Quietly ramping up their online offerings, an under publicized Internet site has been building an ark, an ark that will house relics to keep forever and jewels to give away! As Brewster Khale continues to stockpile each existing book ever printed, many continue to wonder, is it really possible? Can one obtain a copy of every book? Why is Khale doing this? And what is he now giving away?
It’s not a new concept. Although any Biblical proportion project the likes of Noah, for example, can be daunting, Khale’s project is the result of what he and many others believe will be the final demise of print or analog mediums with a twist of Craig’s List added for flavor. If you recall, Craig’s List deflated many a newspaper classified ad section by simply giving the space away.
Digital Librarian and Founder of the Internet Archive, Kahle also archives the history of the Internet, to a lessor or more degree. A search from past published sites I had a hand in including, AirlineOxygen.com, DetroitPipeDream.org, and HiddenTreasuresNow.com, were nowhere to be found aboard the site. Still, the ability to track out dated websites here is probably the only internet locale with such an offering. But what about the space needed to house those print books? It’s in the City by the Bay. If you are ever in San Francisco, you can visit the book archive located at 300 Funston Avenue and see for yourself the enormity of such a warehouse.
And now his organization’s latest effort -- over 1 million eBooks free-of-charge!
“The Internet Archive is proud to be distributing over 1 million books free in a format called DAISY, designed for those of us who find it challenging to use regular printed media,” according to the OpenLibrary.org Website.
The titles are impressive. No longer will anyone have to visit a local library to obtain such titles as Lassie, Grapes of Wrath, Blackboard Jungle, Orwell’s 1984, To Kill a Mocking Bird, or Plato’s Republic, for example. One can read them via the DAISY e-reading platform available from the site.
While this offering may not put a dent in Amazon.com sales like Craig’s List did to newspaper, it is certainly a great resource for schools, libraries, institutes, and individuals the worldover. In addition to no cost, now anyone who needs to immediately have a copy in-hand will have no worries about shelf availability. All one million titles are available all the time.
When one considers Google Scholar with its digitization of the University of Michigan library archive, Khale’s organization may just deserve a listing on AnderbergFamily.net’s History of the Internet and Web timeline, for this latest offering is quiet impressive. Do you agree? See for yourself. Follow this link, and as the folks at Open Library say, “…browse, correct, & build.” Be part of a growing open access library. If Noah only knew what he started.