Hamilton Public Library donates important collection to Internet Archive

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Published May 28, 2021 at 11:43 am

The Hamilton Public Library (HPL) has made a donation to the Internet Archive that will see one of its important collections digitized and shared with the rest of the world.

The collection of more than 1,000 books about 18th and 19th Century theatre was gifted to HPL in 1984 from a university drama professor, and it provides insight on lighting and staging, and the history of travelling troupes, scenic design, actors and playwrights and architecture of British and American theatres.

“Through our partnership, we are so appreciative the Internet Archive is able to make the collection available to the world 24/7,” said Lisa Radha Weaver, director of Collections and Program Development at HPL, in a press release issued last week.

The Internet Archive is a digital library that provides free public access to collections of digitized materials, including websites, software applications/games, music, movies/videos, moving images and millions of books.

Once the books are digitized, the original books will be put in long-term storage and the digital books will be made available through controlled digital lending.

“This helps achieve one of the original promises of the internet, as a vehicle for democratizing thought — making knowledge as broadly accessible as possible by removing geographical and physical barriers,” said Ryan Johnston, HPL’s archivist, in the release.

The Internet Archive was founded in 1996 is one of the largest libraries in the world and home of the Wayback Machine, a repository of 475 billion web pages.

“We are delighted to receive this donation of theatre books from Hamilton Public Library,” said Brewster Kahle, founder of the Internet Archive and digital librarian.

“Having the full, curated collection to preserve and digitize means readers all around the world will have access to a comprehensive set of resources, built with care by librarians and subject specialists.”

The Internet Archive can be found here, and to learn more about the Hamilton Public Library and its programming, visit the HPL website.

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