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ibiblio: Pioneering Collaboration of Electronic Librarianship, Journalism and Telecommunications


In 1992 the School of Information and Library Science and the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at The University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill founded an archive and information sharing environment designed to be "contributor-driven and content-managed." Originally one of the SunSITES, sponsored by Sun Microsystems, it was a pioneering collaboration of electronic librarianship, journalism and telecommunication.

"After living under the name MetaLab for a period of time, the environment is now known as ibiblio. It has grown to host one of the Internet's most active and respected software archives, coexisting with music archives, large text database projects, and special exhibits. The diverse management and content models of ibiblio complement and inform each other to give users the most useful and relevant information about a variety of topics. Examples include: single content manager archives ranging from folk music to travelogues, academic and librarian-managed archives, historical enthusiast-managed archives such as the Pearl Harbor archives, author-managed archives involving over 100 active authors with special interests such as the Linux Documentation Project.

"Through these different types of archive models, the resources available on ibiblio range from free applications and operating systems software to graphics and art, from fiction, poetry, literature, and music to religion, politics and cultural studies. ibiblio also offers streaming audio and video. ibiblio currently averages about 1.5 million information requests a day." (ibiblio, accessed 03-19-2009).


When I revisited the site in August 2019 I found the following description of ibiblio:

"Home to one of the largest “collections of collections” on the Internet, is an online public library with freely available software and information, for topics such as music, literature, art, history, science, politics, and cultural studies. With between 12 million to 16 million worldwide transactions per day, it is a resource used frequently by audiences of all interests and backgrounds."

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