About

Brewster Kahle, Digital Librarian and Founder of the Internet Archive, has been working to provide universal access to all knowledge for more than twenty-five years.

Since the mid-1980s, Kahle has focused on developing technologies for information discovery and digital libraries. In 1989 Kahle invented the Internet’s first publishing system, WAIS (Wide Area Information Server) system and in 1989, founded WAIS Inc., a pioneering electronic publishing company that was sold to America Online in 1995. In 1996, Kahle founded the Internet Archive which may be the largest digital library. At the same time, he co-founded Alexa Internet which helps catalog the Web in April 1996, which was sold to Amazon.com in 1999.

Kahle earned a B.S. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1982. As a student, he studied artificial intelligence with W. Daniel Hillis and Marvin Minsky. In 1983, Kahle helped start Thinking Machines, a parallel supercomputer maker, serving there as a lead engineer for six years. He serves on the boards of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Public Knowledge, the European Archive, the Television Archive, and the Internet Archive.

See archive.org and openlibrary.org and blog.archive.org

email at brewster@archive.org

twitter at brewster_kahle.

35 Responses to About

  1. John Scott Adams says:

    Horray for the book Archive and its physical backups. While technologies evolve, in the end the text delivery will still depend on mediation from some form of device whose usefulness will eventually expire with the birth of new inventions. Thus the physical book will continue to prove itself evolution’s most hardy keeper of knowledge.

  2. Hi Brewster!

    last Friday we met in Berlin and had a lot of fun talking about fixing the housing system. I like your idea of a Stallmanesque solution to flip the system against itself. Remember we met at breakfast in the Arcotel and at night went together to the C-Base? It was great meeting you!

    As I told you I know from a Danish friend that they have this sort of social housing system where the members of a certain union own a strictly self regulated house. I haven’t yet found the details about it, but some searching gave me some case studies about Danish social housing, see here an English paper: http://rudar.ruc.dk/bitstream/1800/1208/1/Social_housing_in.pdf

    Anyway, let me know how your work on this progresses. In the mean time we continue to set things free in the digital realm.

    best,

    Wouter Tebbens
    Free Knowledge InstituteUnlocking the Knowledge Society
    Free Technology Academy>/a>Study Online about Free Technologies

  3. Maria says:

    Hello to everybody from Slovakia,

    I really love this project as it saves the physical books although they can be posted on the Internet. My question to Mr. Kahle is where can I send you books from Slovakia. I have some books which I translated from English or German into Slovak and vice versa. Can you give me an address, please, and I send you some of my translations.
    Thank you and I wish you good luck in your marvellous and ambitious project,
    Maria

  4. James King says:

    What I would love to see is an internet catalog of all the newspaper microphiches that are available at many local libraries. I’d enjoy reading the sports pages of certain baseball seasons especially (like the 1971 MLB season). Since converting microphiche to data might merely involve scanning, it seems simple. I’d even volunteer to do some!

  5. Jo Duthie says:

    How do I get books to you? I live in West Sacramento and have a lot of books and need to cut down. Many are healing, new age, and counseling/parenting. I’d love to bring them to your warehouse in Richmond.

    Thank you!

    • junegoldsmith says:

      Hi,

      If you are able to bring your books to our San Francisco location on a Friday, you could join us for our weekly open lunch.

      Our address is 300 Funston Ave, San Francisco, CA 94118.

      If you have any questions – please call 415.561.6767

      • Eric Pinto says:

        Dear June,
        Please ask Brewster to comment on the future of digitizing books without opening them. Someday we can work on the 1922 issue but that can hold for another day.

        I had asked Gabe from IA Toronto to let me know if there were any new developments in the technology. My research indicates that there is nothing new in the public domain.
        ===============

        Hi Gabe,
        Daniel’s DIY project in 2004 has spawned many initiatives but we are still limited by having to open the book…. and 1922!
        I was hoping that you or Brewster would be able to update me on the next generation of volume book scanners that work around the first issue.
        See atiz site as an example of the old technology.
        http://www.atiz.com/usstore/

        Regards,

        Eric Pinto

        ================

  6. Maria Eduarda Marques de Carvalho says:

    Dear Brewster,
    Good Morning,
    I am Brazilian , I was born on 23 decmber 1965 and live in the state of Pernambuco in Recife (city). I was 15 years proprietress of a large bookstore, but had to close it five years ago as sales dropped enormously in the last year and went to work in Sao Paulo in other books. Now I’m back to my town and I was very happy to discover your work in California with books. I love books and are to be congratulated for their work. Take this opportunity to ask if I can somehow contribute to their work, collaborate or work for your company. Anyway thank you for your attention and once again congratulations on your magnificent work with books. Sincerely, Maria Eduarda ( dudamcarvalho@hotmail.com)

  7. Sourav Roy says:

    How does one donate all one’s books to your collection (Physical Book Collection) posthumously?

  8. Kim says:

    Hello Brewster,

    I heard about your program from someone who attended the OLA superconference this year. I am in the process of heavily weeding my personal book collection. I have a variety of books, including computer programming books. (All books will be in English)
    How can I arrange to have them sent to you.

    Thank you
    Kim

    • brewster says:

      If you can send them to us in San Francisco, we would love that
      300 Funston Ave, San Francisco, CA 94118

      Or drop them off at the UofToronto scanning center.

      thank you in advance!

      -brewster

      • donn brott says:

        A relative is looking to donate about 40,000 books left by a recently deceased collector. Am thinking of sending them to you but do not have funds for delivery. Some of the books are in Buffalo, NY area and others are in Carmel, CA. What do you suggest?
        Please respond to above email. DB

  9. donna brott says:

    I’v been trying unsuccessfuly to get to ginger@archive.org. to see what arrangements for shipment can be made. Please communicate with me through my email address. My computer refuses to send anything to ginger@archive.org. Is there someone I can talk with? Donna

  10. mark bade says:

    THANK YOU FOR ALL THAT YOUR HAVE DONE!! GREAT ARTICLE IN NY TIMES YESTERDAY

    ANY WAY I CAN HELP OUT

  11. Vera Dlugatch, an information junky says:

    Brewster,

    I just wanted you to know how wonderful I think it is that you are saving all of these books. I often think of how many people who have read the books before me and what was happening in their lifetime.

    I am a self proclaimed information junky and collect old dictionaries. The old dictionaries have the most information and tell more about people of old than the new ones. I am happy that you have found a way to keep the old and still have the new.

    Johannes Gutenberg; the inventor of the printing press, would be proud.

  12. Vera Dlugatch, an information junky says:

    I am glad that you are preserving physical books because it is our history and as such is part of our present and future. There is a lot that their existence tells us about the people of the time.

    I collect old dictionaries because I can’t stand to see them in the trash.

    Johannes Gutenberg would be proud.

  13. Vera Dlugatch, an information junky says:

    I’ll have to check that out.

    Thanks for responding.

  14. Gwenyth Berry says:

    ‘Caught the CBS News program w/Jim Axelrod – what a fantastic idea! I’ve retired from a college library and for some silly reason, I’ve always felt the importance of saving the actual books – I’m so happy that someone else is not only on the same page (woops, pardon that pun) but has the means/expertise to make it happen. Many thanks, Gwenyth Berry

  15. Hi brewster.

    This is heidi.

    How the heck are you? I would love to connect and catch up. I would love to hear about how mary is. I have many fond memories about our days in San Francisco.

    What is the best way to get ahold of you both.

    with love
    Heidi

  16. Millie Cooke says:

    Just wanted to say THANK YOU! for preserving the printed word in book format! As a child I spent my summers immersed in books, traveling to far away places and meeting all kinds of people. Now in my fifties (don’t tell anyone!) I am still enamored of books and cannot conceive of a day without reading! I have a small personal library and love my books as old and dear friends, re-reading old ones and reading new in-between. Thank you again for doing something I wish I myself could do, or be a part of!

  17. Trudy Toll says:

    I enjoyed your presentation at the CLA. I am a Librarian and so of course I thoroughly agreed with your desire to digitize but then have universal access. It’s a shame that Google et al. did all that digitizing then restricted access. I do hope we can swing back to a non commodification of information. Good luck.
    Trudy Toll
    Hayward Public Library

  18. Jeraldine Delucas says:

    Although one programmer has the necessary skills and knowledge to work competently on a problem or even create a program, he or she can only do so much. Creating the source code for an operating system, for example, will require thousands of manhours from a single programmer and most probably, he or she will only be halfway through. There just isn’t enough time for one or even two programmers to work effectively to produce a usable program.,:

    Our personal webpage
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  19. Erin Heiden says:

    For Father’s Day this year, I’d like to send you copies of my dad’s military books that he authored as a Civil Engineer for the Navy before his retirement. They are in the Library of Congress already but your archive is different. I’m so proud of his accomplishments & would be honored to know they are archived in a safe place. Where should I send them? Thank you, Erin

  20. Simon Eugster says:

    Thanks for OpenLibrary! Is there a chance that its development is continued? I found duplicate books, but have no way of merging them, or moving a single book into an edtition without copying all content manually.

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  22. Sheree Battershell says:

    I read your interview this morning in my husbands issue of Playboy. (Yes I do read the articles!). Thank you, thank you, thank you for what you are doing. As an avid reader and somewhat history buff, future generations will also thank you and appreciate what you are doing here. So much has been lost of the past and what ever we have in the way of the written word etc must be preserved. Archaeologist in the future will stumble on your collection and bless you.

  23. Patricia Lester says:

    Brewster-
    Just saw the New Yorker article. You brought the NSA issues into the quotidian world for me. What a surreal experience and I am impressed by your sheer intestinal fortitude.
    I hadn’t felt a need to comment on the blog before. I have been enjoying it for a while and just wanted to say that it keeps me cognizant of the need to look for ways to be of use in the world.
    Patricia

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