This is a must-read for any book lover: Archive.org founder and data mining pioneer Brewster Kahle has undertaken the gargantuan task of preserving one copy of every available physical book in the world.

“We must keep the past even as we’re inventing a new future,” he said. “If the Library of Alexandria had made a copy of every book and sent it to India or China, we’d have the other works of Aristotle, the other plays of Euripides. One copy in one institution is not good enough.”

20,000 volumes arrive each week and are catalogued and then stored in shipping containers located in a warehouse just north of San Francisco.

Here are the details, courtesy of David Streitfeld’s fascinating piece in the New York Times, published in Spring 2012.

Learn more about the Physical Archive here.