nice original ideas, well expressed, with adequate structure, and sufficiently topical - I think your essay deserves high positions in the ranking.
One aspect that could have been a bit more developed (or, that I did not grasp well enough) is this idea of `bootstrapping` after a global disaster. Is this qualitatively different from a huge data recovery process? How is this influenced by the status (in the widest sense of the word) of the `survivors`?
You also write: `until all the necessary infrastructure has been recreated to access the entire data (which might be centuries later)`. How can this process take so long? Which stages would you envisage in between? When you write `it must also provide the means for accessing and copying digital data without computers, data connections, or even electricity` what do you have in mind? New forms of stored energy that can power these systems for decades?
It occurred to me that a mention to Wolfram Alpha could have been appropriate, given its ambition to collect the body of human knowledge in a more easily accessible repository than Google.
The aspect that I found most original and stimulating is that of comparing the advanced smartest version of the repository to the human brain, with its ability to continuously store new data, integrate and learn. This scenario is perfectly in line with the complex-system-oriented vision at humanity, with the sphere of knowledge (the `noosphere`) implemented by the Web and its future versions representing the brain of the super-organism emerging from the interactions among humans and human societies. The puzzling and fascinating problem that I see, in this respect, is about the extent to which individual humans can eventually take conscious part to the super-life of the emergent super-organism (the ant-anthill duality).