New Trend: Storing Paper Copies of E-Books

[image]-Laptop computer with colored books

The e-book revolution had us thinking we’d never need bookshelves again, but librarians and digital storage experts are becoming concerned that digital media won’t have the same long-term stability that paper has. After all, paper from ancient Egypt has survived through thousands of years and is still readable today. But as e-readers and other electronic devices evolve, they may “orphan” the current data formats, leaving today’s readers and researchers with nothing but error messages.

The Internet Archive Project is addressing the longevity problem by printing out an archive copy of some 10 million e-books. Although project director Brewster Kahle prefers to discuss the reference value of an original printed work rather than the issue of fragile data, the fact remains that upward compatibility and unstable bits-and-bytes are an ongoing debate. And with storage space requirements of approximately 860 books per pallet, where will the Internet Archive store these millions of books? Read about the plan here:


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