Thanks to a recent $1 million grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, we will be expanding our TV News Search & Borrow service that enables everyone to search, quote and borrow U.S. television news programs.
Launched last September, the service repurposes closed captioning to facilitate deep search and present relevant short-streamed with clips from more than 400,000 news broadcasts dating back to June 2009. We are striving to help inform and engage communities by strengthening the work of journalists, scholars, teachers, librarians, civic organizations and others dedicated to serving public interests.
We are beginning to see important public benefits arising from this new capability to apply digital search and analysis to news from our most pervasive and persuasive medium—television. Journalists are better able to investigate significant persons and events. Documentarians are more effectively finding key news footage to license and use. Educators can now focus the critical attention of their students on extensive real-world examples of how news stories are told and audiences engaged.
We recently worked with researchers at Harvard’s Berkman Center and MIT’s Center for Civic Media to facilitate direct machine queries of our television news library that returned structured data results to inform their media landscape analysis of the Travon Martin story and reveal key pivot points in its evolution.
Journalists and documentarians at the newly-launched Retro Report are using TV News Search & Borrow to help them take a fresh look at important stories of the past, share new perspectives and add insightful commentary to what are sometimes all too shortsighted first drafts of history.
We are also working with a number of scholars, journalists and civic organizations to see how our research library might help improve political accountability and transparency by indexing television political advertising and pairing them with information on ad sponsors from FCC-mandated “public inspection files” at each station.
Such a special collection could also be used to study interactions between campaign messaging and local news coverage. The 2013 elections in Virginia, a state with no political campaign contribution limits, may be a useful test-bed for experiments like these.
We are following up on suggestions from media professionals that a comprehensive research library of local television news might also better inform stations and their audiences about how programs are helping to meet the critical information needs of local communities.
Our TV News Search and & Borrow service preserves and makes responsibly accessible an enduring library of television news, serving important public benefit research interests of today and those of generations to come. In doing so, it stands on the shoulders of the pioneering work of Vanderbilt University’s Television News Archive and, more recently, UCLA’s NewsScape library.
We are humbled by the challenges of exploring the new territory of scaling intelligent access to our growing digital public library of television news and welcome feedback on how we can better serve the public interest.
“The Wayback Machine is, very simply, one of the greatest deep web tools ever created.” -National Security Agency (2007)
Main section on us:
You have to give Brewster Kahle credit for thinking big. The founder of the Internet Archive has a clear, if not easy, mission: to make all human knowledge universally accessible. And, who knows, he might just succeed. What has made Kahle’s dream seem possible is extremely inexpensive storage technology. As of now, the Internet Archive houses “approximately 1 petabyte of data and is currently growing at a rate of 20 terabytes per month. This eclipses the amount of text contained in the world’s largest libraries, including the Library of Congress. If you tried to place the entire contents of the archive onto floppy disks (we don’t recommend this!) and laid them end to end, it would stretch from New York, past Los Angeles, and halfway to Hawaii.” 102 In December 2006 the Archive announced it had indexed over 85 billion “web objects” and that its database contained over 1.5 petabytes of information. 103
But that’s not all that Kahle and company have archived. The Archive also now contains about 2 million audio works; over 10,000 music concerts; thousands of “moving images,” including 300 feature films; its own and links to others’ digitized texts, including printable and downloadable books; and 3 million hours of television shows (enough to satisfy even the most sedulous couch potato!). Kahle’s long term dream includes scanning and digitizing the entire Library of Congress collection of about 28 million books (something that is technically within reach), but there are UNCLASSIFIED some nasty impediments such as copyrights and, of course, money. None of this deters Kahle, whose commitment to the preservation of the digital artifacts of our time drives the Internet Archive. As Kahle puts it, “If you don’t have access to the past, you live in a very Orwellian world.”
Brewster Kahle is honored to receive the 2013 LITA/Library Hi Tech Award for Outstanding Communication in Library and Information Technology this year. It will be awarded at the American Library Association meeting in Chicago in June.
As a free service to Richmond residents, the Internet Archive has installed a 70 foot tower on its physical archive building in Richmond California to offer free and fast Internet to those with roofs that can see the tower. Those wanting to use this community wireless service would need to buy and install a directional antenna on their roof to connect, but from then on their Internet access is free. In this way we call it a ‘free and fast roof2roof network’ since it will generally not reach people’s laptops inside houses. The signal will work at over 1 mile to a suitable antenna with line-of-site to our tower. Wifi receivers with directional antennas can cost as little as one hundred to two hundred dollars from vendors like ubiquiti.
Gayle McLaughlin, mayor of Richmond, when we told her about this, said: “We are dedicated to closing the digital divide in Richmond. Providing free access to the internet is a great benefit for our residents helping us create a better and more equitable city!”
We have achieved 80 megabits per second in both directions with this technology, so this should support many people’s normal Internet use. Typical commercial Internet access runs at 1/10 this speed, so the fastest residential Internet in Richmond will likely be this system. Currently average of 4 users are connect to our tower but we hope this will grow.
We hope that intrepid individuals will connect to this system in a way we have called “tier 3″. While we do not have the budget to provide tech support, we hope that entrepreneurs, enthusiasts, or non-profit organizations will help others get online.
Another step would be to expand the number of houses and buildings that could connect to this system by putting repeater antennas on high locations to expand the number of rooftops with line-of-site to this backbone. If you are an owner of a tall building or structure and are interested in participating, please let us know by writing to email@example.com. We would be interested in paying for the equipment and do the installation for a couple of well placed locations.
Location: Height 70′ above ground level, 2512 Florida Avenue, Richmond, CA. Some more details on the equipment. The network identifiers (SSIDs) include ‘archive.org’ in their names, and the 2.4GHz ones are open with no password or encryption. Thank you to Ralf Muehlen for setting up this system, and thank you to the City of Richmond for allowing an tower to be installed with no delay or hassle.
Onward to a Free and Fast Internet for All!
Photo storage and organization service Trovebox announced today that they added support for storing your photos at archive.org. Or as they put it:
Check out their announcement. We’re excited to host their patrons’ photos and keep them safe.
Please join us at http://blog.archive-it.org for regular updates from the Archive-It Team!
Open Library will be down from during the following time due to a scheduled power outage.
- Tuesday, April 16 - 7:00AM to 12:00 noon
- Wednesday, April 17 - 2:00PM to 7:00PM
Thank you for your cooperation.