100 Ceramic 'Archivists' are Celebrated in San Francisco

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The Internet Archive is housed in a wonderful San Francisco building that used to be a Christian Science church. In the pews along both sides of the large, skylight-lit auditorium, there is always a congregation: half-sized ceramic figures representing 100 “archivists” — people that contributed at least three years of service to the non-profit organization.

A recent reception honored Nuala Creed (above), the California artist, who created the figures over a five-year period. They were commissioned by Brewster Kahle (above), founder of the Internet Archive, following a visit to China and seeing the famous terra cotta warriors.

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The 100th ceramic figure is that of Aaron Swartz (above), a brilliant young software engineer, co-founder of Reddit,  and political activist, who took his own life last year following prosecution by the US government. It stands in the front pew next to the figure of Brewster Kahle.

The text on the computer screen reads:

Be curious. Read widely. Try more things. I think a lot of what people call intelligence just boils down to curiosity.

Aaron Swartz 1986 – 2013

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Please see:

To Those That Would Martyr Aaron Swartz: Where Were The Activists When He Needed Them? -SVW

Aaron Swartz Memorial in SF – Our First Digital Liberties Martyr? -SVW

 

Founded in 1996, the Internet Archive has an historical web collection (the Wayback Machine) of over 150 billion web pages, about 240,000 movies, over 500,000 audioitems (including over 70,000 live concerts), over 1,800,000 texts, 1600 education items, and over 30,000 software items.

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Non-ceramic audience (above).

The Internet Archive is housed in a wonderful San Francisco building that used to be a Christian Science church. In the pews along both sides of the large, skylight-lit auditorium, there is always a congregation: half-sized ceramic figures representing 100 “archivists” — people that contributed at least three years of service to the non-profit organization.

Tom Foremski
Tom Foremski is the Editor and Founder of the popular and top-ranked news site Silicon Valley Watcher, reporting on business and culture of innovation. He is a former journalist at the Financial Times and in 2004, became the first journalist from a leading newspaper to resign and become a full-time journalist blogger.

Tom has been reporting on Silicon Valley and the US tech industry since 1984 and has been named as one of the top 50 (#28) most influential bloggers in Silicon Valley. His current focus is on the convergence of media and technology — the making of a new era for Silicon Valley. He also writes a column at ZDNET.

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