ibiblio, a collaboration between the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and the Center for the Public Domain, has served as a vehicle for knowledge sharing since 1992, first as an original Sun Microsystems SunSITE, then
as Metalab, finally resting on the ibiblio name in 2000. ibiblio is a free and vibrant exchange of ideas among a large community of contributors who share their knowledge across disciplines, and is one of the major distribution hubs for Linux software, and has been a significant supporter of Linux development efforts since its inception.
As ibiblio enters its second decade of service to the internet community, it continues to be one of the strongest voices advocating for freedom and openness on the Net. The evolving Internet has created new opportunities to share knowledge, and ibiblio has continually supported those efforts by hosting open source software initiatives and by providing space for non-commercial web sites which further scholarship and utilize technology in innovative and unique ways.
Imagine being able to walk into your local library and view, on demand and without charge, not only every imaginable written text, but also music and poetry archives, African American authors, American history, sports statistics, philosophy of religion, Italian literature, large text database projects, software archives, and more. ibiblio is a place where those things happen. However, the average municipal public library receives a few hundred visitors a week. ibiblio.org averages 5 million information requests per day, and the contributor-maintained collections are continually expanding.
Users in China studying American poetry or folk music can access ibiblio.org and find a vast collection of poems
or songs. They can listen to the performances of musical artists, read their biographies, download their sheet music, reference secondary criticism, and submit their own research papers to the collection. A veteran of World War II from anywhere in the world can access and contribute to the enthusiast-managed Pearl Harbor archives, joining the virtual dialogue on the topic. Most significantly, patrons can submit their own contributions to this ongoing international dialog of shared knowledge. Building on the open source software development model, ibiblio encourages users to help shape the way information is managed and accessed in the 21st century.
During the month of October the main ibiblio page will feature links to some of the longest-lived collections, including Project Gutenberg, the Web Museum, Roger McGuinn's Folkden and many others.