In response to the global COVID-19 outbreak and related public health concerns, libraries across the nation are closing or scaling back service (see Fremont, Nebraska’s Keene Memorial Library closure; Seattle Public Library’s reduction in programs and bookmobile service). While Overdrive, Hoopla, and other streaming services provide patrons access to latest best sellers and popular titles, the long tail of reading and research materials available deep within a library’s print collection are often not available through these large commercial services. What this means is that when libraries face closures in times of crisis, patrons are left with access to only a fraction of the materials that the library holds in its collection.
Open Libraries helps individuals & libraries alike, in the following ways:
For individuals: Individual readers have access to all of the books that Internet Archive has digitized, including 1.4 million modern books. An Internet Archive library card is free and gives users the ability to check out 5 digitized books at a time. Browse our collection today and start reading immediately!
For libraries: Think of Open Libraries as your digital branch library. The 1.4 million books we’ve digitized are available for you to claim and lend to your patrons. The process is simple: join Open Libraries and then share your library catalog with us to find out which of your books we’ve already digitized. We’ll give you a link to those books that you can incorporate back into your catalog, helping your patrons locate these digitized books from within your library catalog and local search. Join today.
Update, 3/10/20: We’re very sorry to announce that due to public health concerns around the coronavirus, Ms. Solnit has decided to cancel her tour. Consequently, we’ve been forced to cancel this event. Booksmith will refund all previously purchased tickets, and you may still purchase a copy of the memoir through their site. Thank you for your understanding.
Please join us on Monday, March 16th for an evening with Rebecca Solnit as she reads from and discusses her new memoir, “Recollections of My Nonexistence”. In conversation with author Andrew Sean Greer, Solnit will explore her development as a writer and a feminist in San Francisco from the 1980s and beyond, as well as the lessons that our larger society can draw about women’s voices.
Rebecca Solnit has written fourteen books, including A Paradise Built in Hell, River of Shadows, Wanderlust: A History of Walking, As Eve Said to the Serpent: On Landscape, Gender, and Art (which was nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award in Criticism), and Men Explain Things to Me. She received the Lannan Literary Award in 2003, and has published essays in a variety of well-known publications.
In “Recollections of My Nonexistence”, Solnit describes her coming-of-age in 1980s San Francisco. She tells of the city in which she transformed herself; of how punk rock gave form to her raw emotions; of the spacious landscapes of the American West, of the gay men around her who offered alternative visions of gender and identity. She recounts the epidemic of violence against women around her, the disbelief of authority figures, the voicelessness that was and still is the condition of so many women. Solnit explores the forces that helped her find her own voice, liberating herself as she learned how to write. That voice has resonated with and empowered many others, shaping society-wide conversations about gender, respect, and equality.
Booksmith is hosting the reading and conversation at the Internet Archive on March 16th; doors will open at 6pm. The discussion will start at 7pm and will be followed by an audience Q&A. Afterwards there will be a signing by the author, with copies of the book available for sale. Come join us for an evening of dialogue and empowerment!
Date: Monday, March 16, 2020 Time: 6:00-9:00 pm Where: Internet Archive 300 Funston Ave. SF, CA 94118
Available today, starting with version 1.4 of its desktop browser, Brave has added a 404 detection system, with an automated Wayback Machine lookup process to its desktop browser.
By default, it now offers users one-click access to archived versions of Web pages that might otherwise not be available. Specifically we are checking for 14 HTTP error codes in addition to the 404 (page not found) condition, including: 408, 410, 451, 500, 502, 503, 504, 509, 520, 521, 523, 524, 525, and 526.
If you are a Brave desktop browser user, the answer is now just a click away. But first – you have to update your browser. Then see the benefits of this new feature in action by clicking on this URL.
For the past 23 years the Wayback Machine has archived more than 900 billion URLs, and more than 400 billion Web pages, and adds many hundred million more archived URLs each day. As such there is a good chance archived versions of “missing” pages you are looking for are available.
This is not the first time the Internet Archive has partnered with Brave. In 2017 we announced our support of their micropayments system and then last year we shared an update about that effort. We appreciate how Brave continues to innovate and deliver new value and services through their browser.
We are grateful for their commitment to user privacy, helping advance alternatives to the current ad-supported Web, and focusing on improving the overall Web browsing experience. We applaud Brave’s leadership in these efforts and look forward to working with them on other ways to help make the Web more useful and reliable.
While native Wayback Machine 404 support is only available via the Brave desktop browser, various Wayback Machine functionality, including 404 detection and archived URL playback, is available via browser extensions for Safari, Chrome and Firefox.
If you have ideas about how we can improve the Wayback Machine please share them with us via email to firstname.lastname@example.org Many of the recent features we have added are the result of suggestions from users of the service and we appreciate all feedback. Together we can help make the Web more useful and reliable.
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 Iliadto 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.”
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.
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.
With more than 3.1 million views to date, “Night of the Living Dead” is among the most popular feature films on the Internet Archive. The 1968 movie is also generally acknowledged as one of the landmark films of the horror genre, as well as the work that single handedly created the modern conception of the zombie. But none of that would have been possible without a mistake—one that landed the film firmly in the public domain.
Legends about zombies date back to 19th-century Haitian folklore, and originally featured corpses (or even living people) that were enslaved by powerful sorcerers. However, George Romero—who co-wrote and directed “Night of the Living Dead”—created something quite different for his film. Romero’s monsters were cannibals who craved human flesh, serving nobody and nothing except their mindless hunger. They were victims of disease, transformed by being bitten, whose sudden appearance caused entire societies to collapse. In fact, these creatures were so unique that the movie never even called them “zombies”—Romero referred to his creations as “ghouls.”
At one point, this innovative work-in-progress with its innovative monsters was called “Night of the Flesh Eaters,” but the production company decided to change the title to avoid confusion with a preexisting film. The title card was switched to rename the film “Night of the Living Dead,” accidentally omitting the copyright symbol in the process. Under US intellectual property law at the time, the film immediately entered the public domain. Not only could the film be legally copied, shared, and redistributed—which led to its rapid dissemination through American pop culture—but anybody was free to adapt, change, or borrow from it.
What followed was not only a revolution within the horror genre, but an explosion of zombie-related content. “Night of the Living Dead” spawned nine direct sequels and several unofficial ones, as well as hundreds of works taking advantage of an uncopyrighted new monster. Works ranging from “The Walking Dead” to “World War Z,” “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies” to “Game of Thrones,” or “Resident Evil” to “Shaun of the Dead” all rely on Romero-type zombies or their derivatives.
Zombies dominate pop culture like few monsters have before or since, in large part because artists and authors can reuse, remix, or adapt them without fear. Night of the Living Dead is a shining example of what happens when quality works come into the public domain, joining the marketplace of ideas. If you want to watch this cinematic masterpiece for yourself, download or stream it here!
We’ve been digitizing a bunch of books in Russian recently, and we’ve been enjoying some of the distinct graphical design choices made by Russian publishers. A lot of information about a culture can be extracted through their advertising.
One of the stand out features of the late 80s and early 90s designs is bold and oversized typography :
Conveying the book’s meaning is hard on it’s own with the use of lettering exclusively it can become nearly impossible so often we see interwoven letters used as eye catching designs.
Several Publications like Молодая гвардия, which has been around for over 80 years, serialize their designs to fit in and present a uniform layout with bold alternating colors, black heavy font centered at the top of the cover and a set of 3 illustrations/images, the author’s name in knockout (white text on black background) and decorative cursive font.
These incredible detective novella series published by a much younger publisher, Эксмо, was established in the 90’s but carved out a unique niche and immense popularity due to the eye catching hand drawn collages with a lot of items to draw the eye and with fonts like a serial killer’s note made out of dozens of fonts. These covers range from funny to surreal.
As far as trends go, a whole drinking game could be devised from spotting a greyscale photograph of someone’s face on a cover that has a colored background. In fact the whole bust/head only presentation is so common we’re beginning to suspect having a full figure on a cover is illegal…
In the end it is really fun to browse through decades of russian literature even if some of the design choices are questionable. Assuming you’re interested in judging these books by something other than the cover, enjoy the Internet Archive’s 39,000 books in Russian for entertainment, research, or building your language skills.
The Internet Archive’s Archive-It service is collaborating with the Internet Preservation Consortium’s (IIPC) Content Development Group (CDG) to archive web-published resources related to the ongoing Novel Coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak. The IIPC Content Development Group consists of curators and professionals from dozens of libraries and archives from around the world that are preserving and providing access to the archived web. The Internet Archive is a co-founder and longtime member of the IIPC. The project will include both subject-expert curation by IIPC members as well as the inclusion of websites nominated by the public (see the nomination form link below).
Due to the urgency of the outbreak, archiving of nominated web content will commence immediately and continue as needed depending on the course of the outbreak and its containment. Web content from all countries and in any language is in scope. Possible topics to guide nominations and collections:
A special thanks to Alex Thurman of Columbia University and Nicola Bingham of the British Library, the co-chairs of the IIPC CDG, and to other IIPC members participating in the project. Thanks as well to any and all public nominators assisting with identifying and archiving records about this significant global event.
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:
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, 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.
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.
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.
And rounding out the evening was Edward West, founder of Hylo.com, an app that combines group management, messaging and collaboration built on holochain. Recently 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:
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.
Our 2019 End-of-Year fundraising drive was a big success, raising more than $6 million in individual donations and matched contributions! Just as wonderful, though, was the outpouring of encouragement we received from the thousands of you who contributed. We asked you why you choose to give and here are a few of our favorite replies:
I have been relying on your services for, I think, as long as I have been on the internet. I am 28 and first used the internet when I was 7. I love you. —Joseph J.
Thank you for preserving that stuff that people think is always going to be there, but isn’t. —Teresa R.
The powers that shouldn’t be are censoring our luminaries and truth tellers and throttling our right to free intelligent debate… you may be the last remaining vestige of open source knowledge in our near future and you MUST survive! —Zandra W.
I donated to find new homes for old things —Theo A.
I’ve been looking for early photoplay magazines for about 50 years, primarily for one set of articles on the beginning of the motion picture, part of which started in my hometown….. still need to find the specific article, but now I know I can find, and even copy it here!!! Great! Thank you so much for your wonderful efforts. Only wish I could give more!! —John P.
I appreciate what you’ve done for vintage computing. —Norman D.
It’s an important resource for all to use. I refer to the Wayback Machine often to show changing sites over time, and sometimes to reconstruct a hacked site! I like watching the videos (Prelinger Archives) on my spare time. Thx! —Kristin P.
I keep finding gold here! —Ryan N.
I have loved libraries since I was five years old and have been a librarian for 44 years. If I can help even a little in keeping the Internet Archive going, I am happy to do so. —Bruce B.
y’all doing gods work —Bryn D.
This amazing public service you provide must live on! —Michael N.
Reading is IMPORTANT! —Sharon G.
I do a lot of research on safety of refrigeration systems. The big companies manufacturing synthetic refrigerants do systematically put data to the public that is obfuscating objective risk assessments. By the Wayback Machine I was able to get important data that was already deleted from the original websites. —Thore O.
I rely on the Internet Archive to look back at the web as I experienced it when I was young, for my work, and just to satisfy general curiosity. I couldn’t imagine a world without it. —Paul H.
I LOVE READING and while I prefer books, my home no longer has book space…..So many lovers on the shelves. You are providing the opportunity for us to access many writers’ ideas which are no longer available to us at large. Thanks for honoring them. —Barbara G.
Because we all need this. —Alessandro T.
(Some comments have been edited for length and clarity.)
From the whole team here at the Internet Archive, we’re grateful from the bottom of our hearts. We couldn’t do this work without your generosity. Thank you for helping us provide universal access to all knowledge—and here’s to a great 2020!
If you’d like to join the many Internet Archive and Open Library supporters who keep us going, we invite you to chip in! Every bit helps in our mission to provide universal access to knowledge.
The public domain is our shared cultural heritage, a near limitless trove of creativity that’s been reused, remixed, and reimagined over centuries to create new works of art and science. The public domain forms the building blocks of culture because these works are not restricted by copyright law. Generally, works come into the public domain when their copyright term expires. This year, works first published in 1924 including such favorites as “Rhapsody in Blue” by George Gershwin, the Dia de los Muertos Mural by Diego Rivera, and “The Man in the Brown Suit” by Agatha Christie, entered the public domain for all to share.
Join creative, legal, library, and advocacy communities to celebrate the public domain and our shared cultural heritage, and come network with an amazing lineup of people and organizations who will help us welcome a new class of public domain works.