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Internet Archive’s office catches fire, but Wayback Machine escapes unharmed

Ever wondered what Yahoo looked like in 1996, or whether that kooky old website you found back in high school is still up? If you, so might’ve used the Internet Archive and its Wayback Machine to track down both of those things. Unfortunately, the Internet Archive was literally under fire, and could use your help.

A non-profit group that archives and saves millions of webpages, books, movies, music and more, the Internet Archive suffered a fire early Thursday morning at one of its buildings in San Francisco. Don’t fret though, the Internet Archive wrote on its official blog that no data has been lost.

“This episode has reminded us that digitizing and making copies are good strategies for both access and preservation,” Internet Archive founder Brewster Kahle wrote on the Internet Archive’s blog.  “We have copies of the data in the Internet Archive in multiple locations, so even if our main building had been involved in the fire we still would not have lost the amazing content we have all worked so hard to collect.”

Kahle also states that “early estimates” indicate that the fire caused a rough total of $600,000 worth of damage to Internet Archive equipment. The blaze toasted not only the structure, but “high end digitizing equipment” as well.

The Internet Archive is currently seeking funds to help bring its book, movie, and microfilm scanning capabilities back up to speed. If you’d like to donate to their rebuilding efforts, you can do so here.

Look at it this way: you’d be helping to preserve history.

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