The Internet Archive gets physical

The Internet Archive plays an important role in digitising and preserving printed materials. Recently, it has become concerned that some libraries no longer have the required resources to continue to keep the original materials that have been digitised:

We noticed an increasing number of books from these libraries moving books to “off site repositories” to make space in central buildings for more meeting spaces and work spaces. These repositories have filled quickly and sometimes prompt the de-accessioning of books. A library that would prefer to not be named was found to be thinning their collections and throwing out books based on what had been digitized by Google.

To that end, the Internet Archive has decided to build its own physical repository. Their aim is to collect, house and preserve approximately 10 million items with the selection policy based on keeping a copy of the items that they digitise “if they are not returned to another library.” They will use a modular storage system consisting of books packed into boxes, onto pallets and into shipping containers in climate controlled conditions.

Future housing for the Internet Archive's physical collection

Future housing for the Internet Archive's physical collection

If you want to find out more about the Internet Archive’s plans, you can read the full blog entry here.


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