|Weekly News Digest
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The New Physical Archive of the Internet Archive
Internet Archive announced it is building a physical archive for the long-term preservation of one copy of every book, record, and movie it is able to attract or acquire. Because it expects day-to-day access to these materials to occur through digital means, the physical archive is designed for long-term preservation of materials with only occasional, collection-scale retrieval. Because of this, it can create optimized environments for physical preservation and organizational structures that facilitate appropriate access. A seed bank might be conceptually closest to what it has in mind: storing important objects in safe ways to be used for redundancy, authority, and in case of catastrophe.
The goal is to preserve one copy of every published work. The universe of unique titles has been estimated at close to one hundred million items. Many of these are rare or unique, so it does not expect most of these to come to the Internet Archive; they will instead remain in their current libraries. But the opportunity to preserve more than 10 million items is possible, so it has designed a system that will expand to this level. Ten million books is approximately the size of a world-class university library or public library, so it sees this as a worthwhile goal. If this is successful, then this set of cultural materials will last for centuries and could be beneficial in ways that it cannot predict.
To start this project, the Internet Archive solicited donations of several hundred thousand books in dozens of languages in subjects such as history, literature, science, and engineering. The books are digitized in IA scanning centers as funding allows.
To link the digital version of a book to the physical version, care is taken to catalog each book and note their physical locations so that future access could be enabled. Most books are cataloged by finding a record in existing library catalogs for the same edition. If no such catalog record can be found, then it is cataloged briefly in the Open Library. Links are made from the paper version to the digital version by printing identifying and catalog data on a slip of acid free paper that is inserted in the book. Linking from the digital version to the paper version is done through encoding the location into the database records and identifiers into the resulting digital book versions. The digital versions have been replicated and the catalog data has been shared.
The Internet Archive is now soliciting further donations of published materials from libraries, collectors, and individuals.
Source: Internet Archive
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