Welcome to ibiblio!

Home to one of the largest “collections of collections” on the Internet, ibiblio.org 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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Learn more about ibiblio…

More than your average library
Who & Why
A pioneer from the start
Annual Reports
Awards & Recognitions

More Than Your Average Library

Imagine being able to walk into your local library and view, on demand, and without charge, not only every imaginable written text, but also music and poetry archives, African American authors, American history, sports statistics, philosophy of religion, Italian literature, large text database projects, software archives, and more.

Then imagine, in addition to being able to view the collection, you have the opportunity to critique it, expand it, or create and manage a new collection in your own area of interest. While such a feat is physically and fiscally beyond the scope of even the largest and most extraordinary physical library, ibiblio.org achieves such breadth and depth on the Internet.

Users in China studying American poetry or folk music can access ibiblio.org and find a vast collection of poems or songs. They can listen to the artist perform, read the biography, download sheet music, reference secondary criticism, and submit their own research papers to the collection.

A veteran of World War II from anywhere in the world can access and contribute to the enthusiast-managed Pearl Harbor archives, joining the virtual dialogue on the topic.

The average municipal public library receives a few hundred visitors a week. ibiblio.org averages 12 million to 16 million information requests per day.

A free and vibrant exchange of ideas among a large community of contributors who share their knowledge across disciplines, ibiblio.org uses the open source model to encourage users to help shape the way information is managed and accessed in the 21st century.

Who & Why

ibiblio.org was formed as a collaboration between the University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill‘s MetaLab, formerly known as SunSITE, and the Center for the Public Domain in September of 2000. At UNC-Chapel Hill, ibiblio is supported by the School of Journalism and Mass Communication and the School of Information and Library Science.

The collaboration has multiple components, including programs to:

  • Expand and improve the distribution of open source software;
  • Continue UNC’s programs to develop an online library and
  • Host and foster projects that expand the concepts of transparency
    and openness into new areas;
  • Create, expand, improve, publish, and distribute research
    on the open source communities;
  • Expand and improve the creation of and distribution of open
    source software and documentation;
  • Serve as a model for other open source projects.

A pioneer from the start
For more than 25 years, ibiblio.org has been on the forefront of some of technology’s greatest movements, including Internet radio. It began as one of the world’s first online libraries and as a way to share and support all kinds of free software. Today, it also hosts more than 2,500 non-software related projects.

From Project Gutenberg (the famous free book archive) to etree.org (where fans of tape-friendly bands share concert music), and from charities and non-profits both locally and worldwide (especially those of the Tibetan government in exile) to video documentaries of folk practice, ibiblio.org hosts one of the largest collections of collections on the Internet.

Today, ibiblio.org continues its role as a technology pioneer by expanding its realm from simply Web-based services–it is involved in Internet2 projects, 3-D environments and video archiving, and it supports NASA educational videos and the streaming of seven not-for-profit radio stations. ibiblio.org is also involved in free software development directly with several local projects as well as leadership in the Linux Documentation Project.

Annual Reports