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Brewster Kahle

Public Access to Digital Materials

November 20, 2002

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View Webcast (1 hour, 26 minutes)

A cybercast of Mr. Kahle's lecture was presented live on Wednesday, November 20th from 10:30am-12:00noon.

Brewster Kalhle, gesturingThe audience Brewster Kahle, speaking
(Above - pictures from the lecture. L-R - Brewster Kahle gesturing, The audience, Brewster Kahle speaking).


View Lecture Slides (in Microsoft PowerPoint - are also viewable within the cybercast presentation)

The goal of universal access to our cultural heritage is within our grasp. With current digital technology we can build comprehensive collections, and with digital networks we can make these available to students and scholars all over the world. The current challenge is establishing the roles, rights, and responsibilities of our libraries and archives in providing public access to this information. With these roles defined, our institutions will help fulfill this epic opportunity of our digital age.


Brewster Kahle, Digital Librarian, Director and Co-founder of the Internet Archive (, has been working to provide universal access to all human knowledge for more than fifteen years.

Since the mid-1980s, Kahle has focused on developing transformational technologies for information discovery and digital libraries. In 1989 Kahle invented the Internet’s first publishing system, WAIS (Wide Area Information Server) system and in 1989, founded WAIS Inc., a pioneering electronic publishing company that was sold to America Online in 1995. In 1996, Kahle founded the Internet Archive, the largest publicly accessible, privately funded digital archive in the world. At the same time, he co-founded Alexa Internet in April 1996, which was sold to in 1999. Alexa's services are bundled into more than 80% of Web browsers.

Kahle earned a B.S. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1982. As a student, he studied artificial intelligence with Marvin Minsky and W. Daniel Hillis. In 1983, Kahle helped start Thinking Machines, a parallel supercomputer maker, serving there as lead engineer for six years. He is profiled in Digerati: Encounters with the Cyber Elite (HardWired, 1996). He was selected as a member of the Upside 100 in 1997, Micro Times 100 in 1996 and 1997, and Computer Week 100 in 1995.


Internet Archive 1996-present
Director, Co-Founder
Alexa Internet 1996-2002
President, CEO, Co-Founder (sold to
National Digital Strategy Advisory Board April 2001
The Library of Congress
America Online 1995-1996
Internet Strategist
Wide Area Information Servers, Inc (WAIS) 1992-1995
Founder, President (sold to AOL)
WAIS Inventor and Project Leader 1989-1992
at Thinking Machines with Apple, Dow Jones, KPMG
Thinking Machines 1983-1992
Scientist. Helped start company, chips, boards, architected CPU of CM2


Kahle, B., Prelinger, R. & Jackson, M.E. “Public Access To Digital Material” D-Lib Magazine, October 2001, Vol. 7, No. 10

Lyman, P. & Kahle, B. “Archiving Digital Cultural Artifacts: Organizing an Agenda for Action”, D-Lib Magazine, July/August 1998

Kahle, B. “Archiving the Net”, Scientific American March 1997


PAT. NO. Title
6,282,548 Automatically generate and displaying metadata as supplemental information concurrently with the web page, there being no link between web page and metadata
5,530,809 Router for parallel computer including arrangement for redirecting messages
5,148,547 Method and apparatus for interfacing bit-serial parallel processors to a co-processor
5,117,420 Method and apparatus for routing message packets
5,050,069 Method and apparatus for simulating m-dimension connection networks in and n-dimension network where m is less than n
4,984,235 Method and apparatus for routing message packets and recording the roofing sequence
4,870,568 Method for searching a database system including parallel processors
4,827,403 Virtual processor techniques in a SIMD multiprocessor array
4,805,173 Error control method and apparatus
4,805,091 Method and apparatus for interconnecting processors in a hyper-dimensional array
4,773,038 Method of simulating additional processors in a SIMD parallel processor array
4,709,327 Parallel processor/memory circuit


International Symposium On Web Archiving January 30, 2002
“Web Resources as Cultural Heritage”

ASIS&T, Opening Keynote November 2001
“Universal Access to Human Knowledge”

JCDL, Opening Keynote June 2001
“Public Access to Digital Material”

Association of Research Libraries May 24, 2001
“Born Digital Scholarly Resources”

Australian Library and Information Association Conference October 24, 2000
“Digital Libraries”

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