Over the past couple of weeks, The Internet Archive has already been uploading content behind the scenes, and today we are very excited to officially launch them into The Commons.
The Internet Archive (IA) is best known for its historical library of the web, preserving more than 400 billion web pages dating back to 1996. Yet, its 19 petabytes include more than 600 million pages of digitized texts dating back more than 500 years.
What would it look like if those 600 million pages could be “read” completely differently? What if every illustration, drawing, chart, map, or photograph became an entry point, allowing one to navigate the world’s books not as paragraphs of text, but as a visual tapestry of our lives? How would we learn and explore knowledge differently? Those were the questions that launched a project to catalog the imagery of half a millennium of books.
The Internet Archive processed more than 2 million volumes from its digital archive, compiling more than 14 million high resolution images spanning nearly every topic imaginable. Each image includes detailed descriptions, including the subject tags of the book it came from and the text immediately surrounding it on the page. The latter is especially powerful, as it allows to keyword search 500 years of images, instantly accessing particular topics or themes.
Searching for love yields a myriad images of cherubs and courtship, while mortis (death) offers a glimpse into the early modern period’s fascination with the subject. A search for bird offers a vividly colorful showcase of the world’s bird species, while searching for telephone traces the invention’s history from its introduction as an electric novelty to its widespread adoption.
There are fifteen punctuation marks in the English language, each of which serves a variety of purposes. A couple months ago, I charted each of the fifteen punctuation marks in order of how much each punctuation mark does. As insightful as that may (or may not) have been, that chart didn't provide an example for all the ways to use punctuation marks. So my solution? I wrote a sentence for every single way to use each of the punctuation marks. And what better thing to write about in each sentence than America's favorite food?
Though at times it may not feel like it, we're not as isolated as we imagine. Reading about characters who confront and overcome similar predicaments and hurdles reminds us that there's always a way through and that we can all survive, and actually e...
Closing school libraries and cutting certified librarian positions does not make sense, says YA author and advocate Sarah Darer Littman, who has backed this assertion with research she cites in an open letter to policy makers.
Waldkindergartens, an all-outdoor kindergarten in Switzerland/Rona RIchter For the typical American kindergartner, unstructured free play during the school day consists of 20 to 30 minutes of recess,...
Our goal is to develop independence in young authors We all have stories to tell. Regardless if our stories are told orally, through body language, or written composition, students need to feel ownership and validation in their work.
If there’s one phrase I dislike more than the latest company touting itself as the “Netflix for books,” it’s when the retort is that such a thing already exists and it’s called the library. The library is not a Netflix for books.
The deep reading of books and the information-driven reading we do on the web are very different, both in the experience they produce and in the capacities they develop. Recent research has demonstrated that deep reading—slow, immersive, rich in sensory detail and emotional and moral complexity—is a distinctive experience, different in kind from the mere decoding of words.
As part of the lead up to their album Ghost Stories—which drops on May 16—Coldplay has launched a global treasure hunt. In nine libraries around the world, they’ve put lyric sheets corresponding with songs from album inside of actual ghost novels.