Why We Do What We Do

This month we were powered by 75,000 donations big and small.  One supporter in Zimbabwe even sent us Twenty Billion dollars!  But what keeps us going is, quite simply, you.  Your words of encouragement and support remind us why we do what we do.  They make us want to do more.

We asked our supporters “Why do you donate to the Internet Archive?” Here’s a selection of recent replies:

I love the Archive and I love the Wayback Machine. What is true may not always be clear. But by looking at the past we can see what is and isn’t true. You enable that vital process to occur. Thank you! — Jack

I donated because, “we can only keep what we have by giving it away.”  — Joe

I have used your site many times. I was homeless and broke. Said if I ever had anything to give, I would be sure to do so. So here I am.  –Rebecca

Where would any of us be without the Wayback Machine? — Melissa

I’m a university professor and depend heavily on the Internet for my required readings. In this case, I am having my students read a book published in 1838. How else would I get them access to such a text?  – Madeleine

With the impending closure of Storify and the Library of Congress’s decision to stop archiving Twitter, I was reminded just how vital this service is.  — Lee

You are filling a serious need, the Internet isn’t a safe place for sensitive information and it’s good to know you have our backs.  — Tony

The most trusted name in knowledge for free. What Google wanted to be. I do hope you get the major foundational support you deserve. And support from Old Time Radio and Jazz aficionados like I am. Great literature as well. And film, cartoons.  Archive.org is the cultural library for “the rest of us.”  –Dennis

I’m an amateur historian and writer. I appreciate being able to find information on your site that would otherwise require trips around the country to dusty archives or libraries!  –Rita

Downloaded a few really great live shows from archive.org (especially from Songs: Ohia, Magnolia Electric Co & Cowboy Junkies). With my small donation I wanted to give a little something back to you.  –Roland

Love your old time radio & television programs. You are preserving our history while so many others are trying to change or erase it. I feel your preservation efforts are important to our culture & freedom. Those who forget (or erase) history are doomed to repeat it. Keep up the good work. Wish I could afford more. –-Randy

Why I donated? This pretty much sums it up for me:  “Fixed more than 3 million broken links in Wikipedia using the Wayback Machine.  Saved 200 terabytes of government data that might have disappeared.”  –JVK

Books from your archive have been a big help for my genealogical research. –Jim

It is a great initiative and I’ve saved 50 times the amount I donated with this site. I am more than happy to chip in where I can.  –Em

Hiding society’s collective knowledge away behind copyright paywalls is an enormous problem.  I want to thank you for making it more accessible, and support your effort.       –Jerry

For the love of this site over the years and the continual availability of great live music by incredible musicians…and their fans! — A Fan

Want to hear programs I’ve missed on KPFA Radio, especially Democracy Now!                –Jeanne

KBCA was a Los Angeles radio station in my youth.  Just being able to hear a program broadcast again is a rare, but welcome treat to me.  –Byron

Dear Internet Archive, I have been using this service for years and found all the classic scientific work from the leading scientists of the 20th century. I could not have found these books anywhere else, not even big university libraries.  Excellent efforts,  –Farooq

Your service is extraordinary, necessary and a gift.  Thank you. — Bella

A small gift can go a long way if everyone does so. –Richard

For some extremely obscure but historically important publications, I can now download, thanks to you and similar digitising archives, a digital copy straight to my computer from Melbourne, Australia. Only a decade or two ago, I would have needed to locate one of the few copies that exists, travel to the library in which the copy was held, and sit in a reading room taking notes, or taking one-off photocopies, still not keyword searchable.  Thanks so much.  –Kale

I believe knowledge needs to be preserved, and shared.  Censorship whether it is by government, corporations or individuals, through legislation, fascist threats or economic censorship (ie youtube)  is a detriment to all humankind.  — TD

I get both pleasure and (sometimes) insight from being able to read texts from the original editions, where the visual impact of the content is what the author most probably intended.  One cannot get this in any other way, apart from the very occasional good luck to be given (or to purchase) old editions. The Internet Archive is a wonderful resource.  — Jeremy

Thank you for keeping Venketaramana’s talk on Bhagavad Geetha…it changed my way of thinking. I am still growing. — Nunu

Born in the 1960s but stumbled on old radio as a kid—these shows are my Prozac.  Thank you.  –Julie

I’ve listened to Theatre Five, and MindWebs and other Old Time Radio for years now and couldn’t afford donate. I would push the donate button and turn back every time. I finally can now, and I will again.  –Derrick

I listen to Libra Vox and benefit from finding books online for free in family history work.  You are very valuable.  I appreciate donations that don’t just go to large overhead in top heavy charities.  Thank You for all you do.  –Janeal

I love learning and am so grateful to have a place to learn anything I want!  Thank you for this gift! –Judi

To the Internet Archive & Open Library Communities:  You are an amazing bunch!  Thank YOU for using knowledge in all its many forms to inspire, learn, and enjoy life more fully.  Here’s to growing,  improving, and sharing even more in 2018.


10 thoughts on “Why We Do What We Do

  1. allan abram margolin

    I love the archive and has been around since as long as I can remember using the internet. It makes me feel smarter than I am and has unlimited sources of content that has endless uses. It is really the best of what mankind has to offer.

  2. elise bowen

    what can i say ??!!!? there is nothing like internetarchive.org and never will be.
    there is nothing so bad as being unable to make monetary contributions to its continued success, so i have helped to create a “diary” [aka story] and have it posted, with credits and links to IA.org. i – and WE – hope there will be attention paid. should i have stepped on your toes in doing this, please know i tried, unsuccessfully, to find a way to obtain your permission ahead of time: the link is to give you a chance to comment – favorably or not – to this deed.
    happy new year 2018 internetarchive.org: long may you run ♥

  3. Douglas Rusmisell

    Internet Archive is awesome. What you ladies and gentlemen have contributed to our world, by making these books, etc. easily available to our children is immense.

    It has not been so long ago when almost all of these things were only found in libraries (public and education). You could search through the card catalog only available in the library and then see the find the books on the shelves, if you could travel to a library. And the only time an ordinary person could see what was being printed and was available for purchase was to be on a mailing list of a publisher. It was a kind of dark age due to a slow evolution of the infrastructure of the relationship of authors and readers/researchers.

    You should all be proud of the work towards that end. The increase in the flow of information and ideas can only make our world a much better place. Can you imagine how many great discoveries never made it to fruition because one paragraph in a book never made in the hands of the one person who needed just that one thought at the right time?

    Thanks so Much

  4. Joseph Grabko

    I hope that someday it will be possible to search the internet archive by filename. There is a .swf I need that was not indexed on the site I have a url for. Odds are that it was mirrored from another site… but I have no way to seaarch.

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