Pioneering Internet Archivists Brewster Kahle and Rick Prelinger on Preservation in the Digital Age
Internet archivists Brewster Kahle and Rick Prelinger discuss their efforts to build both a physical and digital library of every book ever published. "The idea is we can build a Library of Alexandria version two," says Kahle. "It costs us about 10 cents a page, or about $30 a book, to photograph and then make it accessible and searchable for anybody." The archivists also discuss their home movie project. "Home movies are astonishing, because they’re personal, not corporate, expression," says Prelinger. "They’re individuals witnessing history, not simply great events, but also history everyday life." The movies are being contributed by families and rescued from estate sales, among other sources.
Brewster Kahle, computer engineer, internet entrepreneur, activist and digital librarian. Brewster is the founder of the Internet Archive and the Open Content Alliance, a group of organizations committed to making a permanent, publicly accessible archive of digitized texts. He also is trying to preserve a physical copy of every book ever published — he has already collected over half a million books. Brewster has received a number of awards, including the Zoia Horn Intellectual Freedom Award in 2010. Utne Reader named him one of "50 Visionaries Changing Your World.”
Rick Prelinger, an archivist, writer and filmmaker. He is the founder of the Prelinger Archives, a collection of 60,000 advertising, educational, industrial, and amateur films acquired by the Library of Congress in 2002 after 20 years’ operation. Rick has partnered with the Internet Archive to make close to 2,000 films from Prelinger Archives available online for free viewing, downloading and reuse.