Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Web Archives For All

Remember that website you used to visit all the time back in the day but then one day it disappeared into the forgotten depths of internet limbo? The non-profit group Internet Archive is working to make sure that never happens to you again by archiving websites. Their goal is to "preserve 'the ephemera of the Web'" by copying and preserving entire domains.

What exactly does this mean? It means you can navigate archived sites as you would have at any point in the site's history, even if it has moved, changed, or disappeared like hot wings at a Super Bowl party. Images, videos, documents, and links are all available. You can read about how researchers can use the site in a great article published last week by Inside Higher Ed, here. This is a great tool for researchers, but what exactly can it do for you and me?

Do you want to listen to the Grateful Dead from their live 1973 concert in Denver? Got it.

Want to watch the film-noir classic Too Late for Tears? Got it.

How about an old site that boasts a public domain copy of Aldous Huxley's Brave New World? Yeah, they got that too.

What else do they have hidden away? I recommend perusing the site and seeing what gems you can find. Try Internet Archive's WayBack Machine if you're looking for a specific url that you can't find anymore. Happy hunting.

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