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Fascinating read from the Internet Archive, who has decided to begin maintaining physical copies in archival storage of any book they have digitally. From the blog post: Internet Archive is building a physical archive for the long term preservation of one copy of every book, record, and movie we are able to attract or acquire.  Because we expect day-to-day access to these materials to occur through digital means, the our physical archive is designed for long-term preservation of materials with only occasional, collection-scale retrieval. Because of this, we can create optimized environments for physical preservation and organizational structures that facilitate appropriate access. A seed bank might be conceptually closest to what we have in mind: storing important objects in safe ways to be used for redundancy, authority, and in case of catastrophe. Really, really interesting…the Internet Archive is quickly becoming just The Archive. Their answer to storage is brilliant as well: Based on this technical literature and specifications from depositories around the world, Tom McCarty, the engineer who designed the Internet Archive’s Scribe book-scanning system, began to design, build, and test a modular storage system in Oakland California. This system uses the infrastructure developed around the most used storage design of the 20th century, the shipping container. Rows of stacked shipping containers are used like 40′ deep shelving units. In this configuration, a single shipping container can hold around 40,000 books, about the same as a standard branch library, and a small building can hold millions of books. Is it wrong that I want to work for Brewster? Such interesting, amazing projects that the Archive maintains…

The New Physical Archive of the Internet Archive

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