Non-profit digital library and creator of the WayBack Machine, the Internet Archive, is attempting to raise enough funds to buy 4 petabytes of storage before the year’s end. So far, the archive has only brought in 25% of its total goal, or one petabyte of storage.

As of October 2012, the Internet Archive maintained approximately 10 petabytes of material, and if the service continues at its rate of storing ~190 terabytes per month, it will be able to continue storing data for a little under two more years (5.4 months = ~ 1 petabyte).

Whether or not you’re interested in donating to this cause, it’s important to remember that the Internet Archive has played an incredible role in chronicling the Web’s evolution over the past 16 years.

As we’ve detailed before, the Wayback Machine is still the absolute best resource for revealing the ghosts of the Internet’s past. Spend some time searching and you’ll find many lost and defunct websites that heavily influenced the modern web. A 1997 snapshot of Apple.com feels like a scamming knock-off, while Amazon’s earliest iterations aren’t much different from its latest design. Google.com’s first iterations aren’t pretty either, especially the horrific 3D logo from 1998, while Google was still hosted on Stanford’s servers.

Luckily, an anonymous donor has agreed to match all donations three-to-one through the end of the year. Head to the donation page via the link below to learn more.

➤ Internet Archive Donations

Image credit: Jupiterimages / Thinkstock