Last week, a devastating fire swept through the offices of the Internet Archive’s San Francisco office, damaging high-tech scanning equipment to the tune of $600,000. Luckily 20 boxes of damaged books were already digitized, and therefore, completely safe from the blaze. Workers are currently using another location to scan physical books for the time being.
If you haven’t heard about the Internet Archive, it’s a great non-profit with probably one of the largest collection of digital data available for public use. Here’s what 10,000,000,000,000,000 bytes gives you:
Founded in 1996, the Internet Archive has an historical web collection (the Wayback Machine) of over 150 billion web pages, about 240,000 movies, over 500,000 audio items (including over 70,000 live concerts), over 1,800,000 texts, 1600 education items, and over 30,000 software items. And we’re growing bigger every day!
These books, videos, audio, and even old web pages are archived and readily available to researchers, historians, or even a casual scholar. If you ever wanted to see what Yahoo! looked like in 1996 – the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine is the perfect tool for that sort of mental time traveling. There’s also plenty of software and CD-ROMs archived in their massive database. All you need is time.
The non-profit was able to collected $60,000 int eh first two days, but they still need more to replace damaged equipment. Just go here to make a donation.