The New York Public Library may evoke 19th century Manhattan, but the Beaux-Arts landmark is at the forefront of one of the biggest challenges of the 21st century: how to digitally store information forever.

“We were the first to take it on, on this scale” says Canadian Barbara Taranto, managing director of the New York Public Library Labs. It’s a tricky undertaking even for this data-systems whiz with her degrees in computer science and digital information science. But by pairing technology with volunteer know-how, the library has scored huge successes.

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