Who is responsible for protecting our cultural memory? Who should pay to maintain these records? And how can we ensure that the artifacts we’ve preserved do not vanish into obscurity? On last Thursday, March 3rd, Brewster Kahle, the founder of the Internet Archive, and UC Berkeley’s University Librarian Jeffrey MacKie-Mason discussed these questions and more in conversation at the Morrison Library on the Berkeley campus. Interested parties were in high attendance and many engaging conversations began and continued through the reception after the conversation. Check out the tweets and photos below from the event!
Who is responsible for protecting our cultural memory? Who should pay to maintain these records? And how can we ensure that the artifacts we’ve preserved do not vanish into obscurity? Join us as the new University Librarian Jeffrey MacKie-Mason investigates the role and future of the modern library with Brewster Kahle, founder of the Internet Archive.
The Internet Archive is a non-profit digital library founded by Brewster Kahle in 1996 with the mission to provide “Universal access to all Knowledge.” The organization seeks to preserve the world’s cultural heritage and to provide open access to our shared knowledge in the digital era, supporting the work of historians, scholars, journalists, students, the blind and reading disabled, as well as the general public. The Internet Archive’s digital collections include more than 25 petabytes of data: 460 billion Web captures, moving images (2.2 million films and videos), audio (2.5 million recordings, 140,000 live concerts), texts (8 million texts including 3 million digital books), software (100,000 items) and television (3 million hours). Each day, 2-3 million visitors use or contribute to the archive, making it one of the world’s top 250 sites. It has created new models for digital conservation by forging alliances with more than 450 libraries, universities and national archives around the world. The Internet Archive champions the public benefit of online access to our cultural heritage and the import of adopting open standards for its preservation, discovery and presentation.
About Brewster Kahle
A passionate advocate for public Internet access and a successful entrepreneur, Brewster Kahle has spent his career intent on a singular focus: providing Universal Access to All Knowledge. He is the founder and Digital Librarian of the Internet Archive, one of the largest libraries in the world. Soon after graduating from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he studied artificial intelligence, Kahle helped found the company Thinking Machines, a 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.com in 1999. The Internet Archive, which he founded in 1996, now preserves 25 petabytes of data—the books, Web pages, music, television, and software of our cultural heritage, working with more than 450 library and university partners to create a digital library, accessible to all.
About Jeffrey MacKie-Mason
Jeffrey MacKie-Mason is the University Librarian and Chief Digital Scholarship Officer of the University of California, Berkeley. A scholar with expertise in human interaction with online information, economics, and public policy, MacKie-Mason was formerly the dean of the School of Information at the University of Michigan, where he concentrated on questions concerning digital libraries and electronic access to materials and journals, considering the very issues now facing university libraries. MacKie-Mason earned his Ph.D. in economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Masters in Public Policy from the University of Michigan. As University Librarian, he oversees UC Berkeley’s library system, which houses more than 11 million volumes in several dozen facilities across campus and has a combined staff of over 350 employees.
This talk is hosted by the Berkeley Center for New Media in partnership with the UC Berkeley Libraries and Digital Humanities at UC Berkeley. The talk is free and open to the public. Seating is available on a first come, first served basis.
Image by Steve Rhodes.