Thursday, November 3, 2011

Internet Archive: Digging up the Digital Past

If you’re looking for a Web resource with a deep collection of cultural riches that are both eclectic, enlightening and free, you may want to visit the Internet Archive (

Beneficiaries of the institutional support of the National Science Foundation, the Library of Congress and the Prelinger Archives as well as the support of thousands of individuals; the Internet Archive is a digital library of Internet sites and cultural artifacts. The overall collection is comprised of approximately three million texts, over one million audio recordings (including 93,000 downloadable live music concerts) and nearly 600,000 movies/videos.

One of the more intriguing aspects of this resource is the Wayback Machine, containing 2 petabytes of archived websites reaching back across the entire history of the Internet. Unlike other search engines, the Wayback Machine requires you to enter the URL of the page you’re trying to find. For instance, typing into the search box will retrieve a “chronological map” allowing you access to an accurate snapshot of the website for a specific date of your choosing. This puts another powerful research tool at your disposal when you need to retrieve information from websites that change with great rapidity.

No comments: