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Brewster Kahle speaking 20 November 2002

Brewster Kahle (pronounced /ˈkeɪl/ 'kale')[1] (born 1960)[2] is a computer engineer, internet entrepreneur, activist, and digital librarian.

Kahle graduated from MIT in 1982 with a BS degree in Computer Science & Engineering where he was a member of the Chi Phi Fraternity. The emphasis of his studies was artificial intelligence; he studied under Marvin Minsky and W. Daniel Hillis. He also studied Library Science at Simmons College.

He was a member of the Thinking Machines team (1983-1992), where he developed the WAIS system, a precursor to the World Wide Web. In 1992, he started, with Bruce Gilliat, WAIS, Inc. (sold to AOL in 1995), and, in 1996, Alexa Internet (sold to in 1999). At the same time as Alexa, he founded the Internet Archive, which he continues to direct. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Electronic Frontier Foundation and a key supporter of the Open Content Alliance.

In 2005, Kahle was elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.[3] Kahle and his wife, Mary Austin, created the Kahle/Austin Foundation, a US$45 million trust that supports the Internet Archive and other non-profit organizations.

In his TED Talks on building free digital library,[4] Kahle describes his vision of a free digital library, which contains books, free music concerts, TV programs, a "snapshot" of World Wide Web, etc.


Awards and appointments

  • B.S. MIT 1982
  • American Academy of Arts and Sciences, member
  • Library of Congress NDIIP advisory board
  • NSF Cyber Infrastructure advisory board
  • 2004 Paul Evan Peters Award from the Coalition of Networked Information (CNI).[5]
  • 2008 Robert B. Downs Intellectual Freedom Award from the University of Illinois
  • 2007 Knowledge Trust Honors award recipient
  • Public Knowledge, IP3 award recipient
  • 2009 "50 Visionaries Changing Your World", Utne Reader[6]


External links




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