Sunday, March 27, 2011

The Anarchist Library

About the project


IRC:, port 6697, SSL only, channel #library

The scope of the Anarchist Library project is enormous. It will be a central website for all anarchist texts. Our collection eventually will consist of every digitally-available anarchist book, essay, story and article. We will be using only Free Software and Open Formats to produce typographically accurate, easy to parse, clean textual treatments of anarchist texts.

There are many online archives of anarchist and anarchist-relevant texts, so why one more?

Many of the existing anarchist archives are sadly out of date, unattended, and use software and protocols that do not do a good job of presenting text.

By creating an environment where an active set of anarchists-who-love-text can work together on a) editing, b) tech coordination, and c) editorial decisions about content priorities, this website will avoid the problems encountered on the other archives. Our Anarchist Library working group enjoys each other, and our project, enough to continue to work on it for years to come.

Furthermore, we value the work of copy editors. We are in the early stages of cleaning some of the texts on the site, and will be fixing typos and contextual errors until the texts are perfect. The editors' keen eyes will help create high quality texts. Anarchist copy editors improve the overall content of anarchism, especially in print.

Too often anarchists put up static HTML pages (built using proprietary tools), use a service that forces you to agree to their "terms of service" (which can include geographical tracking, ownership of your content, marketing everything you do, etc) and/or, to make their texts pretty, rely on tools from the Adobe Corporation (which breaks the open pdf format). We like to do things differently. Our plan is to go slow-and-steady and use our own resources rather than a university's or corporation's. We will also fundraise to develop the infrastructure for this resource, and we will share our code, our work, and our time.

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