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Meet the 1,300 librarians racing to back up Ukraine’s digital archives

Washington Post: “Buildings, bridges, and monuments aren’t the only cultural landmarks vulnerable to war. With the violence well into its second month, the country’s digital history — its poems, archives, and pictures — are at risk of being erased as cyberattacks and bombs erode the nation’s servers. Over the past month, a motley group of more than 1,300 librarians, historians, teachers and young children have banded together to save Ukraine’s Internet archives, using technology to back up everything from census data to children’s poems and Ukrainian basket weaving techniques. The efforts, dubbed Saving Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Online, have resulted in over 2,500 of the country’s museums, libraries, and archives being preserved on servers they’ve rented, eliminating the risk they’ll be lost forever. Now, an all-volunteer effort has become a lifeline for cultural officials in Ukraine, who are working with the group to digitize their collections in the event their facilities get destroyed in the war…

In little over a month, volunteers have backed up an exhaustive array of data. According to their website and organizers, volunteers have preserved documents totaling 25 terabytes that include the history of Jewish towns in Ukraine, photographs of excavation sites in Crimea, and digitized exhibitions of Kharkiv’s Literary Museum…”

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