The Internet Archive boasts a new Canadian headquarters.
The new space, on West Pender Street in Vancouver, is actually pretty old: from 1907, in fact. The building formerly housed the B.C. Permanent Loan Company and more recently has been used event venue for weddings and movies.
The headquarters will be as much a communal “gathering place” as a working hub, according to Brewster Kahle, who is in town from San Francisco for the company’s opening. That’s because a majority of Internet Archive’s workers are remote.
“It’s meant to be a place where people come together, about the social side, the moral side, of technology,” Kahle told the Vancouver Sun. “It’s a meeting space for gatherings, so parties, lectures, book talks.”
Kahle said he spent several months seeking out a space before stumbling across this one, which is known affectionally as “The Permanent” building.
“Really what we want is the social and community support space function,” he told the Sun. “The idea is to support what Vancouver is becoming [as] a high-tech hub.”
The Permanent lies in close proximity to the Vancouver Public Library and Simon Fraser University’s downtown campus, he notes—Internet Archive likes to partner with libraries and universities.
Kahle says Internet Archive has digitized books from nearly 300 Canadian libraries. Those digitized books have been downloaded more than half a billion times.
The Internet Archive has compiled 600 billion webpages, 14 million audio recordings, four million images, and nearly one million software programs—among other channels of information—since its founding in 1996.