Internet Archive Collection Development Policy

1. Introduction

The Internet Archive Library Collection Development Policy outlines the principles, guidelines, and procedures for the acquisition, management, and preservation of materials within the collections of the Internet Archive, a non-profit research library. This policy aims to ensure that the Archive’s research collections are diverse, comprehensive, and aligned with its mission of providing “Universal Access to All Knowledge.”

2. Scope

As a research library, the Internet Archive works to collect and provide online access to a wide range of materials, including texts, audio, video, images, web pages, software, and more. The scope of the collections shall be broad, covering various subjects, historical periods, and cultural contexts. The primary focus of the Internet Archive is to preserve and provide access to materials of enduring value for research, education, and public interest.

3. Selection Criteria

Materials eligible for inclusion in the Internet Archive’s collections should meet the following criteria:

a) Research Interest: The material should be of interest and value to researchers, historians, scholars, people with print disabilities, and the general public.

b) Relevance: The material should align with the Internet Archive’s mission and scope, including but not limited to historical, cultural, scientific, and artistic significance.

c) Originality: Preference will be given to unique, rare, or hard-to-find materials that are not widely available elsewhere.

d) Format: The Internet Archive collects materials in various formats, including text, audio, video, images, web pages, software, and more.

4. Collection Development Areas

The Internet Archive’s collections are organized into the following development areas, which serve as guidelines for acquiring and preserving materials:

a) Web Archiving: A continuous effort to preserve web pages, websites, and online content to document the evolution of the internet.

b) Historical Documents: Texts, images, and multimedia materials that provide valuable insights into historical events, cultural heritage, and societal changes.

c) Books and Serials: A comprehensive collection of monographic and serial publications, enabling access to a vast repository of published literature and knowledge.

d) Audio and Music: A diverse collection of audio recordings, music albums, interviews, podcasts, and speeches.

e) Video and Moving Images: A wide range of audiovisual content, including television news, documentaries, newsreels, public domain films, and web videos.

f) Software and Games: A collection of software, applications, and games spanning various platforms and historical periods.

g) Datasets: Research data and other materials for computational analysis.

5. Collection Development Process

a) Material Acquisition: The Internet Archive sources materials from multiple channels, including purchase, direct contributions from individuals, partnerships with institutions, and web crawling for web archiving.

b) Preservation and Access: The Internet Archive follows best practices in digital preservation to ensure long-term accessibility of materials. Efforts are made to provide open access to the collections, while respecting copyright and licensing restrictions.

c) Deaccessioning: Materials may be removed from the collections or made inaccessible for use by the public, in the Internet Archive’s discretion and in light of its mission.

6. Collaboration and Partnerships

The Internet Archive actively seeks collaboration and partnerships with libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural institutions to enhance its collections and facilitate knowledge sharing.

7. Review and Revision

This Collection Development Policy shall be reviewed periodically to ensure its relevance and effectiveness in achieving the Internet Archive’s mission. Amendments and updates will be made as necessary and approved by the Internet Archive’s leadership.

Last updated August 29, 2023