Announcing the Decentralised Public Library!

Today we are thrilled to announce a brand new initiative — the Decentralised Public Library (DPL)! A component of the wider Arweave project, the DPL will be laser-focused on creating a truly permanent hand-curated archive of human history.

The DPL will permanently preserve vital pieces of human knowledge, utilising the unique features of the blockweave to safeguard this data, ensuring reliable access for all future generations.

Why launch the DPL?

Simply put, information in archives, libraries, data centres, online, and even in our own homes is surprisingly vulnerable to accidental or intentional damage and loss. Just like any physical building, libraries, archives, and data centres suffer from fires, theft, and natural disasters, despite their best efforts.

Results of a fire in the Institute of Scientific Information on Social Sciences of Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, on the 31st January 2015

Sadly, even using a cloud storage service doesn’t guarantee your data’s safety. With a cloud provider, your data can become inaccessible, changed, or even lost for a lot of different reasons, including if:

So, although cloud storage services are simple to use, they don’t provide a truly reliable and permanent means of securing humanity’s collective knowledge-base.

As well as accidental damage, information is also vulnerable to purposeful attack. For example, there are many examples from history when information in archives and libraries has been censored and destroyed by government or other political forces. Sadly, these problems continue today. For example, the Cambridge University Press complied with a branch of the Chinese government and censored hundreds of academic articles, which now can’t be accessed from China.

Before (top) and after (bottom) secret police official Nikolai Yezhov was removed from official images by USSR government censors, following his fall from Stalin’s favour.

If you’re interested in how Arweave combats political censorship, check out this talk by our CEO Sam Williams titled ‘Fighting Authoritarianism With Blockchain and Blockweaves’.

Therefore, although many organisations collect and store information, traditional technology can’t guarantee the safety of this data for future generations.

The DPL will solve this problem by utilising Arweave’s decentralised blockweave technology, to build a permanent archive of human knowledge and history!

To learn more about how the blockweave works, you can check out our explanatory blog post here.

What is the goal of the DPL?

In short, the goal of the DPL is to ‘defeat data death’ — that is, to prevent the accidental or intentional loss of information from human consciousness. We want to make information immortal, and we have the technology available to do so.

The DPL work closely with large information sources such as libraries and archives, but also with small and unique sources of primary data sources. For example, if you or a family member have a special collection of documents — perhaps your grandfather’s war diaries, an array of vintage newspapers, or even an old hard drive stocked full of internet memes — the DPL will want to speak with you! The aim is to make the process cost-free, simple, and convenient for those providing data, making it easy as possible to get this information preserved. The aim is to collect a wide array of data from across the globe, though for practicality reasons we will focus on English-language data sources initially, looking at expansion in the future.

The Arweave project itself will donate storage space on the blockweave for use by the DPL, offering the permanent back-up of historically important or obscure data at no additional cost.

How does this affect AR token holders?

As the DPL matures and grows, more and more valuable data will be held on the blockweave and will be intrinsically linked to the AR tokens that you hold. This will drive further growth, adoption, and awareness, especially when information has been altered or removed elsewhere on the internet, but remains in its original form on the weave. In turn, increased awareness will bring even more archivers storing information, developers creating apps, and more miners providing vital storage!

We firmly believe that this will boost mainstream awareness of Arweave as the blockweave becomes the primary, most reliable source of historically and socially important information. This feeds into the long-term mission of the wider Arweave project — the creation of a truly permanent hand-curated archive of human history.

If you have interesting data that you think the DPL should store, please get in touch! You can drop us an email at any time — we would love to speak to you!

If you are interested in reading more about how Arweave achieves truly permanent data store in a ‘pay once, access forever’ model, check out our explanatory blog post here!

As always, if you want to keep up to date with the Arweave project follow us here on Medium and also over on Twitter.


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