The Internet Archive is a San Francisco–based nonprofit digital library with the stated mission of "universal access to all knowledge." It provides free public access to collections of digitized materials, including websites, software applications/games, music, movies/videos, moving images, and nearly three million public-domain books. As of October 2016, its collection topped 15 petabytes. In addition to its archiving function, the Archive is an activist organization, advocating for a free and open Internet.
The Internet Archive allows the public to upload and download digital material to its data cluster, but the bulk of its data is collected automatically by its web crawlers, which work to preserve as much of the public web as possible. Its web archive, the Wayback Machine, contains more than 308 billion web captures. The Archive also oversees one of the world's largest book digitization projects.
Founded by Brewster Kahle in May 1996, the Archive is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit operating in the United States. It has an annual budget of $10 million, derived from a variety of sources: revenue from its Web crawling services, various partnerships, grants, donations, and the Kahle-Austin Foundation.Its headquarters are in San Francisco, California. Most of its staff work in its book-scanning centers. The Archive has data centers in three Californian cities: San Francisco, Redwood City, and Richmond. To prevent losing the data in case of e.g. a natural disaster, the Archive attempts to create copies of (parts of) the collection at more distant locations, currently including the Bibliotheca Alexandrina in Egypt and a facility in Amsterdam. The Archive is a member of the International Internet Preservation Consortium and was officially designated as a library by the state of California in 2007.
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