Toyota Enviro Outreach project:

Prof Erik Holm:

“After my first experience with the local iBol-team, I have a strong belief that this marks the beginning of a new era in biology. While we are currently at the early stages, like backyard rockets in space exploration, this project has the potential to bring about a paradigm shift in biology. In the past, ambitious multidisciplinary expeditions, such as the voyage of the Beagle and the Swedish Expedition to Southern Africa, propelled the progress of biology. It is immensely gratifying to witness a revival of such joint ventures in my old age. For me, this shared interest and aim of the bio-science community go beyond technical cooperation; it represents a resurgence of our joint fascination with life.”

Dr. Andrew Deacon:

“I can confidently say that the Toyota Environment Outreach project is the ultimate experience for any biodiversity enthusiast. As someone whose research in SANParks focuses on biodiversity, which is also my hobby, I feel privileged to be part of this project. What impressed me the most was the opportunity to enjoy the captivating coastal environment while living our passion for biodiversity.

The project provided us with 9 Toyota vehicles equipped with the best equipment, allowing thirty of us to camp luxuriously. Gerhard and Elmarie Groenewald and their competent team efficiently managed the logistics, ensuring smooth operations.

We had three meals a day from the field kitchen, tents for accommodation, a field laboratory, and all the necessary camping utensils. It was also exciting to interact with renowned experts and learn from their experiences in their respective fields. Ultimately, I appreciate that the vast amount of species sampled in this project will contribute to the IBOL system, an exciting development for this part of Southern Africa.”

Danie van der Walt:

“When I retired in 2009 and handed the reins of 50/50 over to the next production team, I emphasized that besides raising awareness about environmental issues, we unfortunately did nothing more than showcase the destruction of our natural world and document the loss of our biotic diversity over the past 25 years due to human need and greed. While covering the KwaZulu Natal leg of the TEO project for Project Aardwolf on KYKNet, I had the privilege of being in the field with the team, including Prof Erik Holm, one of our co-presenters.

As someone who has been involved in environmental and wildlife documentaries for most of my career, I am acutely aware of the incredible biotic diversity in Southern Africa, but also the continuous and insidious process of species loss, which often goes unnoticed until it is too late. It is evident that everything on Earth is interconnected and dependent on other living beings. Year after year, at international scientific congresses, we hear about more species that have vanished, many of which have not even been described or had their roles and value in nature defined.

The ambitious DNA coding project of TEO is of significant importance and goes beyond being a control for species identification; it also helps us reassess past taxonomy. The TEO DNA coding team, comprised of renowned scientists from various fields, demonstrates unwavering dedication and enthusiasm when searching for species in the region. They understand the crisis we face. This ambitious and valuable project will require the support of the entire country.”

Renier Balt:

“There’s a wise saying that goes, ‘You can only see the picture when you join the dots together. And you can only join the dots when you look backward from where you came to where you are today.’ With the privilege of participating in the growing endeavor that is now TEO, it is evident that this project has direction and growing significance. Bio-scientists from various disciplines come together in this internationally recognized project to share information and contribute their time and unique knowledge in their respective fields. Being a citizen scientist and part of this project is a unique and special experience.

We get to witness the vast knowledge of nature held by leaders in their fields and understand the magnitude of the challenge for South Africa to participate sustainably in the iBol project. As citizens and nature lovers, our contribution must grow. The cost of having bio-scientists do all the work is prohibitively high. Citizen scientists can assist by helping scientists find species and reducing sampling costs.

In the future, with proper training and regulations in place, citizen scientists could even become increasingly involved in the sampling process. In the meantime, participating in projects like the ViTH project (the Virtual Tree Herbarium) at is a small step in the right direction. More initiatives should be implemented soon to involve the public and citizen scientists. TEO is a world-class project and a gateway for bio-scientists to meet, share, and participate in iBol.”

The text includes reflections from Prof Erik Holm, Dr. Andrew Deacon, Danie van der Walt, and Renier Balt, highlighting their experiences, thoughts, and the importance of citizen scientists’ contributions in biodiversity research.

Camp life at Maphelane Nature Resort

Mornings start earlier than most of us would like; fortunately, the morning chorus of birds in the campsite provides a welcoming atmosphere. Red-capped Robin-Chats sing chirpy songs, while greenbuls and bulbuls provide the background chorus. A couple of Nerina Trogons and Livingstone Turacos add color and beauty to the scene.

There are friendly visitors and foes in the campsite. Vervet monkeys invade the area and force people out of their tents to protect their belongings. The campers even take turns doing “kettie” duty at the kitchen to deter the monkeys. In the morning, the ladies’ ablution block is greeted by a pile of monkey faces in front of the full-length mirror.

Following the monkeys, a gang of banded mongoose raids the dustbins and begs for scraps of food. They are cute and not as cheeky as the monkeys. The giant bush babies also visit after dark, and it confuses some visitors why they are allowed in the kitchen while the monkeys are chased away.

Among the friendly visitors are the local bushbuck and red duiker, which graze around the campsite and pose for photographs. However, mosquitoes are also present and very hungry after the long winter, so everyone is using mosquito repellents like Peaceful Sleep and Tabard.

The rain is a welcome visitor as the scientists are waiting for the creepy crawlies to appear. They have a backup plan to move the open-air labs under canopies and gazebos to ensure continuous processing.

Gerhard Groenewald of Klipbokkop Mountain Reserve is the leader of the logistical support group. He organizes 4×4 wheel drivers’ Eco Challenges, takes game rangers and park officials across borders to visit neighboring parks, and is knowledgeable about environmental issues and related fields of study. In 2009, he joined the iBol project, combining his passion for environmental conservation and off-road travel.

The Toyota Enviro Outreach of 2011 is a highly successful event, and Gerhard credits this achievement to the continued involvement of many sponsors. These sponsors are involved in at least six research projects running continuously. Toyota provides Hilux and Fortuner vehicles for transportation, National Luna supplies reliable fridges and freezers, Good Year is a valued sponsor for the past 11 years, Cross Country sponsors vehicle insurance, CAMPWORLD provides tents and off-road trailers, Mega World supplies camping equipment and accessories for the vehicles, and Total sponsors a significant portion of the fuel for the trips.

The Toyota Enviro Outreach of 2011 is in its final stages, and some of the researchers will soon be leaving. Participants share their thoughts before departing. Prof Erik Holm believes that the project marks the beginning of a new era in biology and emphasizes the shared interest and aim of the bio-science community. Dr. Andrew Deacon expresses his privilege in being part of the project and highlights the enjoyment of the coastal environment and living his passion for biodiversity. Danie van der Walt reflects on the destruction of the natural world and the loss of biotic diversity and sees the TEO project as an ambitious and valuable effort.

The TEO DNA coding team consists of renowned scientists from various fields who display dedication and enthusiasm while hunting down species in the region. The project is ambitious and requires the support of the entire country.

Renier Balt, a citizen scientist, stresses the importance of citizens and nature lovers contributing to the project to reduce the costs and help find species. He mentions the ViTH project (Virtual Tree Herbarium) as a step in the right direction for interested individuals. Renier sees the TEO project as world-class and the gateway for bio-scientists to meet, share, and participate in iBol (International Barcode of Life).

The text includes mentions of various individuals, their experiences, and their perspectives on the Toyota Enviro Outreach project and the importance of biodiversity research.

Final day of 2011 Enviro Outreach

A successful Toyota Enviro Outreach has recently concluded, and it was truly inspiring to witness the collaboration of scientists from various backgrounds working together towards a common objective. The team, led by the University of Johannesburg, comprised specialists in the fields of insects, plants, gastropods, fungi, and fish identification. They embarked on a journey to iSimangaliso Wetland Park with the purpose of collecting plant and animal specimens for DNA barcoding.

In total, they collected over 1,020 species, representing approximately 2,806 individuals. Once the barcodes for these samples are generated, they will be uploaded to the Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD), an online platform that serves as a reference library of DNA barcodes for South African plants and animals. This valuable resource will be freely available for use by the broader scientific and amateur naturalist communities.

The African Centre for DNA Barcoding at the University of Johannesburg, along with their partners from the International Barcode of Life project, extend their deep gratitude to Toyota SA for providing a fleet of vehicles and the unique opportunity through the Toyota Enviro Outreach to collect samples for DNA barcoding. They express special thanks to Gerhard and Elmarie Groenewald and their team from Klipbokkop Nature Reserve near Worcester for their logistical support and constant encouragement, without which the goals of the expedition would not have been achieved. The team also appreciates the assistance of the authorities at iSimangaliso Wetland Park and Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife in obtaining the necessary collecting permits. Furthermore, they would like to thank their other sponsors, including 4X4 Mega World, Camp World, National Luna, Good Year, and Total, for their unwavering support and commitment to the DNA barcoding project.

The successful completion of this Toyota Enviro Outreach emphasizes the power of collaboration and showcases the dedication, passion, and scientific excellence of the participating team.

DLARC Radio Library Surpasses 75,000 Items of Ham Radio, Shortwave History

The Internet Archive’s Digital Library of Amateur Radio & Communications (DLARC) continues to expand its collection of online resources related to ham radio, shortwave, amateur television, and other communication topics. With over 75,000 items, the library now offers an even broader range of materials, including newsletters, podcasts, and conference presentations.

DLARC has recently incorporated hundreds of recorded presentations from RATPAC (Radio Amateur Training Planning and Activities Committee) and numerous talks from the MicroHams Digital Conference.

The library has also added newsletters from amateur radio groups worldwide. Among the latest additions are 1,400 news bulletins from the Irish Radio Transmitters Society dating back to 1998, as well as over 600 newsletters from the Worldwide TV-FM DX Association, which focuses on long-distance television and FM communications. DLARC has also included newsletters from various regional groups across the United States, such as the Anchorage Amateur Radio Club, Indianapolis Radio Club, Pikes Peak Radio Amateur Association, and several others. Many of these newsletters were not previously available on the internet and can now be accessed online or downloaded. They are also fully searchable.

Renowned radio host Glenn Hauser has contributed a substantial amount of content to the DLARC library. This includes 1,200 episodes of World of Radio, a program that explores global communications, particularly in the realm of shortwave radio. Informe DX and Mundo Radial, Spanish language translations of World of Radio, Continent of Media, a program focusing on media across the American continent, and Hauserlogs, shortwave listening diaries, are also part of the collection. Additionally, International Radio Report, a program centered around radio in Montreal, Canada, and worldwide, has been archived with episodes spanning from May 2000 to March 2005, restoring access to valuable contemporary reporting.

DLARC’s collection of ham radio e-mail and Usenet conversations from the early days of the internet continues to grow. Recently, nearly 3,500 QRP-L Digest mailings from 1993 to 2004, discussing the design, construction, and use of low-power radio equipment, were added to the archive.

The library’s compilation of ham radio-related podcasts now includes 5,500 episodes, with new additions like 100 Watts and a Wire, The World According to Elmer, and the recovery of 30 episodes of The Rain Report that were previously thought to be lost.

Funding for the Digital Library of Amateur Radio & Communications comes from a grant by Amateur Radio Digital Communications (ARDC), enabling the creation of this free digital library for the radio community, researchers, educators, and students. DLARC welcomes contributions in any format from radio clubs and individuals interested in preserving and sharing their materials. To contribute or inquire about the project, please contact the provided contact information.

Anti-Hallucination Add-on for AI Services Possibility

The idea of leveraging the vast library collections at the Internet Archive to address the “hallucination problem” in chatbots is indeed possible and holds great potential for creating more dependable and trustworthy AI services.

By collaborating with responsible AI companies and research projects, the Internet Archive could offer an anti-hallucination service as an add-on to chatbots. This service would enable chatbots to cite supporting evidence, counter claims, and provide a reliable knowledge base by drawing upon the historical content available in the Internet Archive’s collections.

The Internet Archive’s extensive collection of “historical internet” content, accumulated over 27 years of web archiving, provides a unique resource to combat the increase in AI-generated content. By mining assertions in the literature and contextualizing them within their historical context, the anti-hallucination service could enhance the reliability and accuracy of AI-generated responses.

Similar efforts have already been undertaken by the Internet Archive, such as fixing broken links in Wikipedia articles and linking assertions to specific pages in books. These processes, currently done manually or with the assistance of special-purpose robots, can be automated and integrated with AI models to create a more robust and dependable World Wide Web.

While there may be legal challenges, such as the ongoing litigation with major publishers, the Internet Archive remains committed to its mission of owning collections that can be used by researchers and the public to gain a deeper understanding of the world. To realize this vision, collaboration among various stakeholders including scientists, researchers, humanists, ethicists, engineers, governments, and philanthropists would be essential. The establishment of a Public AI Research laboratory could facilitate the mining of vast collections without rights issues, and expanding the corpus by collecting and digitizing publications from democracies worldwide would further enrich the available knowledge.

Ultimately, building a better internet necessitates a shared purpose, collaborative partnerships, and sufficient resources. By combining the efforts of the Internet Archive, AI companies, and a diverse range of stakeholders, it is possible to create a more reliable and trustworthy online ecosystem, where disinformation and propaganda can be effectively challenged and weakened.

DWeb Camp 2023: A Family-Friendly Event

When you think of typical tech events, bringing your kids along might not be the first thing that comes to mind. However, DWeb Camp takes a different approach. We believe that building a better online world involves people of all ages and backgrounds, including children. That’s why we encourage you to bring your entire family to DWeb Camp 2023, where we have curated a special program just for kids.

Andi Wong, the curator of our Family program, is an arts educator, ocean advocate, storyteller, and historian. She combines these elements to create a magical experience for children and families at DWeb Camp. Andi’s goal is to get to know each child’s interests and help them form a community. Through nature exploration, she introduces them to the invisible forces and flows they may not have considered before.

So, what can your family expect at DWeb Camp? Here’s a glimpse:

  • Educator-led programs tailored for kids
  • Indigenous storytellers exploring creation myths
  • Juggling lessons with flow artists
  • Daily lessons in animal kung fu from a skilled Sifu
  • Exploring soundscapes of rain, ocean, river, and forest with the Del Sol Quartet
  • Open play with clay, cardboard, string, and paint – materials you can recreate at home
  • Activities such as archery, rock climbing, hiking, and swimming in a designated area
  • Scavenger hunts to understand decentralized technologies
  • Evening talent show, game night, and campfires with s’mores
  • Stargazing with an astronomer and a concert under the night sky
  • Sunset movies where you can drop off the kids
  • Giant puppet-making and a puppet parade at the end of Camp

DWeb Camp welcomes everyone from “babes in arms” to tweens and teens, along with their parents who form a close-knit cohort. Andi designs a rich curriculum inspired by the skills and talents of the campers themselves. So, whether you’re an artist, dancer, storyteller, coder, or have other skills to share, you’ll find a place to engage with our youngest campers.

Camp Navarro, our venue, offers various accommodation options, from private cabins to glamping tents with comfortable mattresses and linens for 3-4 people. Alternatively, you can bring your own tent or RV. The facilities include hot showers and clean flush toilets, ensuring a comfortable stay for your family.

Make DWeb Camp a family affair this year and discover the interconnected flows of nature, technology, community, and your own perfect family flow.

The Publisher Playbook: A Brief History of the Publishing Industry’s Obstruction of the Library Mission

Libraries have always faced challenges in providing innovative access to collections. Throughout history, the rightsholder and publishing industry have obstructed the library mission, impeding libraries’ ability to serve the public interest. This article examines the tactics employed by publishers, which we refer to as the “publishers’ playbook.” It reviews the historical struggles libraries and their readers have faced in defending their mission and serving the public good. Despite these obstacles, Congress and the courts have consistently supported libraries’ efforts to expand access to information for the benefit of the public. This article provides a comprehensive overview of the publishers’ playbook and the ongoing litigation surrounding controlled digital lending.

To read the full article, titled “The Publisher Playbook: A Brief History of the Publishing Industry’s Obstruction of the Library Mission,” please click the link.


  1. Kyle K. Courtney: Kyle K. Courtney is a lawyer and librarian specializing in copyright, access, and preservation issues. He currently serves as the Copyright Advisor and Program Manager at the Harvard Library Office for Scholarly Communication. Kyle is the co-author of the White Paper on Controlled Digital Lending of Library Books and has been actively involved in promoting fair use and copyright awareness. He has made significant contributions to the field through initiatives like Copyright First Responders, Fair Use Week, and crowdsourcing copyright and fair use decisions. In addition to his role at Harvard, Kyle holds a dual appointment at Northeastern University and teaches courses on cyberlaw and legal research and writing.
  2. Juliya Ziskina: Juliya Ziskina is an attorney, artist, photographer, and open access advocate based in Brooklyn, New York. She obtained her JD from the University of Washington, where she played an instrumental role in establishing an institutional open access policy. Juliya has been actively involved in promoting open access and advancing the Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR). She has participated in events like OpenCon and the American Libraries Association Annual Conference, where she presented on advancing open access through library partnerships. Juliya’s passion for information access and the law stems from her early involvement in grassroots initiatives, including co-founding an underground student newspaper. She strongly believes in the free flow of information and the human side of the law.

Working to Advance Library Support for Web Archive Research 

The Internet Archive recently organized two in-person workshops, namely “Digital Scholarship & the Web” and “Art Resources on the Web,” with the aim of advancing library support for web archive research. These workshops were held at the Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) conference in Pittsburgh and the Art Libraries Society of North America (ARLIS) conference in Mexico City. The events brought together librarians, archivists, program officers, graduate students, and disciplinary researchers to explore web archive creation and computational analysis.

The workshops were developed in collaboration with the New York Art Resources Consortium (NYARC) and are part of an ongoing series hosted by the Internet Archive until Summer 2023. The objectives of these workshops were as follows:

  1. Introduce participants to web archives as primary sources for computational research questions.
  2. Familiarize participants with research use cases that involve web archives.
  3. Provide hands-on experience in creating web archive collections and computationally analyzing them using ARCH (Archives Research Compute Hub), a service set to launch publicly in June 2023.

During the workshops, Internet Archive staff guided participants through web archiving workflows, presented various web archiving tools and technologies, and offered practical sessions on building web archives. Participants also gained exposure to ARCH, which facilitates computational research with web archive collections by providing access to research-ready datasets, in-browser visualization, dataset analysis, and open dataset publication. Palladio, Voyant, and RAWGraphs were used to explore the data generated with ARCH.

The workshops concluded with vibrant discussions on web archive research ethics, research use cases, and approaches to expanding library support for researchers interested in working with web archive collections. These discussions may have marked the beginning of a community of interest. The Internet Archive plans to host future workshops focused on computational research with web archives, and interested individuals are encouraged to stay updated through the Event Calendar.

Getting Started with Machine Learning and GLAM (Galleries, Libraries, Archives, Museums) Collections

This post describes the potential applications of open source machine learning tools from the Hugging Face ecosystem for working with web archive collections, specifically focusing on the Collaborative Art Archive (CARTA) collection. The aim is to explore the collection through image search, image classification, and model training.

The Hugging Face Hub is a repository that provides access to a wide range of open source machine learning models, datasets, and demos. With over 150,000 models available, users can select models that suit their specific needs instead of relying on a single model.

The ARCH (Archives Research Compute Hub) offers access to 16 research-ready datasets generated from web archive collections, including image datasets in CSV format. To overcome the challenge of working with large image collections, tools are used to understand the collection at scale.

Gradio, an open source library supported by Hugging Face, along with Spaces, is used to create a user interface for interacting with the machine learning system, datasets, and models. Gradio facilitates tasks such as exploring images, implementing image search, and image classification.

For image search, an embedding model is utilized to create embeddings for both text and images, allowing comparison and identification of similar images. The post suggests using the CLIP model variant, clip-ViT-B-16, hosted on the Hugging Face Hub for this purpose.

Image classification is another task that can be performed using Hugging Face models. The post mentions the availability of over 3,000 image classification models on the Hub. These models can be tested against the dataset to evaluate label accuracy and identify potential errors.

If no suitable pre-trained model is found, the post suggests training a custom computer vision model using AutoTrain. The labeled dataset can be created using Label Studio, an open-source tool for data annotation.

The post concludes by inviting readers to explore the ARCH Image Dataset Explorer Demo, participate in the upcoming hackathon organized by Internet Archive and Hugging Face, and duplicate and modify the provided Spaces to further explore the dataset.

Declaring Democracy’s Library (U.S.)

Following the announcement of Democracy’s Library at the 2022 Internet Archive Annual Event, the U.S. team conducted a comprehensive 4-month landscape analysis to assess the state of collective knowledge management in the United States. In this blog series, they will delve into their findings, highlighting the complexities that hinder easy and meaningful access to public information within the federated national infrastructure.

For now, they are pleased to share the executive summary of the Democracy Library (U.S.) report. This summary is based on interviews with librarians, archivists, information professionals, reviews of legislation and government agency reports, consultations with government representatives, technologists working on civic-tech and gov-tech applications, and input from users of government information.

The executive summary of the report highlights the following key points:

  1. The United States government generates a substantial amount of data each year, including reports, research, records, and statistics, which hold significant strategic value. However, meaningful access to this critical data is restricted from the public. There is no publicly-accessible central repository where all government artifacts can be searched and accessed easily. Consequently, it is challenging for individuals to obtain these artifacts.
  2. Instead of being readily accessible, government data is often locked behind paywalls, sold to multinational corporations, controlled by “data cartels,” or scattered across numerous disjointed agency websites with non-standardized archival systems. Under-resourced librarians and archivists are responsible for managing these siloed datasets within agencies. As a result, journalists, activists, democracy technologists, academics, and the general public are denied meaningful access to this data, despite their legal entitlement.
  3. If the burden on the public to access this knowledge can be reduced, in line with the federal government’s stated priority, it could serve as a crucial catalyst for transforming democratic systems, making them more efficient, actionable, and auditable in the future. This effort could facilitate a renaissance in political science and public administration through the analysis of big data. It could empower local journalists with comprehensive access to policymaking across the country, enhancing their investigative capabilities. Moreover, it could provide essential insights to ensure the survival, growth, adaptation, and evolution of democracy in the digital age.
  4. To achieve a more resilient and prepared democracy for the 21st century, the establishment of Democracy’s Library is proposed. This is a 10-year, multi-faceted partnership initiative aimed at collecting, preserving, and linking data related to democracy in a centralized, searchable repository. This repository will source data from all levels of the U.S. government, serving the purpose of fostering innovation, promoting transparency, advancing fields like mass political informatics, and ultimately digitizing democracy. Access to this data is a fundamental requirement for innovation and to propel the current outdated system into a faster, technologically advanced future. Challenges at both the artifact and system levels need to be addressed.
  5. Fortunately, the Internet Archive, in collaboration with partners like the Filecoin Foundation, is well-positioned to tackle these challenges comprehensively through this initiative. It has gained significant legislative and political support, and the necessary tools are largely already developed and being deployed. Now, funding partners need to step forward and scale the effort to revolutionize the U.S. government once again.

The team invites feedback from librarians, archivists, and government information professionals to further enhance their understanding. They encourage those interested to participate in a survey to share their experiences.