The Physical Archive of the Internet Archive Aims to Collect A Copy of Every Book in Existence

Brewster Kahle of the Internet Archive has been creating a collection like no other: he is attempting to gather a copy of every book in existence (or at least every one available to collect). The project titled The Physical Archive of the Internet Archive has been storing the plethora of books (20,000 arrive weekly donated from libraries and universities) in stacked shipping containers in a location in Northern California. More information can be found about the project at Internet Archive’s blog.

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.

via Housing Works Bookstore

photos 1 & 2 by Lianne Milton for The New York Times

image 2 via Internet Archive blog

Rusty Blazenhoff
Rusty Blazenhoff