Collecting Every Book, Song & Video at the Internet Archive

Bill Carter of the New York Times reports, "Inspired by a pillar of antiquity, the Library of Alexandria, Brewster Kahle has a grand vision for the Internet Archive, the giant aggregator and digitizer of data, which he founded and leads. Brewster Kahle, founder of the Internet Archive, in the company warehouse in Richmond, Calif. 'We want to collect all the books, music and video that has ever been produced by humans,' Mr. Kahle said. As of Tuesday, the archive’s online collection will include every morsel of news produced in the last three years by 20 different channels, encompassing more than 1,000 news series that have generated more than 350,000 separate programs devoted to news."

Carter goes on, "The latest ambitious effort by the archive, which has already digitized millions of books and tried to collect everything published on every Web page for the last 15 years (that adds up to more than 150 billion Web pages), is intended not only for researchers, Mr. Kahle said, but also for average citizens who make up some of the site’s estimated two million visitors each day.  'The focus is to help the American voter to better be able to examine candidates and issues,' Mr. Kahle said. 'If you want to know exactly what Mitt Romney said about health care in 2009, you’ll be able to find it.' Of course, if you want to discredit or satirize a politician based on a clip showing some reversal of a position, that will be made easier as well. Or, as Mr. Kahle put it, 'Let a thousand Jon Stewarts bloom'."

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Image: Courtesy Internet Archive