Join us for “How Digital Memory is Shaping our Future” with Abby Smith Rumsey– April 26

Abby Smith Rumsey photo by Cindi de ChannesWhat is the future of human memory? What will people know about us when we are gone?

Abby Smith Rumsey, historian and author, has explored these important questions and more in her new book When We Are No More: How Digital Memory is Shaping Our Future.

On the evening of Tuesday, April 26 at 7 p.m., the Internet Archive hosts Abby Smith Rumsey as she takes us on a journey of human memory from prehistoric times to the present, highlighting the turning points in technology that have allowed us to understand more about the history of the world around us.

Each step along the way – from paintings on cave walls to cuneiform on clay tablets, from the Gutenberg printing press to the recent technological advances of digital storage – shows how humans have adapted to the increasing need for new methods to share knowledge with a widening community. In addition to these milestones of human communication, the development of machinery in the industrial age helped unlock the geological record of the physical world around us, changing how our societies think about time and change to the natural environment on a grand scale.

When We Are No More_HC_catExamining the past helps us understand where the future might lead us. Yet with our current methods of digital storage, what will still be accessible and what steps can we take to make sure knowledge persists? Out of the vast amounts of data that we are capable of saving, what will be considered important? Only time will tell, and it will be when “we are no more.”  The Internet Archive, under the leadership of Brewster Kahle, is one organization playing an important role in bringing our civilization’s record of knowledge into the future. Smith Rumsey will share her insights into how we can leave a legacy for those in the future to best understand our lives, our struggles, our passions – our very humanity.

We hope you’ll join us for an enlightening evening with this thought-provoking author, historian and librarian.

Event Info:
How Digital Memory is Shaping Our Future:  A Conversation with Abby Smith Rumsey
Tuesday, April 26, 2016
Internet Archive, 300 Funston Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94118

Doors open at 6:30 PM, Talk begins at 7:00pm
Reception and book signing to follow presentation

This event is free and open to the public.  Please RSVP to our Eventbrite at:

For more information about Abby Smith Rumsey and her book, please visit her website at

3 thoughts on “Join us for “How Digital Memory is Shaping our Future” with Abby Smith Rumsey– April 26

  1. Garrett

    Three ways to see it. The digital information, the non-digital information, the mix between the two.

  2. Darutz

    Or one could just see it from here on in. Without something like Archive, there is next to nothing to leave an indelible stamp on our world for most of the people.
    I checked out a long, lost acquaintance online just last night and found that he had died in 2006. The google cache merely showed old references to usenet. Archive held pages that linked to pages on his former site that got me where I needed to go to find out more.
    Amazing to find his old site still looking the same in archaic html and JS – links still to Alta Vista and old DEC Vax notes references as well as old government sites (FEMA) that are still much unchanged.
    We’re still a chain within a chain, hopefully the links are growing stronger and the tether to the shore is immovable over time.

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