8/2/2011 7:22 PM
No one will ever accuse Brewster Kahle, 50, of being unambitious. In 1996, the computer scientist and entrepreneur founded the Internet Archive to save a copy of every web page ever created and now Kahle has turned his attention to the written word. The archivist hopes to collect a physical copy of every book ever published in an effort to provide “universal access to all knowledge,” The Associated Press reports.
"There is always going to be a role for books," Kahle said. “We want to see books live forever.”
So far, Kahle and his team have collected 500,000 books which they store in a small warehouse in Richmond, California. Google engineers involved with the project estimate that 130 million book exist worldwide so Kahle has a ways to go. However, the internet archivist refuses to give up.
"The idea is to be able to collect one copy of every book ever published. We're not going to get there, but that's our goal," he said.
According to the Internet Archive blog, Kahle and his team are currently hoping to collect 10 million books, the size of a university library.
“If we are successful, then this set of cultural materials will last for centuries and could be beneficial in ways that we cannot predict,” he writes.
Kahle thinks of his project not as a huge library but as backup facility similar to the Svalbard Global Seed Vault. If a future disaster leads to the downfall of the Internet, Kahle’s collection will ensure that all knowledge is not lost. The physical books can also be used to settle questions about an e-book’s accuracy.
The Internet Archive is now soliciting further donations of published materials from libraries, collectors, and, individuals. Click here to learn more about the project.
Photo Credit: morgueFile
Posted by Christy
8/2/2011 7:22 PM |