Sunday, March 28, 2010

The Wayback Machine

I always assumed that if something was on the internet I could just bookmark the page and read it whenever I wanted. Now I know that is not true. Websites become defunct or migrate, or just plain disappear for whatever reason. Enter the Wayback Machine to save the day. An offshoot of the Internet Archive project, the Wayback Machine strives to archive the whole internet, starting from 1996 to a few months ago (it takes a couple months to archive the content). You can enter a url and the Wayback Machine will show you any archives it has of the page, including prior versions of the site.

While you are at it, make sure you take a moment to check out the Internet Archive too. What is the Internet Archive? Here's a quick blurb from their website:

Libraries exist to preserve society's cultural artifacts and to provide access to them. If libraries are to continue to foster education and scholarship in this era of digital technology, it's essential for them to extend those functions into the digital world. The Internet Archive is working to prevent the Internet - a new medium with major historical significance - and other "born-digital" materials from disappearing into the past. Collaborating with institutions including the Library of Congress and the Smithsonian, we are working to preserve a record for generations to come.

Open and free access to literature and other writings has long been considered essential to education and to the maintenance of an open society. Public and philanthropic enterprises have supported it through the ages. Now the Internet Archive includes texts, audio, moving images, and software as well as archived web pages in our collections, and is working to provide specialized services relating to training, education, or adaptive reading or information access needs of blind or other persons with disabilities.

I get a ton of 1920s/flapper music for research for my vocal group Bootless Betties on this site. It also has amazing videos chock full of vintage goodness from many eras. Make sure to leave yourself a few hours to peruse this awesome website.

Also, silently thank librarians for making this happen, because they are the gatekeepers of information and fight every day to keep knowledge available to all of us!

2 comments:

Miss CherryBubbles said...

I love the Internet Archive, and the Wayback Machine is so so useful! But, maybe I'm a bit biased, since my background is in library science ;)

Bootless Betties sounds like a flapper-licious vocal group - wish I lived close enough to catch a performance!

Tart Deco said...

Wow, just one more thing we have in common- I'm getting a dual masters in music history and library science right now!

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