NYT on Carl Malamud's International Amateur Scanning League

Brian Stelter of the New York Times reports on the International Amateur Scanning League, consisting of volunteers who are copying the 3,000 DVDs at the National Archives and Records Administration. The videos will be uploaded to the net for all to enjoy.
Iasl.Banner.WebDust off a disc. Maybe it's video of a Bob Hope Christmas show, or maybe it's the Apollo 11 moon landing. Insert a blank disc. Duplicate.

It sounds monotonous because it is. But every time Liz Pruszko presses the start button on a DVD machine, she knows she is helping to unlock the thousands of videos tucked away in the National Archives.

"It just seems like such a shame to not have this content out there," Ms. Pruszko said.

When she says "out there," she is talking about the Web, where it might seem that every conceivable video clip of federal importance is already stored, just waiting to be searched for. That is far from true. But she is nudging the government in that direction.

Ms. Pruszko is a volunteer for the International Amateur Scanning League, an invention of the longtime public information advocate Carl Malamud. The league plans to upload the archives' collection of 3,000 DVDs in what Mr. Malamud calls an "experiment in crowd-sourced digitization."

International Amateur Scanning League makes obscure DVDs available online (Thanks, Steve Silberman!)


  1. Um, if these are on DVDs, aren’t they already digitized? Something’s wrong here…

    And why can’t the copiers simply upload the content to YouTube (or the more appropriate IMO archive.org) themselves, instead of having to buy media, burn copies, and ship them to California? It’d not only be cheaper but also faster.

Comments are closed.