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American non-profit organization providing archives of digital media
Coordinates: 37°46′56″N°28′18″W / °N °W / ;
The Internet Archive is an American digital library with the stated mission of "universal access to all knowledge."[notes 2][notes 3] It provides free public access to collections of digitized materials, including websites, software applications/games, music, movies/videos, moving images, and millions of books. In addition to its archiving function, the Archive is an activist organization, advocating a free and open Internet. The Internet Archive currently holds over 20 million books and texts, 3 million movies and videos, , software programs, 7 million audio files, and billion web pages in the Wayback Machine.
The Internet Archive allows the public to upload and download digital material to its data cluster, but the bulk of its data is collected automatically by its web crawlers, which work to preserve as much of the public web as possible. Its web archive, the Wayback Machine, contains hundreds of billions of web captures.[notes 4] The Archive also oversees one of the world's largest book digitization projects.
This section needs to be updated. Please update this article to reflect recent events or newly available information.(May )
The Archive is a (c)(3) nonprofit operating in the United States. It has an annual budget of $10 million, derived from a variety of sources: revenue from its Web crawling services, various partnerships, grants, donations, and the Kahle-Austin Foundation. The Internet Archive manages periodic funding campaigns, like the one started in December with a goal of reaching donations for $6 million.
Its headquarters are in San Francisco, California. From to , headquarters were in the Presidio of San Francisco, a former U.S. military base. Since , headquarters have been at Funston Avenue in San Francisco, a former Christian Science Church.
At one time, most of its staff worked in its book-scanning centers; as of , scanning is performed by paid operators worldwide. The Archive has data centers in three Californian cities: San Francisco, Redwood City, and Richmond. To prevent losing the data in case of e.g. a natural disaster, the Archive attempts to create copies of (parts of) the collection at more distant locations, currently including the Bibliotheca Alexandrina[notes 5] in Egypt and a facility in Amsterdam. The Archive is a member of the International Internet Preservation Consortium and was officially designated as a library by the state of California in [notes 6]
Brewster Kahle founded the archive in May at around the same time that he began the for-profit web crawling company Alexa Internet.[notes 7] In October , the Internet Archive had begun to archive and preserve the World Wide Web in large quantities,[notes 8] though it saved the earliest pages in May  The archived content wasn't available to the general public until , when it developed the Wayback Machine.
In late , the Archive expanded its collections beyond the Web archive, beginning with the Prelinger Archives. Now the Internet Archive includes texts, audio, moving images, and software. It hosts a number of other projects: the NASA Images Archive, the contract crawling service Archive-It, and the wiki-editable library catalog and book information site Open Library. Soon after that, the archive began working to provide specialized services relating to the information access needs of the print-disabled; publicly accessible books were made available in a protected Digital Accessible Information System (DAISY) format.[notes 9]
According to its website:[notes 10]
Most societies place importance on preserving artifacts of their culture and heritage. Without such artifacts, civilization has no memory and no mechanism to learn from its successes and failures. Our culture now produces more and more artifacts in digital form. The Archive's mission is to help preserve those artifacts and create an Internet library for researchers, historians, and scholars.
In August , the archive announced that it has added BitTorrent to its file download options for more than million existing files, and all newly uploaded files. This method is the fastest means of downloading media from the Archive, as files are served from two Archive data centers, in addition to other torrent clients which have downloaded and continue to serve the files.[notes 11] On November 6, , the Internet Archive's headquarters in San Francisco's Richmond District caught fire, destroying equipment and damaging some nearby apartments. According to the Archive, it lost a side-building housing one of 30 of its scanning centers; cameras, lights, and scanning equipment worth hundreds of thousands of dollars; and "maybe 20 boxes of books and film, some irreplaceable, most already digitized, and some replaceable". The nonprofit Archive sought donations to cover the estimated $, in damage.
In November , Kahle announced that the Internet Archive was building the Internet Archive of Canada, a copy of the archive to be based somewhere in Canada. The announcement received widespread coverage due to the implication that the decision to build a backup archive in a foreign country was because of the upcoming presidency of Donald Trump. Kahle was quoted as saying:
On November 9th in America, we woke up to a new administration promising radical change. It was a firm reminder that institutions like ours, built for the long-term, need to design for change. For us, it means keeping our cultural materials safe, private and perpetually accessible. It means preparing for a Web that may face greater restrictions. It means serving patrons in a world in which government surveillance is not going away; indeed it looks like it will increase. Throughout history, libraries have fought against terrible violations of privacy—where people have been rounded up simply for what they read. At the Internet Archive, we are fighting to protect our readers' privacy in the digital world.
Since , the Internet Archive visual arts residency, which is organized by Amir Saber Esfahani and Andrew McClintock, helps connect artists with the archive's over 48 petabytes[notes 12] of digitized materials. Over the course of the yearlong residency, visual artists create a body of work which culminates in an exhibition. The hope is to connect digital history with the arts and create something for future generations to appreciate online or off. Previous artists in residence include Taravat Talepasand, Whitney Lynn, and Jenny Odell.
In , the main scanning operations were moved to Cebu in the Philippines and were planned to reach a pace of half a million books scanned per year, until an initial target of 4 million books. The Internet Archive acquires most materials from donations, such as a donation of thousand books from Trent University and hundreds of thousands of 78rpm discs from Boston Public Library. All material is then digitized and retained in digital storage, while a digital copy is returned to the original holder and the Internet Archive's copy, if not in the public domain, is borrowed to patrons worldwide one at a time under the controlled digital lending (CDL) theory of the first-sale doctrine. Meanwhile, in the same year its headquarters in San Francisco received a bomb threat which forced a temporary evacuation of the building.
Wayback Machine logo, used since
The Internet Archive capitalized on the popular use of the term "WABAC Machine" from a segment of The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle cartoon (specifically Peabody's Improbable History), and uses the name "Wayback Machine" for its service that allows archives of the World Wide Web to be searched and accessed. This service allows users to view some of the archived web pages. The Wayback Machine was created as a joint effort between Alexa Internet and the Internet Archive when a three-dimensional index was built to allow for the browsing of archived web content.[notes 13] Millions of web sites and their associated data (images, source code, documents, etc.) are saved in a database. The service can be used to see what previous versions of web sites used to look like, to grab original source code from web sites that may no longer be directly available, or to visit web sites that no longer even exist. Not all web sites are available because many web site owners choose to exclude their sites. As with all sites based on data from web crawlers, the Internet Archive misses large areas of the web for a variety of other reasons. A paper found international biases in the coverage, but deemed them "not intentional".
A purchase of additional storage at the Internet Archive
A "Save Page Now" archiving feature was made available in October , accessible on the lower right of the Wayback Machine's main page.[notes 14] Once a target URL is entered and saved, the web page will become part of the Wayback Machine. Through the Internet address vvjstudio.com, users can upload to the Wayback Machine a large variety of contents, including PDF and data compression file formats. The Wayback Machine creates a permanent local URL of the upload content, that is accessible in the web, even if not listed while searching in the vvjstudio.com official website.
May 12, , is the date of the oldest archived pages on the vvjstudio.com WayBack Machine, such as vvjstudio.com
In October , it was announced that the way web pages are counted would be changed, resulting in the decrease of the archived pages counts shown.
|A Using the old counting system used before October |
|B Using the new counting system used after October |
In September , the Internet Archive announced a partnership with Cloudflare to automatically index websites served via its "Always Online" services.
Created in early , Archive-It is a web archiving subscription service that allows institutions and individuals to build and preserve collections of digital content and create digital archives. Archive-It allows the user to customize their capture or exclusion of web content they want to preserve for cultural heritage reasons. Through a web application, Archive-It partners can harvest, catalog, manage, browse, search, and view their archived collections.
In terms of accessibility, the archived web sites are full text searchable within seven days of capture. Content collected through Archive-It is captured and stored as a WARC file. A primary and back-up copy is stored at the Internet Archive data centers. A copy of the WARC file can be given to subscribing partner institutions for geo-redundant preservation and storage purposes to their best practice standards. Periodically, the data captured through Archive-It is indexed into the Internet Archive's general archive.
As of March[update], Archive-It had more than partner institutions in 46 U.S. states and 16 countries that have captured more than billion URLs for more than 2, public collections. Archive-It partners are universities and college libraries, state archives, federal institutions, museums, law libraries, and cultural organizations, including the Electronic Literature Organization, North Carolina State Archives and Library, Stanford University, Columbia University, American University in Cairo, Georgetown Law Library, and many others.
The Internet Archive operates 33 scanning centers in five countries, digitizing about 1, books a day for a total of more than 2 million books, financially supported by libraries and foundations.[notes 28] As of July[update], the collection included million books with more than 15 million downloads per month. As of November[update], when there were approximately 1 million texts, the entire collection was greater than petabytes, which includes raw camera images, cropped and skewed images, PDFs, and raw OCR data. Between about and , Microsoft had a special relationship with Internet Archive texts through its Live Search Books project, scanning more than , books that were contributed to the collection, as well as financial support and scanning equipment. On May 23, , Microsoft announced it would be ending the Live Book Search project and no longer scanning books. Microsoft made its scanned books available without contractual restriction and donated its scanning equipment to its former partners.
An Internet Archive in-house scan ongoing
Around October , Archive users began uploading public domain books from Google Book Search.[notes 29] As of November[update], there were more than , Google-digitized books in the Archive's collection;[notes 30] the books are identical to the copies found on Google, except without the Google watermarks, and are available for unrestricted use and download. Brewster Kahle revealed in that this archival effort was coordinated by Aaron Swartz, who with a "bunch of friends" downloaded the public domain books from Google slow enough and from enough computers to stay within Google's restrictions. They did this to ensure public access to the public domain. The Archive ensured the items were attributed and linked back to Google, which never complained, while libraries "grumbled". According to Kahle, this is an example of Swartz's "genius" to work on what could give the most to the public good for millions of people.Besides books, the Archive offers free and anonymous public access to more than four million court opinions, legal briefs, or exhibits uploaded from the United States Federal Courts' PACER electronic document system via the RECAP web browser plugin. These documents had been kept behind a federal court paywall. On the Archive, they had been accessed by more than six million people by 
The Archive's BookReader web app, built into its website, has features such as single-page, two-page, and thumbnail modes; fullscreen mode; page zooming of high-resolution images; and flip page animation.
Number of texts for each language
|Number of all texts |
(December 9, )
|Language ||Number of texts |
(November 27, )
Number of texts for each decade
|Decade ||Number of texts |
(November 27, )
|s ||39,[notes 42]|
|s ||51,[notes 43]|
|s ||79,[notes 44]|
|s ||,[notes 45]|
|s ||,[notes 46]|
|s ||,[notes 47]|
|s ||,[notes 48]|
|s ||,[notes 49]|
|s ||,[notes 50]|
|s ||,[notes 51]|
|Decade ||Number of texts |
(November 27, )
|s ||,[notes 52]|
|s ||,[notes 53]|
|s ||,[notes 54]|
|s ||70,[notes 55]|
|s ||85,[notes 56]|
|s ||81,[notes 57]|
|s ||,[notes 58]|
|s ||,[notes 59]|
|s ||,[notes 60]|
|s ||,[notes 61]|
The Open Library is another project of the Internet Archive. The wiki seeks to include a web page for every book ever published: it holds 25 million catalog records of editions. It also seeks to be a web-accessible public library: it contains the full texts of approximately 1,, public domain books (out of the more than five million from the main texts collection), as well as in-print and in-copyright books, which are fully readable, downloadable and full-text searchable; it offers a two-week loan of e-books in its Books to Borrow lending program for over , books not in the public domain, in partnership with over 1, library partners from 6 countries after a free registration on the web site. Open Library is a free and open-source software project, with its source code freely available on GitHub.
The Open Library faces objections from some authors and the Society of Authors, who hold that the project is distributing books without authorization and is thus in violation of copyright laws, and four major publishers initiated a copyright infringement lawsuit against the Internet Archive in June to stop the Open Library project.
List of digitizing sponsors for ebooks
As of December , over 50 sponsors helped the Internet Archive provide over 5 million scanned books (text items). Of these, over 2 million were scanned by Internet Archive itself, funded either by itself or by MSN, the University of Toronto or the Internet Archive's founder's Kahle/Austin Foundation.
The collections for scanning centers often include also digitisations sponsored by their partners, for instance the University of Toronto performed scans supported by other Canadian libraries.
|Sponsor ||Main collection ||Number of texts sponsored|
|Internet Archive||||, |
|Kahle/Austin Foundation||, |
|University of Toronto||||, |
|U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Agricultural Library||, |
|Wellcome Library||, |
|University of Alberta Libraries||||, |
|China-America Digital Academic Library (CADAL)||||91, |
|Sloan Foundation||||83, |
|The Library of Congress||||79, |
|University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign||||72, |
|Princeton Theological Seminary Library||66, |
|Boston Library Consortium Member Libraries||59, |
|Jisc and Wellcome Library||55, |
|Lyrasis members and Sloan Foundation||||54, |
|Boston Public Library||54, |
|Nazi War Crimes and Japanese Imperial Government Records Interagency Working Group||51, |
|Getty Research Institute||||46, |
|Greek Open Technologies Alliance through Google Summer of Code||45, |
|University of Ottawa||44, |
|Naval Postgraduate School, Dudley Knox Library||37, |
|University of Victoria Libraries||37, |
|The Newberry Library||37, |
|Brigham Young University||33, |
|Columbia University Libraries||31, |
|University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill||29, |
|Institut national de la recherche agronomique||26, |
|Montana State Library||25, |
|Allen County Public Library Genealogy Center||||24, |
|Michael Best||24, |
|Bibliotheca Alexandrina||24, |
|University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign Alternates||22, |
|Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences||21, |
|University of Florida, George A. Smathers Libraries||20, |
|Environmental Data Resources, Inc.||20, |
|Smithsonian Libraries||19, |
|Eric P. Newman Numismatic Education Society||18, |
|NIST Research Library||18, |
|Open Knowledge Commons, United States National Library of Medicine||18, |
|Biodiversity Heritage Library||||17, |
|Ontario Council of University Libraries and Member Libraries||17, |
|Corporation of the Presiding Bishop, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints||16, |
|Leo Baeck Institute Archives||16, |
|North Carolina Digital Heritage Center||||14, |
|California State Library, Califa/LSTA Grant||14, |
|Duke University Libraries||14, |
|The Black Vault||13, |
|Buddhist Digital Resource Center||13, |
|John Carter Brown Library||12, |
|MBL/WHOI Library||11, |
|Harvard University, Museum of Comparative Zoology, Ernst Mayr Library||||10, |
|AFS Intercultural Programs||10, |
In , the MIT Press authorized the Internet Archive to digitize and lend books from the press's backlist, with financial support from the Arcadia Fund. A year later, the Internet Archive received further funding from the Arcadia Fund to invite some other university presses to partner with the Internet Archive to digitize books, a project called "Unlocking University Press Books".
Microfilms at the Internet Archive
In addition to web archives, the Internet Archive maintains extensive collections of digital media that are attested by the uploader to be in the public domain in the United States or licensed under a license that allows redistribution, such as Creative Commons licenses. Media are organized into collections by media type (moving images, audio, text, etc.), and into sub-collections by various criteria. Each of the main collections includes a "Community" sub-collection (formerly named "Open Source") where general contributions by the public are stored.
The Audio Archive includes music, audiobooks, news broadcasts, old time radio shows, and a wide variety of other audio files. There are more than , free digital recordings in the collection. The subcollections include audio books and poetry, podcasts, non-English audio, and many others.[notes 64] The sound collections are curated by B. George, director of the ARChive of Contemporary Music.
The Live Music Archive sub-collection includes more than , concert recordings from independent musicians, as well as more established artists and musical ensembles with permissive rules about recording their concerts, such as the Grateful Dead, and more recently, The Smashing Pumpkins. Also, Jordan Zevon has allowed the Internet Archive to host a definitive collection of his father Warren Zevon's concert recordings. The Zevon collection ranges from – and contains concerts including 1, songs.
The Great 78 Project aims to digitize , 78 rpm singles (, songs) from the period between and , donated by various collectors and institutions. It has been developed in collaboration with the Archive of Contemporary Music and George Blood Audio, responsible for the audio digitization.
This collection contains approximately 3, items from Brooklyn Museum.[notes 65]
This collection contains more than , items.[notes 66]Cover Art Archive, Metropolitan Museum of Art - Gallery Images, NASA Images, Occupy Wall StreetFlickr Archive, and USGS Maps and are some sub-collections of Image collection.
Cover Art Archive
The Cover Art Archive is a joint project between the Internet Archive and MusicBrainz, whose goal is to make cover art images on the Internet. This collection contains more than , items.[notes 67]
Metropolitan Museum of Art images
The images of this collection are from the Metropolitan Museum of Art. This collection contains more than , items.[notes 68]
The NASA Images archive was created through a Space Act Agreement between the Internet Archive and NASA to bring public access to NASA's image, video, and audio collections in a single, searchable resource. The IA NASA Images team worked closely with all of the NASA centers to keep adding to the ever-growing collection. The vvjstudio.com site launched in July and had more than , items online at the end of its hosting in
Occupy Wall Street Flickr archive
This collection contains creative commons licensed photographs from Flickr related to the Occupy Wall Street movement. This collection contains more than 15, items.[notes 69]
This collection contains more than 59, items from Libre Map Project.[notes 70]
One of the sub-collections of the Internet Archive's Video Archive is the Machinima Archive. This small section hosts many Machinima videos. Machinima is a digital artform in which computer games, game engines, or software engines are used in a sandbox-like mode to create motion pictures, recreate plays, or even publish presentations or keynotes. The archive collects a range of Machinima films from internet publishers such as Rooster Teeth and vvjstudio.com as well as independent producers. The sub-collection is a collaborative effort among the Internet Archive, the How They Got Game research project at Stanford University, the Academy of Machinima Arts and Sciences, and vvjstudio.com[notes 71]
Mathematics – Hamid Naderi Yeganeh
This collection contains mathematical images created by mathematical artist Hamid Naderi Yeganeh.[notes 72]
This collection contains approximately , items from a variety of libraries including the University of Chicago Libraries, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the University of Alberta, Allen County Public Library, and the National Technical Information Service.[notes 73][notes 74]
Moving image collection
The Internet Archive holds a collection of approximately 3, feature films.[notes 75] Additionally, the Internet Archive's Moving Image collection includes: newsreels, classic cartoons, pro- and anti-war propaganda