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Pic of the Day: The Physical Archive of the Internet Archive

Have you ever wondered where the unwanted books from libraries and universities end up when they’re put out to pasture in the Internet Age? Every week approximately 20,000 of them are added to the shipping containers of Brewster Kahle’s Physical Archive of the Internet Archive, a $3 million project with the self-proclaimed aim of collecting “one copy of every book” — or 10 million items in total.

“You can never tell what is going to paint the portrait of a culture,” Kahle explained to The New York Times. “We must keep the past even as we’re inventing a new future. If the Library of Alexandria had made a copy of every book and sent it to India or China, we’d have the other works of Aristotle, the other plays of Euripides. One copy in one institution is not good enough.” Do you agree with his logic, or do you think that physical copies are unnecessary in today’s world?

Photo credit: Lianne Milton for The New York Times

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