Author Archives: Wendy Hanamura

Love, Loss, and Archives

By Paul Lindner

From the memorial site I built for my wife, Julie Lindner. https://julieslife.com/.

And so it feels like she is slipping away from me a second time: first I lose her in the present, then I lose her in the past. Memory — the mind’s photographic archive — is failing.”

— Julian Barnes,  Levels of Life

I lost my sweet, vibrant, lovely wife Julie to breast cancer last December.

Determined to not lose her a second time, I turned to over 27 years of personal and public archives to create a memorial site. Julie’s escapades and adventures would not be forgotten. Fortunately our journey began online, over email.

Back in 1992, Julie and I met on a mailing list, GRUNGE-L. I noticed she was from Minnesota and so was I. Asked if she’d be up to see some music. She said yes and six months later we were married and off on our adventures. Over that first year we sent each other more than 2000 email messages.

The day before Julie died, I turned to those archived emails. Through tears, I read our early messages to her. I knew that despite being unconscious she could hear my voice and relive those moments with me.

We met on an email list devoted to Grunge music, and six months later, in 1992, we married and traveled the world.

As I sat down to write her obituary, I shifted to a new role: Historian. I began by collecting old text messages, voice mails, and emails. Old SD cards and phones in drawers augmented photo backups. I scanned old photos; friends and family sent what they could find.

But there was more online, some in public archives. The earliest was Julie’s Usenet newsgroup postings. Some are available in Google Groups, but the Internet Archive had many more at https://archive.org/details/usenet. I found posts by Julie in a number of groups, CINEMA-L and alt.music.alternative to name a few. To really recreate the experience, I displayed them on an 80×24 retro-terminal green screen:

Back in January 1992, Julie shared her Top 5 Movies of 1991 on Usenet.

Then there were the bands she loved whose works were out of print. Some, like The Sycamores, had contact info online. But I had to turn to the Internet Underground Music Archive (IUMA) to find information about The Wonsers. (Thank you Jason Scott and John Gilmore for saving this and the rest of IUMA!)

And as I dug through email, I remembered Julie loved the “Future Culture” mailing list, and often shared the cultural and technical ephemera she found there.  I subscribed to the list so I could let them know about Julie, and found her messages to the group. Julie started lurking in 1993, finally introducing herself in ’97:

Oh yeah, my name is Julie Lindner. I’m from Minneapolis, Minnesota. But, have spent the last year and a half living in Geneva. This seems to be a very interesting group of people. I expect it will be a pleasure to get to know you.

She didn’t post much, but she did earn the title of “Goddess of Tacky Postcards” for three of her entries in a competition to find the most tacky postcard.  She sent in her best and they ended up on a web site “Future Culture goes Postal.”  It’s gone, but it was archived.

The archive is incomplete, but luckily Julie’s second and  third entries survived.  (The first was probably so tacky that it was unarchivable!) Finding these really captured her wicked sense of humor and brought back a special time in our lives.

The list also featured an orange jumpsuit-wearing member named Captain Cursor aka Taylor.  We never managed to meet Taylor, despite moving to the Bay Area. But his archives remain and they provide so much context for my own orange jumpsuit—a gift to me from Julie.

Captain Cursor, a stylesheet superhero c 1997

I was very happy to find even more websites kept alive by the Internet Archive:

  • SomaLiving.com – In 1999 we bought a Loft sight-unseen except for the brand-new ‘virtual tour’ technology.
  • That loft building had its own site: lighthouselofts.com containing photos and a history.
  • It was there that I built a personal, partially lost, website inspired by Julie’s tattoo:
The imagery Julie chose for her tatoo was Pan, the Greek god of the mountain wilds, rustic music, and impromptu concerts.

And finally, through the Wayback Machine, I learned that the memorial site julieslife.com was built on hallowed ground. Turns out I’m not the first to use this domain. There were two other Julies with two wholly unique and treasured lives. The Internet Archive contains the full history of both of them:

Throughout treatment, Julie was able to do many things that she loved. She supported animals in need. Here she is with our dog Gus.

In this way, archives become much more than just data. They allow us to witness, corroborate and remember what happened with an accuracy no human could ever achieve. Each e-mail, each photo, each song, and yes, each tacky postcard ensures that I won’t lose Julie a second time.

So for all the Julies out there, I am thankful for the Internet Archive. Survivors and Historians are eternally grateful that the Archive is there to augment our own fallible memories, ensuring that our loved ones are never lost to time.

Paul Lindner

p.s. If you have suffered a similar loss, please feel free to reach out for a sympathetic ear or for help finding memories in the archives. You can reach me via e-mail or chat/social-media.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Paul Lindner is a supporter of the Internet Archive, an organizer of the Decentralized Web Summit 2018 and a self-described “obscure 90s Internet OG.


Sharing Courses not Viruses—Educational Innovators Respond to COVID-19

As classrooms close due to COVID-19, how can we leverage online classes and digital libraries to fill the gap?

by Kate Tairyan, MD, MPH

The University of Washington’s (UW) Seattle campus is about 5 miles as the vector flies from Kirkland’s “Life Care Center,” the now ironically named the first epicenter of North America’s COVID-19 epidemic. And on March 6, after >25,000 people had signed a petition to stop in-person classes — they did.  

UW is hardly alone among academic institutions both domestically and globally dealing with such concerns: according to UNESCO, an unprecedented 777+ million students in 100 countries are currently out of school because of COVID-19. UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay says: “While temporary school closures as a result of health and other crises are not new, unfortunately, the global scale and speed of the current educational disruption is unparalleled and, if prolonged, could threaten the right to education.”  The news release adds:  “In response, UNESCO is supporting the implementation of large-scale distance learning programs and recommending open educational applications and platforms that schools and teachers can use to reach learners remotely. The organization is sharing best practices to leverage inexpensive mobile technologies for teaching and learning purposes to mitigate educational disruption.”

“Without such online remedies, this quiet brain drain could be the greatest impact of COVID-19.”

With such large-scaled closures and implications, it is clearly time to use the excellent alternative educational tools we have at hand. With abundant data to support their quality and efficacy, the Internet Archive’s Open Library, NextGenU.org, People’s Uni, Nurses International, and others are partnering to make online courses and digital libraries freely available to universities and educators currently without them, so their students can study (and our colleges/universities can stay strong) during restrictions on gathering and travel. We’re hoping that more institutions will come aboard this initiative and make one (or more) courses available so faculty without current online courses can assign such work to their students, and avoid losing valuable academic time.  

Without such online remedies, this quiet brain drain could be the greatest impact of COVID-19.

Might your institution be interested in joining a collaboration of course-offering organizations to help protect our students and universities during travel bans? We’re leading a ”Share a Course, Not a Virus COVID-19 Initiative,” and we would love to have your collaboration to keep students studying. Consider making one or more courses open access during travel and gathering restrictions and/or grant broader access to part/all of your digital library as part of this collaborative effort. There are proven strategies that allow many hands to help without creating additional burdens for helping institutions.

If you would like to learn more about sharing a course, contact info@nextgenu.org, and to learn more about sharing your libraries books in digital formats, contact chrisfreeland@archive.org. 

Here’s the growing list of courses currently on offer for this initiative. 

Table Title: COVID-19 Course Share – Share a Course, Not a Virus Keep Students Studying!

NextGenU.org courses:

  • Biostatistics
  • Epidemiology
  • Environmental Health
  • Climate Change and Health
  • War and Health
  • Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Substance Use Disorders (screening, prevention, and counseling)
  • Community-Oriented Primary Care
  • Breast Health
  • Emergency Medicine
  • Lifestyle Medicine

Peoples-uni.org courses

  • Disaster Management and Emergency Planning
  • Public Health Nutrition
  • Evaluation of Interventions
  • Evidence-Based Practice
  • Health Economics
  • Health Promotion
  • Non-Communicable Diseases
  • Public Health Concepts for Policy Makers

NextGenU.org and our colleagues invite would-be learners, potential institutional collaborators, and the media to visit www.NextGenU.org or to email info@NextGenU.org for further information.

Additional resources

  • Peer-reviewed publications evaluating NextGenU.org are listed here
  • Twitter here, Facebook here
Kate Tairyan, MD, MPH

Dr. Kate Tairyan is the Director of Public Health for NextGenU.org. She received one of the 19 Canadian Rising Stars in Global Health Awards and is leading the first free online public health program in the world.  You can read more about Dr. Tairyan here.

The Books Beloved by David Bowie

David Bowie (1947-2016) left behind more than 40 albums, 40+ films, and a list of his 100 favorite books.

Restlessly creative, in a constant state of reinvention, artist David Bowie defies simple labels. As a musician, actor, painter and composer, his influence spans decades and continents. But how did young David Robert Jones from Brixton, South London become the force behind Ziggy Stardust, plastic soul and glam rock?

He read. Voraciously.

It’s easy to chart the androgynous Ziggy Stardust to Bowie’s well-worn copy of “The Life and Times of Little Richard.” From mythical heroes in Homer’s Iliad to the Beat icons in Jack Keroac’s On the Road, David Bowie’s favorite protagonists are as eclectic as his public personae. He was drawn to counter culture writers such as William Burroughs, at one point emulating Burroughs method of “cutting up” words and fashioning them randomly into lyrics. Bowie composed 2/3rd of a rock opera based on George Orwell’s 1984, only to discover he could not secure the rights to the dystopian novel. He loved the poetry of T.S. Elliot and the Pop Art-influenced graphic design of Tadanori Yokoo

But what was it like to experience David Bowie, the person? I asked b. George, founder of the ARChive of Contemporary Music in NYC, an organization that Bowie supported generously, even hosting its 15th Anniversary celebration. “For more than four hours anyone could just sit down at his table and chat. He made a swell introduction to Nile (Rodgers) and he danced, ” recalled George. “He was warm. Real. David Bowie was the only person I ever met who glowed.”

Album cover from Hunky Dory (1971), decorated with glitter and autographed by David Bowie for the ARChive of Contemporary Music.
From the monograph “Tadanori Yokoo.”

Thankfully, in 2013, David Bowie also bequeathed us with a list of his 100 favorite reads. (Republished here on the DavidBowie.com site, now only accessible through the Wayback Machine.) We are happy to share them with you in this Internet Archive Collection “David Bowie’s Favorite Books”–84 of which are readily available for free through the Internet Archive.

  1. Interviews With Francis Bacon by David Sylvester
  2. Billy Liar by Keith Waterhouse
  3. Room At The Top by John Braine
  4. On Having No Head by Douglass Harding
  5. Kafka Was The Rage by Anatole Broyard
  6. A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
  7. City Of Night by John Rechy
  8. The Brief Wondrous Life Of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz
  9. Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
  10. Iliad by Homer
  11. As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
  12. Tadanori Yokoo by Tadanori Yokoo
  13. Berlin Alexanderplatz by Alfred Döblin
  14. Inside The Whale And Other Essays by George Orwell
  15. Mr. Norris Changes Trains by Christopher Isherwood
  16. Halls Dictionary Of Subjects And Symbols In Art by James A. Hall
  17. David Bomberg by Richard Cork
  18. Blast by Wyndham Lewis
  19. Passing by Nella Larson
  20. Beyond The Brillo Box by Arthur C. Danto
  21. The Origin Of Consciousness In The Breakdown Of The Bicameral Mind by Julian Jaynes
  22. In Bluebeard’s Castle by George Steiner
  23. Hawksmoor by Peter Ackroyd
  24. The Divided Self by R. D. Laing
  25. The Stranger by Albert Camus
  26. Infants Of The Spring by Wallace Thurman
  27. The Quest For Christa T by Christa Wolf
  28. The Songlines by Bruce Chatwin
  29. Nights At The Circus by Angela Carter
  30. The Master And Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov
  31. The Prime Of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark
  32. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
  33. Herzog by Saul Bellow
  34. Puckoon by Spike Milligan
  35. Black Boy by Richard Wright
  36. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  37. The Sailor Who Fell From Grace With The Sea by Yukio Mishima
  38. Darkness At Noon by Arthur Koestler
  39. The Waste Land by T.S. Elliot
  40. McTeague by Frank Norris
  41. Money by Martin Amis
  42. The Outsider by Colin Wilson
  43. Strange People by Frank Edwards
  44. English Journey by J.B. Priestley
  45. A Confederacy Of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole
  46. The Day Of The Locust by Nathanael West
  47. 1984 by George Orwell
  48. The Life And Times Of Little Richard by Charles White
  49. Awopbopaloobop Alopbamboom: The Golden Age of Rock by Nik Cohn
  50. Mystery Train by Greil Marcus
  51. Beano (comic, ’50s)
  52. Raw (comic, ’80s)
  53. White Noise by Don DeLillo
  54. Sweet Soul Music: Rhythm And Blues And The Southern Dream Of Freedom by Peter Guralnick
  55. Silence: Lectures And Writing by John Cage
  56. Writers At Work: The Paris Review Interviews edited by Malcolm Cowley
  57. The Sound Of The City: The Rise Of Rock And Roll by Charlie Gillete
  58. Octobriana And The Russian Underground by Peter Sadecky
  59. The Street by Ann Petry
  60. Wonder Boys by Michael Chabon
  61. Last Exit To Brooklyn By Hubert Selby, Jr.
  62. A People’s History Of The United States by Howard Zinn
  63. The Age Of American Unreason by Susan Jacoby
  64. Metropolitan Life by Fran Lebowitz
  65. The Coast Of Utopia by Tom Stoppard
  66. The Bridge by Hart Crane
  67. All The Emperor’s Horses by David Kidd
  68. Fingersmith by Sarah Waters
  69. Earthly Powers by Anthony Burgess
  70. The 42nd Parallel by John Dos Passos
  71. Tales Of Beatnik Glory by Ed Saunders
  72. The Bird Artist by Howard Norman
  73. Nowhere To Run The Story Of Soul Music by Gerri Hirshey
  74. Before The Deluge by Otto Friedrich
  75. Sexual Personae: Art And Decadence From Nefertiti To Emily Dickinson by Camille Paglia
  76. The American Way Of Death by Jessica Mitford
  77. In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
  78. Lady Chatterly’s Lover by D.H. Lawrence
  79. Teenage by Jon Savage
  80. Vile Bodies by Evelyn Waugh
  81. The Hidden Persuaders by Vance Packard
  82. The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin
  83. Viz (comic, early ’80s)
  84. Private Eye (satirical magazine, ’60s – ’80s)
  85. Selected Poems by Frank O’Hara
  86. The Trial Of Henry Kissinger by Christopher Hitchens
  87. Flaubert’s Parrot by Julian Barnes
  88. Maldoror by Comte de Lautréamont
  89. On The Road by Jack Kerouac
  90. Mr. Wilson’s Cabinet of Wonder by Lawrence Weschler
  91. Zanoni by Edward Bulwer-Lytton
  92. Transcendental Magic, Its Doctrine and Ritual by Eliphas Lévi
  93. The Gnostic Gospels by Elaine Pagels
  94. The Leopard by Giusseppe Di Lampedusa
  95. Inferno by Dante Alighieri
  96. A Grave For A Dolphin by Alberto Denti di Pirajno
  97. The Insult by Rupert Thomson
  98. In Between The Sheets by Ian McEwan
  99. A People’s Tragedy by Orlando Figes
  100. Journey Into The Whirlwind by Eugenia Ginzburg
Trace the literary influences of one of the 20th Century’s greatest artists, in this collection of David Bowie’s Favorite Books.

EDITOR’s NOTE: Thank you to the scores of libraries around the world who donate their extra copies to be preserved and scanned by the Internet Archive.

This article would not be possible without the dedicated work of engineers, librarians, collections staff and the Open Library community! Thank you to Mek Karpeles, Andrea Mills, Brittany Bunk, Drini Cami and Jeff Kaplan for making the David Bowie Favorite Books collection possible.

Special thanks to b. George, founder of the ARChive of Contemporary Music, for sharing his recollections and valuable Hunky Dory album art with us.

To support our work please DONATE HERE. Or SPONSOR A BOOK at our site for readers, Open Library.

Our Social Media is Broken. Is Decentralization the Fix?

When Jack Dorsey, founder of the very centralized social media platform, Twitter, posted this message about decentralized social media, our DWeb community took note:

Dorsey went on to enumerate the current problems with social media: misinformation and abuse; opaque, proprietary algorithms that dictate what you see and hear; and financial incentives that elevate “controversy and outrage” rather than “conversation that informs and promotes health.”  But Twitter’s co-founder and CEO also sees promising new solutions:

We agree. Much work has been done and some of the fundamentals are in place. So on January 21, 2020 the Internet Archive hosted “Exploring Decentralized Social Media,” a DWeb SF Meetup that attracted 120+ decentralized tech builders, founders, and those who just wanted to learn more. Decentralized social media app builders from London, Portland and San Francisco took us on a tour of where their projects are today.

WATCH PRESENTATIONS HERE:

Developer and writer, Jay Graber, explained the state-of-the-art in Peer-to-Peer, Federated and blockchain related social media.

The evening began with a survey of the decentralized social media landscape by researcher and Happening.net developer, Jay Graber. (See her two excellent Medium articles on the subject.) Graber helped us understand the broad categories of what’s out there: federated protocols such as ActivityPub and Matrix; peer-to-peer protocols such as Scuttlebutt, and social media apps that utilize blockchain in some way for  monetization, provenance or storage. What was clear from Graber’s talk was that she had tested and used dozens of tools, from Mastodon to Iris, Martti Malmi’s new P-2-P social app and she deftly laid out the pros and cons of each.

What followed were talks by the founders and developers from each of Graber’s categories:

Evan Henshaw-Plath (aka Rabble) was one of the earliest engineers at Twitter. He’s bringing years of startup experience to Planetary.social, his new P-2-P mobile version of Facebook.

Evan Henshaw-Plath, an original Odeo/Twitter engineer, is the founder of Planetary.social, a P-2-P mobile app that’s “an open, humane Facebook alternative” built atop Scuttlebutt. His goal with Planetary is to make an app reflecting the values of the commons, but that feels as seamless and familiar as the social apps we already use.

Flying in from London, Matthew Hodgson, founder of Matrix.org, brought us up-to-date with his open network for fully encrypted, real-time communication. With an impressive 13.5 million account holders, including the governments of France and Germany, Matrix is showing hockey-stick-like growth. But Matrix’s greatest challenge: in an encrypted, decentralized system, how do you filter out the bad stuff? By using “decentralized reputation,” Hodgson explained, allowing users to moderate what they are willing to see. Hodgson also revealed he’s building an experimental P-2-P Matrix in 2020.

With fuller control over one’s social streams comes greater responsibility. Matrix founder, Matthew Hodgson explains how each user can subscribe to trusted blacklists and eventually “greylists” of questionable content and block it.
Today’s social media walled gardens are not that different from America’s phone companies in 1900, explained tech executive, John Ryan. We are in the early days of integration.

Thought leader and tech executive, John Ryan, provided valuable historical context both onstage and in his recent blog. He compared today’s social media platforms to telephone services in 1900. Back then, a Bell Telephone user couldn’t talk to an AT&T customer; businesses had to have multiple phone lines just to converse with their clients. It’s not that different today, Ryan asserts, when Facebook members can’t share their photos with Renren’s 150 million account holders. All of these walled gardens, he said, need a “trusted intermediary” layer to become fully interconnected.

Twitter CTO, Parag Agrawal, has been tasked with bootstrapping a new team of decentralized builders called “Bluesky.”

Next  CTO, Parag Agrawal, outlined Twitter’s goals and the problems all social media platforms face. “Decentralization to us is not an end, it’s a means to an end,” he explained. “We have a hypothesis on how it can help solve these problems.” Agrawal says Twitter will be bootstrapping a team they call “bluesky,” who will not be Twitter employees, but independent. “Twitter will have very little control (over bluesky) other than our bootstrapping efforts,” he laid out.


Next up was Burak Nehbit, founder of Aether, something akin to a peer-to-peer Reddit. But here’s Aether’s secret sauce: expert moderation, with 100% transparency and communities who elect their own moderators. Aether is focused on “high quality conversations” and those users willing to roll up their sleeves and moderate them.

Aether’s founder, Burak Nehbit, is creating a P-2-P social media platform of highly curated, self-governed content, where elected moderators ensure “high quality” conversations.

And rounding out the evening was Edward West, founder of Hylo.com, an app that combines group management, messaging and collaboration built on holochainRecently Holo acquired the Hylo software and Holo’s Director of Communications Jarod Holtz explained why this union is significant for decentralized builders, including the Terran Collective‘s Aaron Brodeur and Clare Politano, who will be stewarding the Hylo project: 

Edward West of Hylo, Aaron Brodeur, Jarod Holtz and Clare Politano are joining forces as Hylo.com is acquired by Holo and “stewarded” by the Terran Collective.

From both a design and an engineering perspective, the way Hylo is structured makes it perfectly suited to being converted to run in the future as a decentralized application on Holochain. The Hylo code base will be instrumental in helping us demonstrate how a centralised app can be transformed into a distributed app.

Blockchain based social media solutions, including Bevan Barton’s Peepeth built on Ethereum and Emre Sokullu of Pho Networks, gave overviews of their work at lightning speed. After the Meetup, Sokullu penned this article explaining how Pho can serve as a programming language to build decentralized applications. 

From federated to blockchain and gradations in between, decentralized social media is taking flight.  And on one winter night in San Francisco, builders of wildly diverse projects came together at the Internet Archive to demonstrate how far they’ve come—and the long road ahead.


Lawrence Lessig: Being a Citizen is a Public Office, too

In his latest book, Harvard law professor, Lawrence Lessig, issues a call to arms to fix our broken body politic–starting with “us.”

Why, you might wonder, is a famous Harvard Law professor and the founder of Creative Commons writing a book to wake us up to the fundamental problem facing our republic?

The simple answer:  Aaron Swartz.

Swartz, the free culture activist, and Lawrence Lessig were friends and collaborators. As Lessig recounted here in February, one day, Swartz came to visit him, challenging Lessig to combat the basic corruption of our political process. “But Aaron, it’s not my field, corruption. My field is internet, culture and copyright,” Lessig protested. Swartz countered, “As an academic? What about as a citizen?”

Photos by Patrick T. Power

That was in 2006. Thirteen years later on on a drizzly December night in San Francisco, Lawrence Lessig came to the Internet Archive where Swartz once worked, to frame the core flaw in our republic in a new way. It forms the central argument of Lessig’s latest book, They Don’t Represent Us. The “they” is of course our Congress—who aren’t representing our interests. “And Us. We the People. We don’t represent us,” he said to an audience of 300 listeners. 

Lessig began with a lesson in historical time. In Silicon Valley time, 20 years is an epoch—the Googlian Era one might call it. But in government, Lessig contrasted, 20 years can add up to nothing. Twenty years ago, he noted, climate change was acknowledged to be man-made and real; the Clinton administration proposed affordable health care; the mass shooters at Columbine killed 13 people. And two decades later, our government has passed not a single law that comprehensively addresses climate change, universal health care or gun control.  

Why? Because our elected representatives aren’t representing us. With the precision of a surgeon, Lessig took the stage to perform an autopsy on our body politic. Our diseases are well known: gerrymandering that empowers the political extremes, campaign funding that empowers the wealthy, the media that feeds us whatever sells best.

18 years ago, Lessig helped found the Creative Commons, a fundamental tool in making some creative works available for reuse—a foundation upon which of Brewster Kahle’s Internet Archive is built.

And yet, Larry Lessig says he is hopeful. “You know my brand.  My brand is pessimism. But I am optimistic.” In the coming election year, he reminds us that “being a citizen is a public office.” Even though the election will most likely be a “dumpster fire,” he told me, “We must steer the conversation beyond 2020, to more fundamental issues.” 

Lessig’s critique stands above party or personality. He urges us to challenge every candidate, blue or red, by saying:  “Tell me how you are going to fix this problem first, this corrupt system, first,” he said “If we are going to fix anything else, we have to take up that fight.”

To get involved, visit https://equalcitizens.us/

Read the New York Times review of “They Don’t Represent Us” here.

Top 10 Reasons to Support the Internet Archive

DONATE NOW TO SUPPORT THIS NON-PROFIT LIBRARY FOR ALL

Today, the Internet Archive launches is End of Year Fundraising Campaign. We’re lucky to have a 2-to-1 Matching Grant for the next few weeks, so your impact will be tripled if you give today. Of the 1.1 million people who use the Internet Archive each day, only a tiny percentage donate. Why give? Here are ten great reasons to support the Internet’s non-profit library for all:

#1. The Wayback Machine has fixed 11 million broken links in Wikipedia, making the web more reliable.

#2. We’re home to the live recordings of the Grateful Dead. (And 7800 other bands!)

#3. The Internet Archive is working with the people of Bali to keep their culture and language alive by scanning and transcribing the world’s largest online collection of Balinese Palm Leaf manuscripts.

#4. In our Music Collection, you can now read the liner notes for John Coltrane’s album with Johnny Hartman and many LPs and CDs.

#5. Readers! You’re borrowing half a million books each month with complete reader privacy. That’s among the 3.8 million online books we have to choose from.

#6. Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? Only the Shadow knows…along with listeners of our Old Time Radio collection.

#7. Super Munchers and 2500 other MS-DOS games you can play in your browser.

#8. What was the sound of America from 1898 to 1960? Just listen to our 150,000 78rpm recordings. Including 4172 polkas to dance to!

#9. The superpowers of Free-range archivist, Jason Scott.

#10. Information you can trust has never been more important. Our mission is to preserve the best knowledge of humankind and share it with everyone.

If you listen to music and radio, read books, play vintage video games, or reference past web sites at the Internet Archive, we ask that you chip in and help keep us going strong in 2020! Don’t forget, we have a 2-to-1 matching grant, so if you donate $5 it becomes $15 for the Internet Archive today.

DONATE NOW

Calculating the True Value of A Library that is Free

By Omar Rafik El-Sabrout

A new program at OpenLibrary.org encourages you to “put your money behind something that matters to you:” sponsoring a book so everyone can read and borrow it online for free.

We live in the era of Venmo and CashApp, when after a nice meal with friends, you no longer have to argue over who will pick up the bill. On the surface, this is an extremely promising way to keep people from accidentally going into debt with each other. But it also reinforces interactions that are extremely transactional. The old idea of “I’ll get you back next time” is part of the give and take that members of a close community engage in. In our transactional present, people don’t have to rely on the idea of trust–trusting the butcher at the farmer’s market won’t price gouge me, trusting my friend will pay me back. People aren’t learning that you can vote by caring, by putting your money behind something that matters to you. At a moment when “you get what you pay for” is the capitalist norm, enter the Internet Archive, which today is asking you to make an investment in community-wide sharing.

The Internet Archive, which runs the project Open Library, is working to create a vast network of online book lending in order to make all books accessible to all people. Open Library cares about the input of its readers. As Open librarian and Internet Archive Software Engineer Mek Karpeles describes, “Open Library’s theory is that readers deserve a say in what’s on their bookshelves,” which is why he and his team have created a new Book Sponsorship feature.

A blue box on the book page lets you know that this is a book you can sponsor. With your donation, we will buy the book, digitize it, store it, and make the ebook available for borrowing–first by you.

Founded on the idea that a library ought to have books that “reflect [a] community’s needs and values,” Book Sponsorship allows any of the more than two and a half-million users of Open Library to #saveabook. This is a natural follow-up to the long standing “Want to Read” functionality whereby a reader can indicate a book is missing from the Archive that they wish to read.

You can contribute just $11.32 to make sure this book from Marley Dias’ #1000BlackGirlBooks list is available for all.

With our new book sponsorship program, readers are given the option to put money towards directly sponsoring the acquisition of a particular book, after which the Internet Archive will digitize, store, and make the ebook available for lending–for free. Among other possibilities, this would allow people to combat the lack of representation of young black protagonists that Marley Dias, creator of the #1000BlackGirlBooks, found at her school and local library. We currently feature almost 400 of the #1000BlackGirlBooks on archive.org and with your support, we can buy and digitize all of them.

When people are given the opportunity to be generous in an obligation-free way, we find that typically brings out their desire to do good.

By giving people a say and making them feel represented, they become more invested. The care that comes from the investment of individuals is what eventually creates a community, and our hope is that the Open Library community will use this feature to help disenfranchised patrons gain access to materials that would enrich their education. When people are given the opportunity to be generous in an obligation-free way, we find that typically brings out their desire to do good. It’s relatively easy to put a price on a book, to calculate printing costs and publishing costs, but what’s harder to determine is the value of giving a gift. If you’re interested in sponsoring a book, either for yourself or for someone else, just click on a Sponsor an eBook button or visit https://openlibrary.org/sponsorship to learn more.

Go to https://openlibrary.org/sponsorship to lear more about how to #saveabook


Claim your Passport to Knowledge at the World Night Market

Our job is providing ‘Universal Access to All Knowledge.’
Knowledge comes from many places. 
Explore. Enjoy. Leave your mark.
Brewster Kahle,
    Founder & Digital Librarian, Internet Archive

World Night Market Design by Yiying Lu

We invite you to join us for the Internet Archive’s biggest bash of the year: World Night Market, Wednesday, October 23, 5-10 PM. We’ll be closing the street and throwing a block party for our friends, neighbors and partners to celebrate our impact with partners around the world.

Get Your Tickets Now

When you arrive from 5- 7 pm, we will give you your Passport to food trucks with our favorite foods from Singapore to Mexico City to Delhi; beer & wines from around the world; Lion Dancers and music, playful tattoos, plus hands-on demonstrations of the Internet Archive’s latest innovations and partnerships. 

Stamp your Passport to Knowledge at these demo stations:

Get your own passport when your check in, then be sure to collect the stamps at every station
Enter a Virtual Reality Archive where you can spin an LP, read a book, or watch a film.
Internet Archive engineer, Mek Karpeles, shows off the latest features of OpenLibrary.org

Then from 7-8 PM the Great Room program begins! In a world in which truth seems to be fracturing, what’s a library’s role? To weave the trusted knowledge held by libraries into the World Wide Web itself.  We’ve invited our partners and builders to share their herculean efforts to make media more accessible and reliable than ever.

You won’t want to miss:

Brewster Kahle at the October 2018 Annual Bash
  • Information Activist, Carl Malamud on freeing the information of India
  • Open Access visionary, Lisa Petrides on building an diverse, inclusive, and equitable Universal K-12 School Library for all
  • Internet Archive’s Alexis Rossi & Jason Buckner on making talk & news radio searchable, comparable and ultimately, accountable
  • Brewster Kahle on our project with Wikimedia Foundation to take readers deeper and ensure the integrity of the world’s online encyclopedia
  • Plus the Internet Archive Hero Award and a major announcement about our future direction

And after the program, be sure to stay for the dancing, DJs and dessert on our side patio.

Having knowledge you can trust has never been more important. So let’s celebrate— get your passport now to the World Night Market!

Get your Tickets Here

What Happens When Everyone who Experienced an Event is Gone?

The evacuation of San Francisco’s Japanese American community in 1942, when the U.S. government forcibly removed all those of Japanese ancestry, including US citizens, from the West Coast.

How do we mark an event in time? The Etruscans used the concept of saeculum, the period of time from the moment something happens until the time when everyone who experienced that event has died. For Japanese Americans who were rounded up on the West Coast, herded onto trains and buses and incarcerated in desolate camps for years, we are approaching that saeculum.

Mary Tsuchiya graduated from Topaz High School in 1945, in a camp outside Delta, Utah.

My mother, Mary Tsuchiya Hanamura, was just 14 when she was put behind barbed wire. Today, she is 91. “They are putting Felicity Huffman in jail for 14 days for her crime,” my mother said last week. “They imprisoned me for three-and-a-half years.”

I was startled by my mother’s off-hand remark. It’s incredibly rare these days to hear an honest reflection like this—so reticent is my mother to speak out and now almost all of her family and friends from that time are gone. So how do we preserve their stories, pass them on, weave them into the fabric of our collective consciousness?  

That is the work of the cutting-edge cultural heritage organization, Densho. 23 years ago, its founder Tom Ikeda, an ex-Microsoft executive, realized that putting the Japanese American story online was critical. He foresaw this day when for so many digital learners, if materials aren’t online, it’s as if they don’t exist. The Internet Archive has joined hands with Densho to make sure the Densho Visual History Collection— hundreds of hours of oral history videos—are now downloadable, backed up with multiple copies, transferred to new video formats over time, and maintained forever. And together we’ve made this video collection even more accessible to anyone who has an internet connection.

The Internet Archive is partnering with Densho to preserve and provide access to 21,591 video clips of oral histories by Japanese Americans.

Recently, my son, Kenny Okagaki, sent me this text:

Kenny and his grandmother, Mary Hanamura

I was thrilled that Kenny was interested in John Okada’s searing 1957 account, No-No Boy, which is such a seminal book for anyone who wants to understand our community’s complex responses to the government that imprisoned us. We own this book, but Kenny lives in Los Angeles now, hours away. 

Where could my recent college graduate read this novel immediately online, for free?

This week at a community event at the Internet Archive, Tom Ikeda and I were happy to announce that you can now borrow No-No Boy here, at the Digital Library of Japanese American Incarceration on archive.org. Working with scholars from Densho, we’ve selected, purchased and digitized more than 500 important books about WWII experiences of Japanese Americans. “There are so many books that we’ve heard about, but you can’t find them in your local library,” Tom explained. “This collection is a treasure! Now anyone in the world can borrow these hard to find volumes.”

Densho’s founder and Executive Director, Tom Ikeda, shared his organization’s audacious goal at an event for 125 community members at the Internet Archive on Sept 24th.
You can now borrow 500 books about the Japanese American experience online, for free at https://archive.org.

Now anyone with an Internet Archive account can borrow these books for free. Since we’ve digitized them, you can search across the collection for a name, an event, a reference. Anyone around the world with an internet connection can utilize these important resources. We’re thankful to the Department of Interior & National Park Service’s Japanese American Confinement Site’s program, for partially funding this work.

Our next step is to weave these 500 books into the place where people go first for online information: Wikipedia. Working with scholars and Wikipedia editors, we are turning the footnotes into clickable links that take you to the exact page of the reference. Along the way, we are correcting factual errors, providing context, and making sure that at the end of this saeculum, the voices of those who lived through the incarceration will still be a source of truth.

We are living in an era when people wonder if truth really matters, if disinformation will drown out reality. That’s why I’m proud to be part of a team that is dedicating itself to the facts. We want every teacher, scholar, journalist, editor, and reader to know: the Japanese American incarceration really happened. And it must never happen to another community again.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Wendy Hanamura is the Internet Archive’s Director of Partnerships. She has been a foreign television correspondent based in Tokyo, a nightly reporter for CBS, and produced the documentary, “Honor Bound: A Personal Journey—the story of the 100th and 442nd Regimental Combat Team.”

SAVE THE DATE: Internet Archive’s Biggest Party of the Year

On October 23rd, you won’t have to travel to Singapore or Taipei to enjoy a night market of food, fun, and friends.
Archive staffer Mark Caranza demonstrates the latest tools to a global community of library patrons.

This October, the Internet Archive is going global and we invite you to join us for World Night Market, Wednesday, October 23rd from 5-9 PM at our headquarters in San Francisco. This annual bash is your passport to explore the Internet Archive’s global offerings, from world news to sacred palm leaf manuscripts. Inspired by the night markets of Asia, we’ll be throwing a block party for friends, partners and our community, offering up a vibrant mix of food trucks, hands-on demo stations, music and dancing. Then, from 7-8 PM, head up to the Great Room for presentations to unveil our latest tools and biggest partnerships from around the world.

GET YOUR TICKETS HERE

Internet Archive Founder, Brewster Kahle welcoming guests at 2018’s annual bash
Bring the family! Lots of hands-on activities for the young at heart.

SAVE THE DATE:

Date: Wednesday, October 23rd
Location: Internet Archive HQ, 300 Funston Ave, San Francisco
Time: 5pm till 9pm

Tickets: available through Eventbrite in early September.

We’re looking for volunteers! Are you an artist who wants to help us build a night market? Do you love climbing ladders and hanging twinkle lights? Or do you fancy yourself an expert beer and wine server? Our events are always powered by our incredible community—we couldn’t do it without you. If you would like to get involved, please email: volunteer@archive.org.

On October 23rd, let’s celebrate the Internet Archive’s mission to preseve the world’s cultures, languages and media, while serving global communities with free access to the great works of humankind.

Open Library engineer, Mek Karpeles, demonstrates the latest features of openlibrary.org