We were lucky enough to get the opportunity to tour Archive.org’s server room. That’s right, They are committed to openness (for real). I don’t get to go into the server room at work where the servers I work on are located, but I was given a glass of wine and allowed to peruse the racks. There are a couple of notable things about this server room, first that it runs hotter than most server rooms. This is a new trend and falls in line with a lot of Sustainability initiatives. The other is that the server cost around $2,000 a piece. The hardware specs are open and can be reproduced, you can view more information on Archive.org’s Large Scale Data Repository: Petabox page.

They have the ability to scan pages and digitally save them forever. This can be done for 10 cents a page. Forever. That is the cost of a black and white copy at Kinkos. Each book that is scanned is made available to the public, and they are working with libraries to improve their collection. You can request any book from the Boston Library and it will be scanned and made available online, it’s really and amazing system. The most remarkable part of it is lack of machines in the process. When you request a book to be scanned, a Human Librarian receives a message to take the book from the shelf and it is sent to the scanning center. The scanning center employs Humans that scan the books. Every page is turned by someone who can look with sensibility at each page and ensure that it wont damage the material. There are Lots more photos on flickr.

Photos from Archive.org’s server room

  • Welcome to the Internet Archive

  • Internet Archive

  • Lots of servers

  • The Internet Archive folks are classy

  • The wayback Machine Servers