Internet Archive is one of the most important sites on the web. For years they have been amassing a huge library of digitized content and offering open access to all of it to anyone in the world.
In their catalog they have music, images, videos, movies, software, games and books. Just the latter have just reached the figure of two million volumes available. These are two million modern books included in the huge collection of 28 million texts that the archive already has.
Internet Archive has all kinds of texts in its collection. This includes magazines, documents, and old books that are part of the public domain. All of these can be found in the Open Library project.
But, in addition to this, at Internet Archive they digitize (the hard way) about 3,500 modern books a day, books that you can borrow from the site’s digital library for those who have access to public libraries around the world.
Chris Freeland, one of Internet Archive’s librarians and director of the Open Library program, explains, “We’re making books available that people need to access online, and our users are really interested. We’re doing the work of a library in the digital age.”
At the Internet Archive, this is how we digitize a book.
— Internet Archive (@internetarchive) February 6, 2021
The books that are part of this library are digitized “by hand”. From Internet Archive they explain that they never destroy a book by cutting its binding, instead they use Scribe, a book scanner that their engineers invented along with the software it uses.
Books are scanned page by page by a human operator. Scanning centers are located in universities and libraries around the world. Once a book is scanned, it undergoes several quality checks and error corrections, and is finally sent back to the physical archive for long-term preservation.
Many libraries around the world have contributed books to this project, and have been selected by educators, librarians and individuals who collaborate to provide access to all that written knowledge for new generations.
The Internet Archive is a massive project that relies heavily on donations, and so they invite anyone who can to make physical donations to the archive, be it books, disks, film and microfilm.