NASA and Internet Archive of San Francisco are partnering to scan, archive and manage the agency's vast collection of photographs, historic film and video. The imagery will be available through the Internet and free to the public, historians, scholars, students, and researchers.
Currently, NASA has more than 20 major imagery collections online. With this partnership, those collections will be made available through a single, searchable "one-stop-shop" archive of NASA imagery.
"Making NASA's important scientific and space exploration imagery available and easily accessible online to all is a service of tremendous value to America, and we're pleased to partner with the experts at Internet Archive to accomplish this effort," said Robert Hopkins, chief of strategic communications at NASA Headquarters, Washington.
NASA selected Internet Archive, a nonprofit organization, as a partner for digitizing and distributing agency imagery through a competitive process. The two organizations are teaming through a non-exclusive Space Act agreement to help NASA consolidate and digitize its imagery archives at no cost to the agency.
"We're dedicated to making all human knowledge available in the digital realm," said Brewster Kahle, digital librarian and founder of Internet Archive. "The educational value of the images NASA has collected during the course of its five decades of scientific discovery is unprecedented. Digitizing NASA's imagery is a big step in Internet Archive's ongoing efforts to digitize a vast spectrum of content and make it freely accessible to the public in an easily searched online destination."
Under the terms of this five-year agreement, Internet Archive will digitize, host and manage still, moving and computer-generated imagery produced by NASA. In the first year, Internet Archive will consolidate NASA's major imagery collections. In the second year, digital imagery will be added to the archive. In the third year, NASA and Internet Archive will identify analog imagery to be digitized and added to this online collection.
In addition, Internet Archive will work with NASA to create a system through which new imagery will be captured, catalogued and included in the online archive automatically. To open this wealth of knowledge to people worldwide, Internet Archive will provide free public access to the online imagery, including downloads and search tools.
The imagery archive also may include other historically significant material such as audio files, printed documents and computer presentations.
NASA photo of the Red Planet, Mars.