Brewster Kahle and Hugh Anson-Cartwright
(Edmonton) Two of Canada’s Canadian pioneers in preservation of knowledge and heritage accepted honorary degrees from the University of Alberta yesterday.
Hugh Anson-Cartwright and Brewster Kahle both accepted honorary Doctor of Laws degrees June 8 at the convocation of the faculties of education and physical education and recreation. And both were passionate about the role of literacy and technology in building the future of the world.
Anson-Cartwright, deeply committed to preserving the cultural heritage of the printed word, has devoted 45 years to the preservation of Canadiana, the development of Canadian library collections, the encouragement of Canadian authors and the advancement of Canadian cultural organizations and institutions. An eminent antiquarian bookseller and expert appraiser, he said he sees no conflict between the love of books and expansion of technology.
“We are optimistic about the book. We are not afraid of Kobos, Kindles or E-books,” he said. “We know that digitalization will open up the intellectual riches of the world’s libraries for the benefit of people all over the world. We also know, from extensive research in many countries, that even a small number of books in a home can make a huge difference to a child in school.”
Kahle, a visionary inventor and philanthropist, created the Wide Area Information Server system and co-founded the Internet Archive. He has spent the past 14 years advancing the goal of universal knowledge by building the world’s largest digital library. This initiative has preserved more than 30 billion pages of information that might otherwise have disappeared from the ever-changing digital universe.
Kahle’s excited about the digital transition that’s sweeping across the world.
“We are now commonly working with people across the country, in fact, across the world,” he said. “This new way of living, this new way of working, is just starting to unfold. Our world is going to be reshaped by those of you who can see a new way forward. In times of change, you can take on bigger issues and make a bigger difference.”