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Internet Archive Scanning Center Fire Destroys $600,000 Equipment

A fire erupted at the Internet archive scanning center in San Francisco destroys equipment of $600,000. No lives were lost and there was no irreparable loss of property and data. But company seeks donations to rebuild the building and scanning capabilities in books, microfilm, and movies.

Nov 7 2013, 6:51am CST | by

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Internet Archive Scanning Center Fire Destroys $600,000 Equipments
Image Credit: Internet Archive Blog
 
 

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Internet Archive Scanning Center Fire Destroys $600,000 Equipment

The Internet Archive’s resources are saved in various archive centers spread throughout the United States. That is the reason the fire that blazed in the wee hours of the dawn harmed no one and neither did it destroy valuable information. The company states in official blog, "This morning at about 3:30 a.m. a fire started at the Internet Archive’s San Francisco scanning center.  The good news is that no one was hurt and no data was lost."

However, the high end digitization equipment that got engulfed in the flames amounted to a loss of $600,000. It is sheer luck that all that was lost is retrievable through other databases elsewhere. But the company need donations for that. Internet Archive states in its blog, "Your donations will help us rebuild the scanning capabilities in books, microfilm, and movies."

As for the San Francisco Fire Department, it did a superb job of dousing the conflagration. The incident is a grave reminder that auxiliary copies of highly valued data ought to always be kept in case of an emergency. And the scanning premises need to be renovated of course. 

It makes for a scary story alright. If a vast swathe of the Internet info were to go up in flames, it would be a disaster of the biggest kind. Imagine the people and institutions that would lose their daily livelihood thanks to this tragedy. Keeping that in mind, efforts are underway to keep the knowledge stored in various locations instead of at a single spot. Instead of keeping all your eggs in one basket, this multiple area strategy is not only safer but far more practical. Otherwise, the damage wreaked by any calamity could lead to a major shutdown of cyberspace.    

You can donate here to help Internet Archive rebuild its scanning capabilities and building.

 

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/20" rel="author">Sumayah Aamir</a>
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