Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Internet Archive Tour - April 26, 2012

The evening before the Digital Public Library of America West meeting, attendees had the opportunity to go on a tour of the Internet Archive facility in Richmond, CA.  It s a large warehouse about 45 minutes outside of San Francisco in what is apparently the 6th most dangerous city in the country.  (No bullets they assured us.) The scenery wasn't much to look at but inside the warehouse is a treasure chest for information geeks: piles and piles of books in various stages of being digitized, a sizable server farm, and thanks to the staff a lovely spread of pre-tour snacks.  Here are a few pics from my visit.
Robert Miller, Director of Books at the Internet Archive, giving the group a tour of the facility via forklift.
The "cataloging" department at the Internet Archive.  Items are scanned to determine if they need to be included in the Internet Archive.  A person working the intake line does as much scanning as a grocery store checker.

The Internet Archive has a number of special collections that have been donated by libraries- like  a complete run of the London Times.
Internet Archive Long-Term Storage
Long-term high density storage - for every item in  Open Library there is a physical copy in these storage containers that are monitored for temperature and moisture.  The climate in Riverside helps regulate the environmental factors.

The Richmond facility also includes the servers for the Wayback Machine, an archive  of 150 billion web pages dating back to 1996.