Inside a former S.F. church, a battle for the future of knowledge

My February 22, 2022 book culture column for the San Francisco Chronicle:

You may have passed the white Classic Revival building at 300 Funston St. with its massive columns, maybe even wondered what goes on inside. ¶ Built in 1923 as a Christian Science church, it was bought in 2009 by the Internet Archive. The mission of the IA sounds both magnificent and impossible: “To provide universal access to all knowledge,” according to founder Brewster Kahle. That translates to creating a digital library of internet sites and other cultural artifacts, including books, music and TV shows in digital form. The archive provides free access to researchers, historians, scholars, people with print disabilities and the general public.

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