Brewster Kahle is the keeper of the Internet Archive: a massive internet site scanning every book possible and posting it online to make it available at the click of a mouse. But while Kahle supports the website, he is afraid that if the internet shuts down and the original books have been lost, it would be an incredible loss to humanity.
So he has started a project called “The Physical Archive of the Internet Archive,” in which he is attempting to collect and store a copy of every book in existence and stack them in shipping containers in Northern California. So far, things have been going very well, for each week libraries and universities send him an average of 20,000 books every week.
The New York Times recently featured Kahle’s project and quotes him as saying:
We want to collect one copy of every book…You can never tell what is going to paint the portrait of a culture…
We must keep the past even as we’re inventing a new future…If the Library of Alexandria had made a copy of every book and sent it to India or China, we’d have the other works of Aristotle, the other plays of Euripides. One copy in one institution is not good enough.
More information can be found about the project at Internet Archive’s blog.
(via Laughing Squid)