I listened to Brewster Kahle on a podcast from 2004. It’s a little dated but very interesting. His group, the Internet Archive, is trying to archive materials that don’t have a great distribution already… that’s 99.9% of the material out there according to Kahle. As he says, a $100million movie or Madonna’s music doesn’t need his help: they have their distribution channels. But the small run out-of-print books or deleted albums or out of copyright movies are another story.
There are over 370,000 books, 100,000 films, 40,000 concerts and 240,000 audio recordings to choose from.
I would encourage you to go the library, get a free library card if you wish and just browse. The WayBack Machine is a cool way to look into the history of the web: check out “http://www.yahoo.com” in 1996, for example.
The project is impressively worthwhile and very valuable to anyone who enjoys history, does research or just likes to poke around.