Filecoin Foundation and FFDW Team Up with the Internet Archive to Preserve Government Datasets in New ‘Democracy’s Library’ Initiative

Apr 21, 2023

Filecoin Foundation and Filecoin Foundation for the Decentralized Web (FFDW) have announced that they will be teaming up with the Internet Archive to support the Archive’s new Democracy’s Library project. This initiative will create a free, open collection of government data that will ensure that government research and publications from around the world remain permanently accessible to the public.

The Internet Archive has spent the past 26 years building the world’s largest digital library. Democracy’s Library is an extension of that effort, and the Archive has committed to working with government agencies, libraries, and universities to preserve government data online.

This week in San Francisco, Marta Belcher, president and chair of Filecoin Foundation and FFDW, took the stage with Brewster Kahle, founder of the Internet Archive, to discuss the vision for Democracy’s Library and how decentralized technologies can ensure that collections of government data are preserved into the future and accessible to everyone.

Working hand-in-hand with the Internet Archive, the Filecoin Foundation and FFDW will help to store these collections on decentralized technologies like the Filecoin network to ensure robust and secure long-term preservation, in line with the Foundation’s mission to preserve humanity’s most important information. This builds on the Filecoin Foundation’s other work with the Internet Archive.

“Today, books, newspapers, research, and more sit behind paywalls. Our dominant information ecosystem is one of scarcity — it’s time to rethink that, especially when it comes to public data,” said Brewster Kahle, founder of the Internet Archive. “Governments spend exorbitant amounts of taxpayer dollars to publish documents and educate their citizens, but this information is not always accessible. Democracy’s Library is a vision — to bring that ongoing investment from governments around the world to the internet generation. It will leverage technology to build an information ecosystem of abundance — where information can be uncovered, unlocked, and reused in new and different ways. This is a stepping stone to citizens who are more empowered and more engaged.”

The first initiative between Filecoin Foundation, FFDW, and the Internet Archive to advance the Democracy’s Library project will focus on the collection, preservation, and accessibility of U.S. and Canadian government documents in partnership with the Internet Archive Canada.

This collaboration dovetails with Filecoin Foundation’s Public Data Commons initiative, a program focused on making storage for government datasets across the globe more resilient, permanent, and cost-effective using the Filecoin network

“On today’s internet, data is stored by just a few intermediaries, making our data vulnerable to single points of failure,” said Marta Belcher, chair and president of Filecoin Foundation and FFDW. “The decentralized web offers an alternative in which the availability of information is not dependent on one company or server. This provides a more robust and resilient platform for humanity’s most important information, including precious government datasets that belong in the hands of the public. We are delighted to support the Internet Archive’s efforts to build Democracy’s Library to ensure free, open access to government datasets for all.”