Everybody should have a backup, this includes company giants like Microsoft, Google, and even Apple. One of those companies that does some archiving is The Internet Archive.
In case you are not aware, The Internet Archive is an entity that takes archives of a myriad of websites in order to allow anybody to view what a website looked like at a particular point of time. Not every single webpage change is archived; however, it is rather compelling to see how a website changes over the course of several years.
As part of the Internet Archive’s efforts, they wish to archive digitally native materials. Some of these may include podcasts, videos and even e-books. In order to archive podcasts and videos you can burn them onto DVDs or store them onto hard drives. Despite how inexpensive these two storage mediums are, they are not permanent and the contents will need to be re-burned or re-saved at some point in the future.
E-books are another matter. There has been a method of storing written word that has endured for centuries, it’s called paper. Yes, the Internet Archive is going to print out a physical copy of e-books that they are archiving in order to preserve them for a significant amount of time. Given the proper climate paper can survive for centuries without the worry of deterioration.
Ultimately, The Internet Archive hopes to have a copy of every single book that has been published. They know this is almost certainly unattainable; however, if they can get to 10 Million volumes they will consider it a huge success. If you want to read the entire reasoning behind the Internet Archive’s decision you can do so at their blog.