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the Wooden Cloud: Archiving the internet… on paper…

Stop the press. Seriously. The red button, press it. While everyone at #canneslions is going all mellow on online stuff, and the slow death of classic press is being proclaimed on some over-enthusiast blogs, Internet Archive starts backing up its efforts…. on paper.

Imagine this: “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… The goal is to preserve one copy of every published work,” says Brewster Kahle, from Internet Archive on his blog. So Internet Archive is scanning in all those massive records… but is backing them up on dead trees.

“All our disks, servers and storage means are still objects” says Kahne: “stuff can go wrong with it”.

So for every scanned item in their archive, Internet Archive is now keeping the hard copy as well. Millions of books and publications, on normal paper.  They developed a modular storage system in Oakland California, constructed around one of the most popular storage units in the world: the shipping container –  40.000 books in a container (the equivalent of a standard library), stackable to accommodate the millions of books.

Preserving all the books on the internet, backing up this digital Alexandria on paper. The Cloud never felt more heavy…

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