Essentially war is the ferocious stupidity that insists on the application of brutality for problem solution, whether the brutality is directed at humans or mountaintops.  “FIRE” is a chapel against war, where you sit down to witness the effects of war while contemplating its opposite.”           

                                         –Peter Schumann


Photo Credit: ©Mark Dannenhauer

In 1965, Schumann and his troupe presented FIRE, a hard-hitting piece about the Vietnam War, to critical acclaim at the Nancy Theater Festival in France.  FIRE shows six days in a Vietnamese community, followed by a bombing raid and ending with a self-immolation. Dedicated to three Americans who immolated themselves in protest against the Vietnam War, FIRE is performed with life-size puppets that resemble their masked manipulators. 


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Photo Credit: ©Mark Dannenhauer

“We believe in puppet theater as a wholesome and powerful language that can touch men, women and children alike,” says Bread and Puppet Founder, Peter Schumann. “We hope that our plays are true and are saying what has to be said.” In 1963, Schumann started performing on New York’s Lower East Side with simple rod and hand puppet shows for children. The concerns of the first productions were rents, rats, police and the other pressing problems of the neighborhood. A dancer, sculptor and baker, Schumann starting baking and serving bread to his audiences.  As he notes in his Cheap Art Manifesto, “Art is food. You can’t eat it, but it feeds you.” Peter and his wife Elka called their work Bread and Puppet Theater. The name stuck.  

Since 1974, Bread and Puppet has spun its magic from a farm in Vermont, with hundreds of apprentices guided by a philosophy of living and working within available means, making “cheap art” that is easily accessible to the people. This frugal ethos permeates Bread and Puppet’s aesthetic, inextricable from the paper-mache, burlap, twine and cardboard that literally hold the puppets and shows together.

Internet Archive founder, Brewster Kahle, and his wife Mary K. Austin experienced Bread and Puppet parades in the ’80s and 90s, and ten years ago they brought their family to Glover, VT to experience the artmaking in person.  The Austin-Kahles milked cows and created paper mache puppets.  They paraded as chickens in Bread and Puppet pageants.  “I’ve never seen anything like it:  tremendous art created in a communal way.  Bread and Puppet forged a practice grounded in New England thrift that permeates everything they do,” explained Kahle. “ I’ve been a supporter ever since.  When I heard they were coming West,  I saw it as a chance to plant the seeds for a new era of  radical theater and creativity in San Francisco.”

Follow Bread and Puppet Theater’s Facebook Page.


Posted in Announcements, News | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Who’s Really Winning the Media Wars in the 2016 Campaign?

When it comes to media coverage, it seems as if Donald Trump is “trumping” all his rivals, Republicans and Democrats alike.  But is that true?  And how does it vary by print, digital and television media?  Using the Internet Archive’s Television Archive and the GDELT Project, researcher Kalev Leetaru is able to analyze daily data to see who is winning the media wars of 2016.  Today we are excited to announce three new visualizations that explore American politics through the lens of television: a live campaign tracker hosted by The Atlantic that offers a running tally of all mentions of the 2016 presidential candidates across national television monitored by the Archive, and two visualizations that show which statements from the first Republican debate went viral on television.  Finally, an analysis published in The Guardian shows just how unique television coverage of the campaign is and how much it differs from print and online coverage.  Candidates live and die by their ability to capture media attention.  Now, thanks to Leetaru, citizens have the tools to examine the election media data daily.

A Live 2016 Campaign Tracker



Media coverage of the 2016 presidential candidates has been dominating the news cycle for the last few months, with article after article asking which candidate is dominating the headlines at the moment.   Working with The Atlantic, we created the visualization above that tallies how many times each candidate has been mentioned on domestic national television networks thus far in 2015.  The list updates each morning, providing an incredibly unique peek into who is pulling ahead at the moment.  For those interested in drilling further into the data, an interactive explorer dashboard allows you to drill down by candidate and network.

Who Won the First Republican Debate?


This past July we used audio fingerprinting technology from the Laboratory for the Recognition and Organization of Speech and Audio at Columbia University to scan the audio of all monitored television shows for two weeks after the President’s January 2015 State of the Union address and identified every time an excerpted clip of his speech was broadcast on another television show.  In this way we were able to create an interactive timeline of which portions of his speech went “viral”.

We’ve repeated that process for the first Republican debate, both the “prime” and “undercard” events, exploring which soundbites made the rounds across television news shows in the week following the debate.

For the undercard debate, Carly Fiorina was the clear winner, account for 45% of the soundbites from the debate that subsequently aired elsewhere in the following week, followed by Rick Perry at 15.7%.  Both of the most-excerpted responses from the undercard debate belonged to her, with her quote “Hillary Clinton lies about Benghazi, she lies about emails. She is still defending Planned Parenthood, and she is still her party’s frontrunner” appearing 53 times and her quote “Did any of you get a phone call from Bill Clinton? I didn’t. Maybe it’s because I hadn’t given money to the foundation or donated to his wife’s Senate campaign.” appearing 47 times.

For the prime debate, Trump was the overall winner, with 30.7% of the subsequently aired soundbites being his, followed by Rand Paul at 14.1% and Chris Christie at 13.7%.  The two most-excerpted statements of the debate were both by Trump, one regarding his refusal to pledge not to run as an Independent, which aired 199 times, and the second about his past misogynic Twitter comments, which aired 337 times.  Rand Paul and Chris Christie’s exchange about the fourth amendment and government surveillance aired 190 times, culminating in Rand Paul’s now-famous “I know you gave [President Obama] a big hug, and if you want to give him a big hug again, go right ahead.”  Ben Carson’s closing remarks about his work as a surgeon were the most-repeated of any of the candidates, with 86 rebroadcasts over the following week.

How Much Coverage is Trump Really Getting?


Finally, with all of the hyperbole swirling about Trump’s utter domination of media coverage of the Republican race, a key question is just how much his lead differs across media modalities.  Is online news coverage of 2016 campaign cycle identical to print coverage identical to television coverage?  In a piece for The Guardian’s Data Blog, I explored election coverage across these different forms of media and found that Trump’s lead is entirely dependent on where you look, emphasizing just how important it is to be able to analyze television coverage directly.

As the 2016 political season begins to shift into high gear stay tuned for so much more to come as we explore television and politics!

Posted in Announcements, Television Archive, tv archive | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Library Leaders Forum 2015 — Exploring the Future of Digital Libraries

Brewster for BlogFrom October 21-23, the Internet Archive will convene our annual Library Leaders Forum 2015 in San Francisco. We’re bringing together an intimate group of  leaders from the library world to explore how together, we can build the digital libraries of the future.  It’s a  chance to listen to our closest partners, share ideas, launch collaborations, and share new tools.

The Forum kicks off on the evening of Wednesday, Oct 21, with our big Annual Celebration for 500+ friends of the Archive.  This year we will be highlighting the transformative work of our partners, hackers and historians alike, who are doing amazing things with the Archive’s collections.  Guests will also be able to scan a book, listen to a vintage recording, or drop a quarter into a virtual video game in a new  3-D Internet Arcade via the Oculus Rift.

Annual Celebration 2014 exterior

View from outside “Building Libraries Together”–the Internet Archive’s Annual Celebration in Oct. 2014.








The next day, about 50 of our top partners will gather back at the Internet Archive headquarters to get to know each other and our growing Archive staff.  On Day One we will share some of the strategic goals and projects the Internet Archive is pursuing, and break into Roundtables to dive deeper.  The goal is to find ways to collaborate and fine tune our plans with our partner’s needs in mind.  Next, we’ve planned a series of hands-on workshops that will enable partners to test drive our new Table Top Scribe, film digitization lab, data visualization tools and upload and download features. Researcher, Kalev Leetaru, will demonstrate new ways to visualize and analyze the texts of more than 8 million books.  We will also break into small groups to have lunch at the staff’s favorite neighborhood restaurants, and end the evening with a picnic in the Presidio surrounded by San Francisco’s best food trucks.

On October 23rd, we plan to gather in the Archive’s Great Room to hear a keynote presentation from Founder and Digital Librarian, Brewster Kahle.  He’ll share his vision for bringing entire libraries digital and some of the tools we’re building to make that a reality. Several of our partners, including Tom Blake of Boston Public Library, will share  the projects that are moving digital libraries forward; experts in copyright will weigh in on the policies that support their work.  Silicon Valley CTO, Greg Lindahl, will unveil Project Visigoth–which applies modern web search technology to IA’s 3 million digital texts.  Stuart Snydman, Associate Director of Digital Strategy at Stanford University Libraries, will dive into the International Image Interoperability Framework, showing us the dynamic potential to enrich the presentation of our visual works.

At the end of the day, the Library Leaders Forum is not a conference, and not your typical library meeting.  This invitation-only event is meant for top managers and library leaders to chart a path for the digital future of our organizations.  Situated in San Francisco, we are surrounded by the builders of new tools and platforms–so it is also a peek into what lies ahead.  Our goal: to listen, to share, and to build something enduring together.

NOTE:  Library partners– check your email for an invitation to register.

Posted in News | 2 Comments

2016 Political TV Ad Tracker: with Analysis & Fact-checking Citizens Can Trust

KNC project illustrationThe Internet Archive is honored to receive today a Knight News Challenge grant to support our collaborative efforts to help citizens make sound decisions in the 2016 U.S. elections; for the best interests of themselves, their communities and future generations.

Experts are predicting 2016 election spending will be double, or more, that of 2012. Much of that money will be spent on TV advertising. Local stations across the country will be raking in enormous sums to air these ads. But how well will the stations educate us on the issues; and offer critical analysis?  If not they, then who?

To help citizens navigate their way towards informed choices amidst the flood of political messaging, we will be building on journalism partnerships to present digital library reference pages for political ads.  Our journalism launch partners include Politifact, and the Center for Public Integrity.

We will be capturing all TV programming in select 2016 primary election locales, front-loaded to reflect early-state candidate winnowing. We hope to apply lessons learned during the primaries, to key general election battleground states in the fall.  In addition to our regular TV news research library interface, we’ll be creating an online reference page for each unique-content political ad.  These pages will present journalist fact-checking and other analysis.   Accompanying these assessments will be information about ad sponsors, campaign financial transparency data as well as dynamically updated tracking on each ad’s plays, including frequency, locale, etc.  

Our 2016 Political Ad Tracker project is informed by extensive collaborative experiments conducted during the 2014 general elections in the Philadelphia-region where there were a number of hotly contested Congressional and state elections.  For more on these pilot collaborations, see Philly Political Media Watch Project and Political Ads Win Over News 45 to 1 in Philly TV News 2014.

We are continuing to refine our approaches to facilitating advanced analysis of regional inventories of television political ads.  To get a sense of the degree of their granularity, explore this interactive search visualization, created by Kalev Leetaru, derived from last year’s experiments: Philly 2014 Political Ad Trends Viewer.

Ad_FingerprintingAnother outgrowth of our political ad experiments last year was applying audio fingerprinting to algorithmically find all other instances of an ad, once a single one had been identified.  We used the audfprint tool developed by Dan Ellis at the Laboratory for the Recognition and Organization of Speech and Audio at Columbia University.

The Internet Archive and Kalev Leetaru recently took ad-finding a step further and prototyped a new way of tracking “memes” on television.  For example, everyone can now chart how the President’s 2015 State of the Union address was excerpted and discussed across U.S. and select international television over the following two weeks.  You could think of it as a TV news seismometer, tracking the propagation of key news sound bites throughout complex TV news media ecosystems, including the context in which they were presented.  We expect to apply this approach to 2016 election debates, speeches, etc.

We are humbled by the challenge of getting the word out about how our Political Ad Tracker information resources can be used.  As librarians, archivists, and technologists….market outreach is not our strength.  We’d like your help.

We are incredibly excited with the prospects of working in concert with diverse journalists, scholars and civic organizations.  Together, we hope to help balance the forces of Big Money with reason & insight, resting on sound data.  To inform and engage citizens better than ever before!

We are deeply appreciative of the Knight Foundation, Rita Allen Foundation, Democracy Fund and Hewlett Foundation for their support!

Posted in Announcements, News, Television Archive | 10 Comments

Tracking Politics on Television: Campaign Advertising and the State of the Union Going Viral

Today the GDELT Project and the Internet Archive debut two exciting new interactive visualizations of the TV News Archive, one tracing the flow of money through campaign advertising in Philadelphia in the 2014 election cycle, and the other introducing a whole new way of tracing what “goes viral” on television by charting how the President’s 2015 State of the Union address was excerpted and discussed across American and select international television over the following two weeks.

Media & Money: Political Advertising in Philly’s 2014 Races


As part of the Philly Political Media Watch Project, from September 1, 2014 through the election of November 4, 2014, 7 television stations in the Philadelphia market were monitored to identify all politically-related advertisements.  In all, 74 distinct political advertisements were identified which collectively aired 13,675 times during the 65 day monitoring period, with Archive staff scoring them for the time each devoted to supporting, attacking, and defending a candidate.  A combination of human review and computerized analysis was used to identify every broadcast of each of the 74 ads over the 65 days, along with the sponsor paying for that particular airing.  The end result is an interactive visualization that allows you to explore the television advertising landscape of Philadelphia last fall, comparing any pair of candidates, parties, races, status, win/lost, sponsor, sponsor type, television channel, or even keywords found in the transcripts, or any combination therein.  The ability to exhaustively identify every single airing of a political advertisement during the key campaigning period and determine who paid for each broadcast offers an incredible new tool for understanding the impact of media and money in the political campaigning process.

For example, you can compare ads focusing on Tom Corbett that were paid by Tom Corbett for Governor vs those paid for by Tom Wolf for Governor. Or, compare all ads mentioning the two candidates from any sponsor.  Or ads focusing on candidates that ultimately won vs lost. Or, compare the ads run by the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers vs those run by the House Majority PAC. Or, those mentioning “school” vs “job” in the transcript of the ad. Or, simply, view the overall trends for all 13,675 advertisement airings.

A New Approach to Measuring Virality on Television: State of the Union 2015


Turning from local to national television, the second visualization explores how American and select international television excerpted and discussed the President’s January 20, 2015 State of the Union (SOTU) speech.  The social media era has profoundly altered the political communications landscape, ushering in a fixation on tracking emerging political “memes” and which pieces of political discourse are “going viral” at the moment.  Yet, we lack metrics for measuring what “goes viral” on television – a critical gap considering that television is still a dominate source of political news for 37% to 60% of Americans.  Thus, the “State of the Union 2015: Tracking ‘Going Viral’ on Television” project was born to prototype a brand-new way of tracking “memes” on television – the ability to take a speech or other television show, select a short clip of it, and instantly see every instance of that clip that was aired anywhere across the landscape of the world’s television monitored by the Archive.

Using the audfprint tool developed by Dan Ellis at the Laboratory for the Recognition and Organization of Speech and Audio at Columbia University, the 2015 State of the Union speech was broken into sentence-long soundbites, with each soundbite scanned against all news television shows archived by the Internet Archive from the evening of the January 20, 2015 speech through February 4, 2015 (two weeks later). The non-commercial audfprint tool scans the audio track of each show, so it is not dependent on closed captioning, which is extremely noisy and entirely absent from many foreign language broadcasts.  The tool is also extremely sensitive, able to detect brief excerpts even when they are overdubbed by a commentator and/or other sound effects. In total, 13,082 news shows totaling 649 hours of programming were scanned, and excluding “gavel-to-gavel” coverage (broadcasting the entire speech from start to finish), 208 distinct shows played an excerpt from the speech over 524 broadcasts.  An interactive visualization allows you to scroll through the speech passage by passage to see how each was excerpted and discussed and you can even watch short preview clips of each mention.

What you are seeing here is a first glimpse of a whole new way of exploring television, using enormously powerful computer algorithms as a new lens through which to explore the Internet Archive’s massive archive of television news.

Posted in News, Television Archive | Comments Off on Tracking Politics on Television: Campaign Advertising and the State of the Union Going Viral

You are invited: SF Premiere of “Life on Bitcoin” Documentary


Join us Wednesday, July 22nd from 6:30-10:30 p.m. for a the San Francisco Premiere of the documentary film “Life on Bitcoin,” at the Internet Archive.

The film covers the experience of newlyweds Austin and Beccy Craig who struggle for 100+ days to live entirely on the upstart currency.

Austin and Beccy will attend and conduct a Q&A session following the film.

The couple began the experiment when their credit cards, debit cards and cash were confiscated at the airport upon arrival from their honeymoon.

“It felt like learning to swim by jumping in the deep end of the pool,” said Austin Craig.

For the next three months, the Craigs tested Bitcoin (and their marriage) by relying solely on the crypto­currency for every expense, including gas, rent, groceries, speeding tickets, and insurance. For every transaction, they had to evangelize the currency to survive. Ultimately their adventure took them on a road trip across the United States and into Europe and Asia.

“Honestly, when I first heard that Beccy and Austin were going to live on bitcoin for three months, I was pretty worried for them” said Kashmir Hill, senior editor at Hill would know the difficulty of living on bitcoin. She tried it herself for a week in May 2013 in San Francisco, and wrote about her experiences for Forbes. The challenges of just one week were clear. “I lost 5 pounds and had to move out of my house, but I survived.” she concluded in her column.

This film sheds light on the practical strengths and early limitations of bitcoin technology and mixes it with a large dose of entertainment and fun.

 All are welcome – the “bitcoin-­curious” as well as the long time fan.

DATE: Wednesday, July 22
TIME: Doors open for mixing and refreshments at 6:30 PM. Seating begins at 8:15. The Archive has large windows, and the film will begin after sunset at 8:30.
LOCATION: Internet Archive, 300 Funston Ave, San Francisco, CA 94118

Buy tickets here (Pay What You Can With $5 Minimum of the equivalent in bitcoin).

Pay with bitcoin link is available here.

Posted in Announcements, News | 12 Comments

Experimenting with One Million Album Covers

Rising to the challenge to create an image search engine using a corpus of one million album covers,  Professor Trenary of Western Michigan University lead a class project that found many exact matches (same file) and many near matches.

Their algorithm matched some that were not the same because it used rough shape matching, and many images were just of the CD or LP label which matched.

Screen Shot 2015-06-30 at 6.49.39 PM

While not at a point of being ready for production use for the Archive, they wrote a nice report on their findings that might be useful to others.   The Internet Archive hopes to enable many more studies using the data in the collection.

Thank you to Brandon Arrendondo,  James Jenkins, Austin Jones, and Professor Trenary.

Posted in Audio Archive | Comments Off on Experimenting with One Million Album Covers

NEW at the Archive Store! MS-DOS “Game Not Over!” T-Shirt


Designed by Jason Scott, the new “Game Not Over!” T-shirt is a celebration of the over 2,000 MS-DOS games that are once again available to play on The shirt is currently available in a number of sizes at the Internet Archive store.

All proceeds go to the Internet Archive. Go to to get yours.

Posted in Cool items, Emulation, Games, News, Software Archive | 2 Comments

Experiment with One Million Album Covers

coversAs might be expected, the Internet Archive has lots of data in its virtual stacks. Besides the books, movies and stored webpages, there are datasets provided from the Internet at large or from individual contributors.

But datasets are just big clumps of data unless someone does something with them. Obviously we’re keeping these around no matter what (our current goal is “forever”), but without folks tinkering, experimenting and using the data sets, they’re just piles clogging up hard drives.

So, in the name of experimentation, we’ve put together one million album cover images from a variety of sources, and put them into this item. The total size is 148 gigabytes (!) of .JPG, .GIF and .PNG images. (There is a torrent on the item, allowing you a more flexible way to download that amount of imagery.)

The albums are somewhat-arbitrarily split according to filename, with .TAR (tape archive) files for the letter a, b, c, etc.  The goal here is experimentation – these have not been curated, overly quality checked, or any differently-sized doubles removed. If you’re writing programs or doing analysis, these are the sorts of oddness or strangeness you should be aware of.

(If you just want to play around a bit, there’s a link to a set of a mere 1200 album covers, for a total of 200 megabytes.)

We’ve included some suggestions for using the data, and some projects that might be interesting to get into, either as a hacking project or just because you’re learning computer science.

Let us know how it works for you!


Posted in Announcements, News | 1 Comment

The first Netlabel Day – Join the event

The Internet Archive has a large (over 58,000 items) and growing collection of netlabels. Recently we received a message asking to help announce a new global event, Netlabels Day. Please support it if you are part of the netlabels world.

netlabelsThe Record Store Day was created on 2007 to celebrate the record stores on the USA and the rest of the world. In that celebration, independent bands and labels releases music exclusively for that day on vinyl, seizing the revival of that format. This was the base of the Netlabel Day, a sort of distant relative of RSD, that pretends to install a new tradition releasing digital music every 14 July from now on.

This initiative was born in Chile thanks to Manuel Silva, from M.I.S.T. Records, and it reunites more than 50 labels from all over the world. All genres are present: Rock, pop, electronic, noise, ambient and many many more, free and just for you.

We will upload every single release on, because we love this platform. We always use it and we’ve never experimented any issues with it. Every album will be available for free on WAV and FLAC via direct download, or torrent as well.

The most important thing is to include everyone in this idea. We will close the call on June 1, so if you have a netlabel and you want to be part of this, please email us to If you are an independent artist without any label associated, you can release your music with us too and be listened by every participating netlabel, so just contact us from May 15 to June 1.

Everyone is invited. Be part of this madness!


Posted in Audio Archive, Event, News | 1 Comment

Thank you, Robert Miller, for 2.5 million Books for Free Public Access

Robert MillerI am both sad and happy that Robert Miller has accepted another position so will be leaving the Internet Archive after 10 years of fantastic achievements. He joined to help create a mass movement of libraries bringing themselves digital by scanning books, microfilm, and other media. He has succeeded in doing this by creating positive relationships and distributed teams, working in 30 libraries in 8 countries, to help libraries go digital.

And thank you to Robert, for building organizational and partnership structures that will continue bring more collections online, long into the future. His endless energy and ability to forge long term relationships to create processes that are both efficient and library-careful have been miraculous to behold. The future looks bright and brighter because of his work.

Working with 1000 contributing libraries, the Internet Archive has digitized and offered free public access to over 2.5 million literary works, we are now on our way to the goal of 10 million books, being served by our sites and the sites of thousands of libraries.

With thousands of libraries serving digital materials in new and different ways to their different communities, we can achieve the diverse but coordinated access and preservation opportunity of our digital age. We look forward to the next steps in the programs that have been started with gusto and relish.

Thank you, Robert. We expect more great things in coming years.

Founder, Digital Librarian

Posted in Books Archive, News | 5 Comments

Making Your DOS Programs Live Again at the Internet Archive

MSDOSSince the beginning of the year, the Internet Archive has been making a large amount of DOS-based games and programs run in the browser, much like our Console Living Room and Internet Arcade collections. Many thousands of people have stopped by and tried out these programs, enjoying such classics as Llamatron 2112 or Dangerous Dave. With countless examples of DOS programs going back spanning 30 years, there’s lots of great software to try out and experiment with. Here’s a great place to start.

If you want to just try out the software, we’re done here. Go into our stacks and have a great time!

However, some people have asked about adding DOS software they created or which they have which isn’t part of our collections, and especially how to make these programs boot in a window like our currently available programs do.

This is a quick guide to getting your DOS programs up and emulating in the browser. If any of these instructions are unclear to you, please contact the Software Curator at

Please note: these instructions are for DOS programs, not Windows programs.

First, you should register for your Internet Archive library card if you haven’t already.

getcardNext, you should upload your DOS software as a .ZIP file. It is important that your program and any support files be inside a single .ZIP file and not uploaded separately.

uploadWhen you upload, you’ll be asked to fill out all sorts of information about your program. Be sure to be as complete as possible, including the description, date of creation, who the author or authors were, and so on. You’re the curator of this software – help the world understand why they should look at it!

Set the “Collection” to Community Software.

Finally, at the bottom of this upload screen, there is an add additional metadata option.

metadataAdd these two metadata pairs:

  • Set “emulator” to “dosbox”.
  • Set “emulator_ext” to “zip”.

Finally, and this is very important … inside the .ZIP file you uploaded is the program that starts the program running. It might be an .EXE, .BAT or .COM file.  For example, if your ZIP file has a single file in it, called LEMON.EXE, then that’s the program that “starts” your program.

  • Set “emulator_start” to this program.

After double-checking your work, click on “Upload and Create your Item” and the system will upload your program to the Archive, and if all goes well, your program will be emulated in our pages after a few minutes.

Again, if you have any questions or experience any issues, contact Jason Scott, the software curator at the Archive, at

Let’s bring the DOS prompt back! And let a thousand programs bloom!


Posted in Software Archive | Comments Off on Making Your DOS Programs Live Again at the Internet Archive

Help Free PACER–Cast your Vote for Free Court Records at the Internet Archive this Friday!

Public Resource Postcard  Internet activist and founder of, Carl Malamud is launching a national campaign to free millions of court documents in PACER–Public Access to Court Electronic Records–the technologically backwards federal electronic system that charges Americans 10 cents per page to access court files in the public domain.  This Friday, you can come by the Internet Archive “polling place” at 300 Funston Avenue., San Francisco from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. to “cast your vote” for free court records.  Carl will be on hand with inspiring postcards addressed to Chief Judge Thomas of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.  By sending His Honor hundreds of handwritten postcards asking him to grant a PACER fee-exemption,  we can save tax-payers millions of dollars, while freeing court documents crucial to understanding and interpreting the law.

This is just one prong in a multi-faceted campaign to free PACER.  Carl outlines Friday’s strategy in a memorandum of law called, “Yo, Your Honor.”  His request of us:

May 1 is Law Day, and I’m asking people to come in and write a brief postcard about why you think that access to PACER is important. More specifically, you’ll be writing a postcard to Chief Judge Thomas of the Ninth Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals in support of my request that the Court grant us free access to PACER for several courts in the Ninth Circuit. It would be a really big deal if the Court said yes, we’re trying to show public support in a way the judges can relate to.

Photo of PACER PostcardsYou can also send your postcard directly if you can’t make it to the Internet Archive on Friday:

Clerk of the Court
Attn: Docket 15-80056
United States Courts of Appeals
James Browning Courthouse
95 7th Street
San Francisco, CA 94103


In 2008, Aaron Swartz downloaded millions of PACER documents, and worked with Malamud to make them accessible for free on the Internet Archive through the RECAP Project.  This is just one more step toward providing everyone with free access to all knowledge–the great promise of the Internet and our mission at the Internet Archive.



Posted in Announcements, News | 7 Comments

The Evolving Internet Archive


The new site

The new version of the site has been evolving over the past 6 months in response to the feedback we’ve received from thousands of our awesome users.

If you haven’t been following along, you can review a little bit of the journey through these blog posts:

Why change the site at all?  The posts above help answer that, but in brief:

  • 35% of our ~3 million daily users are on mobile/tablet devices, and the classic site is not easy to use on small formats.
  • The new tools we want to offer our users would be difficult to implement in the old site architecture.
  • The classic site was built a long time ago, using methods that are outdated.  Finding programmers who have the skills to work in that environment is becoming increasingly difficult, and the ramp up time for new employees is painful.  The redesign has given us an opportunity to start pulling the front end (what you see) apart from the back end, so they can evolve separately.
percent of users viewing the new site

Blue represents people in classic (v1), red represents people in the new version (v2)

Currently about 85% of users are in the new version. Over the next few weeks we will be asking the remaining 15% to try it out.  For the time being, users will be able to exit exitthe new and return to the “classic” version — but the classic will not always be available or supported, so please give the new version a try and give us feedback if there are things on the site that you don’t like, can’t find, or that seem like bugs.  (When you click “exit” you will have an opportunity to give us feedback.)

We have made several video tours that introduce you to the new site. I recommend starting with the site tour, below.


The original download button

In the past few months we have received more than 16,000 feedback emails from people using the new version.  The redesign team reads every single one of them.  Some just say, “I love it!” and some immediately say, “I hate it!”  But a great many of you have also taken the time to share a little more – something you missed from the old site, a question about the new tools, concern about accessibility, suggestions for how to adjust things, etc.

Download menu open by default

Download menu open by default

We took that input — along with information from user tests, interviews with some of our power users, chats with partners — and tried to identify areas of the interface that seemed to be working well, and other areas that were not.

The evolution of downloading files from items is a great example of the process we’ve been following.  The original design for item pages de-emphasized download as a feature. Our conversations with users told us that most people wanted to hit a play button, not download a file.

You could still download in the original design, of course, but you had to click a button to get options and then click again if you wanted specific files.

But when we opened the new site up to more users, we got many comments from people who either disliked the extra clicking, didn’t like leaving the page to get individual files, didn’t understand what the options represented, or couldn’t find the download options at all.

The first thing we tried was just opening up the download menu by default.  Instead of just seeing the black download button on the page, you now also saw a menu of options.  More people saw the download, but feedback made it clear that users still had issues.

What if we make it blue?  (Nope!)

What if we make it blue? (Nope!)

We thought perhaps if we increased the visibility of the download options by turning the Download header blue that people would see it faster.  We did an A/B test with 50% of users seeing each option — neither option really won.  And the feedback about this feature continued to be negative.

It became clear that we needed to rethink the design of the download options all together, trying to keep it clean-looking and easy to use while also satisfying the concerns of our most advanced users.

We set some goals for the download changes based on the feedback we had received:

  • must be able to download an individual file without leaving the item page
  • if there is only one file in a particular format, you should only need one click to download it
  • improve the ability to download groups of files (e.g. “just give me all the FLAC files”)

The current version of downloads allows you to consume individual media files without leaving the page and gives you a lot more options for downloading groups of files from an item.  Since we released the new Download Options feature, the negative feedback about this feature has dropped off almost entirely.  So we think we’re on the right track!  We have created a short video tour for the downloads feature if you want to learn more.

New Download Options feature, illustrating how to display individual files

New Download Options feature, illustrating how to display individual files

The download changes are just one example of how much your feedback has helped us identify areas of confusion on the site and understand how to improve things.  Here are a few more examples:

  • A-Z filters available when sorting by title or creator
  • better experience for people with javascript disabled
  • fixes to improve software emulation
  • default search results to List view (instead of image-based Thumbnail view)
  • pull user page images from gravatar if available (if user has not uploaded one)

We have a lot more in store for the new site – better accessibility for sight disabled people, tools for creating your own collections, improved playback for multimedia items, etc.  As these features trickle into the site, we hope you will continue to share your questions and ideas with us – you are truly helping us to make the archive a better place for everyone.

This project receives support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation’s Knight News Challenge.

Posted in Announcements, Archive Version 2, News | 31 Comments

Two Grants Announced Supporting Web Archiving

We are excited to announce Internet Archive’s participation in two new grant-funded collaborative projects to advance the field of web archiving! Our Archive-It service, which works with libraries, archives, museums and others to provide the tools for institutions to create their own web archives, will partner with New York University and Old Dominion University on two separate areas of work. We thank both The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) for their recognition of the value of web archiving and their support for the continued development of tools and initiatives to expand the quality, accessibility, and extensibility of these collections. We also thank our awesome collaborative partners on these projects, New York University Libraries, NYU’s Moving Image Archiving and Preservation (MIAP) program, and Old Dominion University’s Web Science and Digital Libraries Research Group and look forward to working with them as part of our broader initiative for “Building Libraries Together.”

For the project “Archiving the Websites of Contemporary Composers,” led by NYU Libraries and funded with a grant of $480,000 from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, we will work with the Libraries and MIAP.  This project will archive web-based and born-digital audiovisual materials, and research and develop tools for their improved capture and discoverability. Contemporary musical works, as well as the rich secondary materials that accompany them, are increasingly migrating to the web. We outlined a number of current challenges to capturing and replaying online multimedia, such as dynamic and transient URL generation and adaptive bitrate streaming, as well as a need for continued research and development around the integration of web archives and non-web collections.

We have two specific pieces of work in the grant. First, we will build tools to improve the crawling and capture of web-based audiovisual materials, addressing the increasing complexity of streaming audiovisual materials, especially on third-party hosting and sharing platforms. This development work will build on our experience creating “Heritrix helper” tools like Umbra. Our second area of work will explore methods to integrate discovery of high-quality, non-web multimedia content held in external repositories into the Archive-It platform. Linking Archive-It collections with non-web institutional content has great potential to integrate web and non-web archives. This work will build on NYU’s creation of an API for their preservation repository, our increased use of API-based systems integration in Archive-It 5.0, and our continued work on improved content discovery for web collections. See NYU’s press release for more details.

The second recently-announced grant project is being lead by Old Dominion University’s Web Science and Digital Libraries Research Group, which received a $468,618 National Leadership Grant for Libraries from IMLS for the project, “Combining Social Media Storytelling With Web Archives” (grant number LG-71-15-0077). Readers not familiar with ODU’s great history of research and development around web archives are encourage to check out projects such as WARCreate/WAIL, their work on visualizations and Archive-It, and our recent favorite, the #whatdiditlooklike tool. In this project ODU will be building tools and processes to assimilate user-focused, online storytelling methods, such as Storify, to 1) summarize existing collections and 2) bootstrap new or expand existing web archive collections. The project will provide new ways to create unique topical and thematic collections through URLs shared via social media and storytelling platforms.

We will be working with them to integrate these tools in Archive-It, conduct user testing and training, and explore other ways that storytelling and user-generated materials can help build narrative pathways into large, often diffuse, collections of web content. We are excited to work with ODU and continue our increased focus on new models of access for web archives, as many institutional web collections are now of a breadth, volume, and operational maturity to begin focusing on novel ways their web archives can be studied and better understood by users and researchers.

Thanks again to Mellon Foundation and IMLS for supporting these cooperative efforts to advance web archiving and we are excited to work with our great partners and the broader community to keeping preserving and expanding access to the rich historical and cultural record documented on the web.

Posted in Announcements, Archive-It | 3 Comments

Will We Let Congress Vote to Fast-Track Secret Trade Deals?

Yesterday, legislation was introduced in the US Senate that would enable Congress to fast-track approval of secret trade agreements by Republican Orrin Hatch and Democrat Ron Wyden. The timing is important because the President is currently pushing for the approval of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, an agreement negotiated in secret meetings with international lawmakers that has serious ramifications for a host of important issues, Internet privacy and intellectual property among them.

We are worried that Congress’ and the public’s ability to review, discuss, and debate proposed agreements would be significantly limited by this bill. It would also force Congress to have a strict yes/no vote on the presented agreement, with no ability to make amendments beforehand.

The impacts of these agreements and the international rules that they impose upon citizens and Internet users across the globe are too sweeping to be coordinated behind closed doors and then presented in a short window for a straight up and down vote.

There is still time for concerned individuals and organizations to resist this push, as we did with SOPA, PIPA, and the threat to net neutrality.

For more information and organized ways to take action, see the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s write-up and the Internet Vote campaign.

Posted in Announcements, News | 3 Comments

Internet Archive and CADAL Partner to Digitize 500,000 Academic Texts

The Internet Archive and the Chinese Academic Digital Associative Library (CADAL), are pleased to announce that 500,000 English-language, academic books will be digitized through a partnership that leverages strengths from both organizations. This furthers an initiative begun in 2009, The China-US Million Book Digital Library Project, seeking to bring one million texts into the public domain.

“We are working together with a valuable global partner, CADAL, to create a digital library of high quality, academic, eBooks for use in China, North America and the world at large; I couldn’t be happier!” Robert Miller, General Manager of Digital Libraries for the Internet Archive, remarked on the collaboration.

The Chinese Academic Digital Associative Library (CADAL) is a consortium of over 70 Chinese University Libraries. CADAL will provide access to a leading set of libraries, the technical resources to display, and share the books inside China, as well as the staff needed for digitization. The Internet Archive will select the books, and provide equipment and processing resources. Both organizations will offer access and discovery tools for both scholars and citizen-scholars. Together, CADAL and the Internet Archive are contributing to a growing, global digital library.

Chen Huang, Digital Librarian and Deputy Director of Administrator Center for CADAL, shared the vision for the project: “We are pleased to be working with the Internet Archive. Together, we have developed a program that will allow Chinese university students to have access to materials that will enhance both specific knowledge, and exposure to broad trends and ideas.”

This phase of the partnership will last about 3 years and involve teams in the US, Shenzhen, China and ZheJiang University in Hang Zhou, China.

The Internet Archive is a non-profit library with over 6 million texts online and a popular global website, with 34 million downloads a month. Their mission is “Universal Access to All Knowledge”

Contact for more information.

The China Academic Digital Associative Library (CADAL) is a long term project of the Ministry of Education of China. The consortium aims to construct an academic digital library with high-level technology and abundant digital resources that are multidisciplinary, multilingual, and categorically diverse.

Contact for more information.

Posted in Books Archive, News | 5 Comments

Sharing Data for Better Discovery and Access

The Internet Archive and the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) are pleased to announce a joint collaborative program to enhance sharing of collections from the Internet Archive in the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA).

ia-logo-220x221The Internet Archive will work with interested libraries and content providers to help ensure their metadata meets DPLA’s standards and requirements. After their content is digitized, the metadata would then be ready for ingestion into the DPLA if the content provider has a current DPLA provider agreement.

The DPLA is excited to collaborate with the Internet Archive in this effort to improve metadata quality overall, by making it more consistent with DPLA requirements, including consistent rights statements. Better data means better access. In addition to providing DPLA compliant metadata services, the Internet Archive also offers a spectrum of digital collection services, such as digitization, storage and preservation. Libraries, archives and museums who chose Internet Archive as their service provider have the added benefit of having their content made globally available through Internet Archive’s award winning portals, and

“We are thrilled to be working with the DPLA”, states Robert Miller, Internet Archive General Manager of Digital Libraries. “With their emphasis on providing not only a portal and a platform, but also their advocacy for public access of content, they are a perfect partner for us”.

Rachel Frick, DPLA Business Development Director says, “The Internet Archive’s mission of ‘Universal Access to All Knowledge’, coupled with their end-to-end digital library solutions complements our core values.”

Program details are available upon request. Please contact:
Rachel Frick – DPLA Business Development Director,
Robert Miller – General Manager of Digital Libraries,

Posted in Announcements, Books Archive, News, Open Library | 1 Comment