Preserving knowledge for our children's children - and beyond

CANARIE enables University of Toronto Libraries to add half a million books to the Internet Archive and make them available to all Canadians

OTTAWA, April 19 /CNW Telbec/ - From the first stone tablets and scratches on cave walls, humans have been determined to preserve our store of knowledge. At the University of Toronto Libraries, the tradition continues as a portion of their vast holdings are digitized and preserved through an initiative with the Internet Archive ( The University of Toronto library team sends approximately one terabyte of data, in the form of scanned books, per day to the Internet Archive via the CANARIE network. A terabyte is one trillion bytes of data, equivalent to 1,000 copies of the Encyclopedia Brittanica. This data transfer would not be possible on the commercial Internet, as the size of these files would take up too much bandwidth and potentially bring down the network.

"This initiative has enabled the University of Toronto to transform its libraries into focal points for research collaboration and work hubs that create new opportunities for students, staff, and faculty, and that enable the Ontario and world communities to take advantage of the extraordinary resources in our libraries' holdings", notes Marshall Clinton, Director, Information Technology Services, University of Toronto Libraries.

"The backbone CANARIE network allows us to devote our energies and funds to improving access and delivery to a wide range of materials," adds Margaret Grove, current Chair of the Ontario Council of University Libraries. "Through digitization and other initiatives, we ensure that our universities' digital library holdings are both easily accessible and safely preserved for future generations."

Thus far, 250,000 of the University of Toronto Library's books have been digitized, with a goal of preserving 250,000 more in the archive.

Via the Internet Archive, all Canadians with an Internet connection can access the University of Toronto's digitized material, as well as material from (among others) the libraries of Penn State, University of California, The British Library and the Boston Library Consortium.

"The range of activities enabled by CANARIE is quite astounding", notes Jim Roche, President and CEO of CANARIE. "Providing Canadians with an ability to store and preserve our knowledge heritage is just one benefit of CANARIE. CANARIE also supports a wide range of scientists, researchers and educators by providing the bedrock digital infrastructure that enables innovation across economic, social and cultural domains."


CANARIE Inc. is Canada's Advanced Research and Innovation Network. Established in 1993, CANARIE manages an ultra high-speed network, hundreds of times faster than the internet, which facilitates leading-edge research and big science across Canada and around the world. More than 39,000 researchers at nearly 200 Canadian universities and colleges use the CANARIE Network, as well as researchers at institutes, hospitals, and government laboratories throughout the country. The CANARIE Network enables researchers to share and analyze massive amounts of data, which can lead to ground-breaking scientific discoveries. CANARIE's network, programs, and strategic partnerships with 12 regional networks in Canada, and 100 international networks in more than 80 countries, stimulate research that delivers economic, social, and cultural benefits to Canadians.

CANARIE is a non-profit corporation supported by membership fees, with major funding of its programs and activities provided by the Government of Canada. For additional information, please visit:


For further information: For further information: Kathryn Anthonisen, Director of Communications, CANARIE, (613) 943-5374,

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