We are looking for partners to help us build a great physical collection of books to be preserved, digitized, and made available through our Open Libraries project. Working with more than 500 library partners, the Internet Archive has already helped make more than 3 million public domain books available online for free access through archive.org. We have also brought more than 500,000 in-copyright books online to provide full access to those with print disabilities.
Our goal is to bring 4 million more books online, so that all digital learners have access to a great digital library on par with a major metropolitan public library system. We know we won’t be able to make this vision a reality alone, which is why we’re working with libraries, authors, and publishers to build a collaborative digital collection accessible to any library in the country.
Building a great library starts with great books. We have already gathered more than 1.5 million books in our physical archive. We aspire to have one copy of every book, but enroute to that dream we have created a “wishlist” to help prioritize preservation and access. This wishlist was compiled using data and assistance from several great projects:
- OCLC’s list of one million most widely held books, based on holdings records of libraries worldwide;
- Library Link’s holdings records of North American libraries, leveraging the decisions of thousands of librarians in prioritizing collections for patron use;
- Open Syllabus Project, which has collected syllabi from the Internet to compile the most assigned books in classrooms;
- Data about book and scholarly article citations in Wikipedia, published by the Wikimedia Foundation, which is currently being refreshed and extended to more languages.
We are using these datasets to help define a collection of books that has wide appeal and impact for libraries across the US and the patrons they serve. This wishlist is a work-in-progress and will evolve as we incorporate more datasets and review our approach with community input. We’ve made 3 versions our wishlist available to help facilitate use within the library and publishing communities, featuring ISBN-13, ISBN-10, & OCLC identifiers.
Here’s how you can help! We are looking for libraries, authors, publishers, and individual book lovers to help us build this collection. You can help in the following ways:
- Donate books
- You can donate books on our wishlist to our physical archive. If you are a library, a publisher, or have a private collection with more than 1,000 books to donate, please contact Chris Freeland, Director of Open Libraries, at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have a private collection or small number of volumes to donate, please use this form to begin the donation process. We will add these books to our digitization queue and they will become ebooks available through Open Libraries as funding becomes available.
- If you already have digital versions of these books, we would love to add them to our print-disabled collection.
- Scan books
- If you have books on our wishlist but don’t want to donate them to our physical archive, we offer scanning services and can digitize your books in one of our regional scanning centers.
- Identify books
- If you are an author who would like to add your own books to the list, you can donate physical copies, and/or contact us to let us know you’d like us to ensure that your work will be preserved and available to future generations. If you’re a librarian, educator, or other book lover and would like to help us continue to curate the wishlist to ensure that it includes the most useful, important and culturally diverse books, please reach out to us.
And of course, if you don’t have any books to donate but would like to help offset digitization expenses, please donate today! All monetary donations made by April 30, 2018, will be matched by a Challenge Grant from the Pineapple Fund.
If you are interested in participating, or have questions about our program or plans, please contact Chris Freeland, Director of Open Libraries, at email@example.com.