A 30 million-page library is heading for the moon

A little lunar probe aboard Israel’s Beresheet spacecraft is carrying a 30 million-page archive of human knowledge etched into a DVD-size metal disc.
The Lunar Library, as the archive is known, constitutes a “civilization backup” to help ensure that our distant descendants never lose humanity’s collective wisdom, according to Nova Spivack, co-founder of Arch Mission Foundation, the Los Angeles-based nonprofit behind the project.
The foundation is building a space-based archive designed to survive for 6 billion years or more — a million times longer than the oldest written records in existence today.
Sending a library into space isn’t entirely new for the Arch Foundation. Before Elon Musk launched a Tesla Roadster into orbit around the sun last year, Spivack and his team put in the glove box a quartz disc containing the entire text of Asimov’s famous “Foundation” trilogy of science-fiction books.
For the Lunar Library, the scope had to be far wider.
“We’re building a Rosetta Stone for beings who inhibit our solar system in the future,” Spivack said.
One small component of the archive is a collection of songs, children’s drawings and writings about Israeli culture and history. The rest is truly encyclopedic. It includes more than 200 gigabytes of data with the entire English-language version of Wikipedia, tens of thousands of fiction or nonfiction books, a collection of textbooks, and a guide to 5,000 languages along with 1.5 billion sample translations between them.
Since people in the far future may not have a DVD player handy, and might not speak any language now in use, the top of the Lunar Library’s disc is engraved with tiny images of books and other documents explaining human linguistics, along with instructions on how to read the library beneath.
Lifelong Learning lectures
The fourth lecture in the free spring Lifelong Learning series on Thursdays takes place today, May 9, when Dr. Andrew Gulliford will discuss “The Woolly West: Colorado’s Hidden History of Sheepscapes.”
May 16 is “Financial Fraud Awareness” with Elsa White and Samantha Armitstead from the Archuleta County Treasurer’s Office. There will be no presentation May 23. May 30 is “Chasing Denali,” when author and adventurer Jon Waterman shares his observations from 40 years of mountaineering on North America’s highest mountain.
Pick up a brochure at your library with more details on these very interesting talks.
Large print
“Wild Justice” by Loren D. Estleman is a Page Murdock frontier story. “Line of Glory” by Thomas D. Clagett focuses on four people at the Alamo. “Torture of the Mountain Man” by William W. and J.A. Johnston is a western set in Texas.
Essays collection
“Everything in its Place” by Oliver Sacks is the final volume of writings by this doctor engaged with the central questions of human existence from illness to social media.
For more information on library books, services and programs — and to reserve books, e-books, CDs and DVDs from the comfort of your home — please visit our website at https://pagosalibrary.org.

This story was posted on May 9, 2019.