The Internet Archive: Providing Universal Access to All Knowledge


There was a lot of industry buzz last month when it was announced that Editor and Publisher Magazine was supplying more than a hundred years of editions digitally for free via a partnership with The Internet Archive, one of the largest libraries in the world.

The Internet Archive was founded by Brewster Kale, a passionate advocate for public internet access and a successful entrepreneur, Kahle has spent his career intent on a singular focus: providing universal access to all knowledge. Soon after graduating from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he studied artificial intelligence, Kahle helped found Thinking Machines, a parallel supercomputer maker. In 1989, Kahle created the internet's first publishing system called Wide Area Information Server (WAIS), later selling the company to AOL. In 1996, Kahle co-founded Alexa Internet, which helps catalog the web, selling it to Amazon in 1999. The Internet Archive, which he founded in 1996, now preserves 20 petabytes of data—the books, web pages, music, television, and software of our cultural heritage, working with more than 400 library and university partners to create a digital library and making it accessible to all.

In 2005, Kale was honored by the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 2008, he received the  Robert B. Downs Intellectual Freedom Award from the University of Illinois. In 2010, he received his Honorary Doctor of Laws from the University of Alberta, and in 2012, Kale was inducted into the Internet Hall of Fame.

In the segment of E&P Reports, publisher Mike Blinder has a lively conversation with Kale who speaks about how he feels about digital privacy, the future of content distribution and compensation, and why the preservation and access to historical content is a matter of paramount importance.

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