[Taxacom] eprints vs printed books

Donat Agosti agosti at amnh.org
Tue Aug 2 01:35:12 CDT 2011

The founder of the Internet Archive is turning towards saving a copy of each
book published - what does this new twists by the guru of digital archiving


." He praises digitisation as a way to make books, manuscripts and other
material more accessible. But he too believes that the digital does not
render the physical object obsolete. He said people feel an "intimate
connection" with artefacts - a letter written by Albert Einstein
<http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/alberteinstein>  or a piece of papyrus
dating back millennia.

"Some people respond to that with just a strong emotional feeling," Hanff
said. "You are suddenly connected to something that is really old and takes
you back in time."

Kahle said he simply had a strong reaction to the idea of books being thrown

"Knowledge lives in lots of different forms over time," he said. "First it
was in people's memories, then it was in manuscripts, then printed books,
then microfilm, CD-ROMS, now on the digital internet. Each one of these
generations is very important."

Each new format as it emerges tends to be hailed as the end-all way to
package information. But Kahle points out that even digital books have a
physical home on a hard drive somewhere. He sees saving the physical
artefacts of information storage as a way to hedge against the uncertainty
of the future. (Alongside the books, Kahle plans to store the Internet
Archive's old servers, which were replaced late last year.)


Thanks to Martin Kalfatovich to pointing this out.

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