“And the Webby Award for Lifetime Achievement Goes to….”

“The Internet Archive…is building a home for Universal Access to All Knowledge, open to everyone, everywhere, to use as they like. Open to all societies of the future that care to build on our triumphs and learn from our mistakes.”

                                                                  – Lawrence Lessig

Last night in New York City, we put on our best duds and donned our fanciest archivist hats for a once in a lifetime event. The Internet Archive was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 21st annual Webbys, hailed by the New York Times as “one of the Internet’s highest honors.” The Webby Awards lauded the Internet Archive for being “the web’s most knowledgeable historian.”

Three of our veteran staff members, Tracey Jaquith, TV Archive Architect, Internet Archive founder and Digital Librarian, Brewster Kahle, and Alexis Rossi, Director of Media and Access, accepted the award. Kahle delivered the five-word acceptance speech with panache:  “Universal Access to All Knowledge.”

Perhaps the greatest honor of the evening came in the form of a video narrated by Open Knowledge champion, Lawrence Lessig.  He said, “Creativity and innovation built on the past.  The Internet Archive is the foundation preserving that past, so that perhaps, one can at least hope that our children and their children can shape a future that knows our joys and learns from our many mistakes.”

The award was presented by Nancy Lublin, CEO of the Crisis Text Line and DoSomething.org, who pointed out that in this chaotic political year, the Internet Archive has saved “200 terabytes of government data that could have otherwise been lost in the transition from blue light saber to red light saber.”

The award reads:

Webby Lifetime Achievement: Archive.org for its commitment to making the world’s knowledge available online and preserving the history of the Internet itself. With a vast collection of digitized materials and tools like the Wayback Machine, Archive.org has become a vital resource not only to catalogue an ever-changing medium, but to safeguard a free and open Internet for everyone.

The complete list of Webby Award winners is available here.

15 thoughts on ““And the Webby Award for Lifetime Achievement Goes to….”

  1. Tevis Jones

    Bravo! I sent donations to the Internet Archive at Christmas in honor of my two adult children, and just sent them the news of this well-deserved award. As a librarian, I understand and appreciate how critical your work and the resources you provide are to the survival of open access to information, and I’m very grateful for your dedication!
    Warm regards, Tevis Jones

    1. Wendy Hanamura

      Dear Tevis,
      Thank you for your kind words and support! We need more librarians to help provide accurate information to the world.
      Cheers to your children!

  2. Tor G. Syvertsen

    CIA, FBI and NSA are nothing compared to this!!!
    Of course they are HONORED BY the Esatablishment!

    “Every society honors its live conformists and its dead troublemakers.”
    ― Marshall McLuhan (1911-1980)

  3. The Honourable Neil Brown QC

    It is good to see the Archive recognised in this way. Congratulations. I use the Archive and the Wayback Machine in my work as a domain name arbitrator.It is becoming more significant as it seems now that when push comes to shove and appropriate supporting evidence is given to comply with the Evidence Act ( at least in Australia) , evidence from the Wayback Machine is admissible in court. I wrote about this on my website at http://www.domaintimes.info. See the article at:


    This is important to lawyers in particular who may have to rely on the Wayback Machine in court.

    I congratulate the Archive and urge you to continue and to users to make a donation to the cause.

  4. Silvia Tessuto

    Wonderful! I also sent donation to preserve the rich material that you and your staff offer to all of us, people who is conscient that without past there is not future. Congratulations and long life to
    Internet Archive!
    Best regards.

  5. Tim Sloane

    A well deserved award – Congratulations!! As a market researcher I rely on the Archive to determine the twists and turns companies take as they evolve and occasionally as a critical tool when doing legal expert work. I’d be lost without the Internet Archive and will continue to gladly donate to the cause!

    1. Wendy Hanamura

      We promise to use your donations wisely and ethically–to keep knowledge open!

  6. Deena Elliott

    Wow, super duper awesome! I must admit, when I was first told about this website in my early days at San Francisco State Univ. I thought it sounded a bit far fetched. I’m glad someone knew we’d all be glued to our screens in some manner 10+ years later… Congratulations and well done. Thank You!

  7. Danny Peterson

    I love this website. ever since 2011 it helps me restore some valuable pages I thought were gone forever. Your the award was definitely deserved, so congratulations!

  8. robi zocher

    Hi! My husband was VP of Software at Silicon Beach Software. How can he contact you to see if any of his archives would be useful?

  9. Franklin Davis

    Well done Brewster, and everyone else who works so hard, to achieve so much, for so little personal gain. From our earliest WAIS days in 1990 to today’s searchable Wayback Machine, your tireless persistence and creativity is inspiring. I think you deserve a (Mr.) Peabody award!

Comments are closed.