Information Storage Requirements for the Contents of the World's Libraries

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Science  13 Sep 1963:
Vol. 141, Issue 3585, pp. 1067-1068
DOI: 10.1126/science.141.3585.1067


Three calculations of the number of different things stored in the world's libraries yield estimates from 7.5 x 107 to 7.7 x 108. At 105 words per volume, five letters per word, and 12 bits per letter, the information capacity used for storage is between 4.6 x 1014 and 4.6 x 1015 bits, and is increasing at about 2 x 106 bits per second.