Norway is working on taking the digital library concept to a whole new level
As Norway tops the ranking in a number of country indices (such as the 2017 Democracy Index) and its government seems to have no economic worries, it does not come as a surprise that a major culture-related project that will take over four decades to be completed has been up and running for 12 years already. The target of this project? To create a digital archive containing EVERYTHING that was ever published in Norway, an effort that has already generated over 8 petabytes of data.
The digital library mentioned above currently contains over 540,000 books, 1,300,000 photos, over 2,000,000 newspapers, and more. Before being stored, they have been mass-scanned and OCR-processed, so the text contents of the entire library can be searchable. Once it reaches the end — an event estimated to take place in about 30 years — this project will be full of ancient manuscripts and texts, posters, broadcasts, and also movies, maps, and all .no websites (over 24 billion web pages have been added to the collection already).
According to Svein Arne Solbakk, department director for digital library development at the National Library of Norway, the aforementioned data collection amounted to 8.1 PB as of early September, and each day between 5 TB and 10 TB is being added. Managing this impressive amount of data over such a long period comes with its challenges, but we think that Norway can get the task done. Now, we just need to hang around for another 30 years to see the result and hope that no apocalyptic event stops this project.