Print 13 comment(s) - last by Stuka.. on Nov 10 at 11:44 AM

Internet Archive scanning facility destroyed

The Internet Archive, the non-profit organization that runs the Wayback Machine, had a fire at one of its San Francisco locations. The organization says that no data was lost, but it has sustained a significant amount of damage to its scanning operations.

Early estimates put the cost of repairs to the building and replacing destroyed equipment at about $600,000.

The fire reportedly broke out about 3:30 AM on November 6 at the scanning center and luckily no one was hurt. The main building was left untouched with one electrical run being damaged. The majority of the damage was confined to the scanning center.

The official blog post at the Internet Archive explained, "The San Francisco Fire Department was fast and great. Our city supervisor and a representative of the mayor’s office have come by to check up on us. There has been a pulling together on the Internet as news has spread."

"This episode has reminded us that digitizing and making copies are good strategies for both access and preservation.  We have copies of the data in the Internet Archive in multiple locations, so even if our main building had been involved in the fire we still would not have lost the amazing content we have all worked so hard to collect."

The people behind the project are calling for help from the community with funding to help rebuild scanning capabilities for books, microfilm, and movies. They're also asking for help with scanning equipment to keep employees working until the facility can be rebuilt

Sources:, BBC News

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a setback
By chromal on 11/7/2013 11:54:21 AM , Rating: 2
Hopefully covered by insurance. Good luck to everyone involved in getting back up to full speed digitization at the fire-damaged facility, I'm glad nobody was hurt.

RE: a setback
By Argon18 on 11/7/2013 1:43:22 PM , Rating: 5
What do you mean 'hopefully'? Only an idiot would have $600,000 in equipment and not bother insuring it.

RE: a setback
By Strunf on 11/8/2013 10:15:11 AM , Rating: 2
An Idiot? Many/Most companies do not insure all the equipment they have but only a part of it, the premise being that the likelihood they have a fire is quite low let a long one that will destroy everything, also PCs and other electronic equipments lose value so fast that it may not even be worth insuring them in the first place.
I doubt $600,000 is the total value they had in equipment/furniture but more like the amount that wasn't covered by the insurance.

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