The Internet Archive has announced that it will make more than one million pieces of archived Internet content available via BitTorrent.
"Today all of the archives' live music concerts, the Prelinger movie collection, the librivox audio book collection, feature films, old time radio, lots of books, and all new community uploads will be available as torrent files," the organisation said.
The Internet Archive, founded in 1996, describes itself as an Internet library. The site's showcase is the Wayback Machine, which hosts snapshots of websites throughout time.
The organisation opted to make its files available via BitTorrent because it offered the fastest way to download complete items from the archive - particularly for those with slow Internet connections.
"We're committed to building a sustainable future that empowers creative content, effects the social good and ultimately persuades institutional change," Eric Klinker, CEO for BitTorrent, said in a statement. "We were happy to find that our interests align with those of the Internet Archive as we strive to protect and maintain society's cultural artifacts - creating new ways to discover media and share it worldwide. Combined with the vast amount of content from the Internet Archive and the size and scope of the BitTorrent community, this is truly a worthy cause and we look forward to continuing to build new content solutions for the digital world."
"Your BitTorrent protocol-based client can use the torrent file you get to download all the files in the Archive item, including the original item files, plus all derivative and metadata files," the Internet Archive said. "Individual files can be selected (or deselected) from the list within most BitTorrent protocol-based clients, allowing torrent files to be used to retrieve both an entire item, or, a specific subset of files within it."
The group said it will track BitTorrent-related stats on its website, though the site currently appears to be overloaded.
In November 2010, a group of "Web preservationists" archived the now-defunct stylings of Yahoo Geocities sites in a single torrent.