By Kay Whatley, Editor
If you’re not familiar with the free, online Internet Archive, give it a visit at archive.org. Whether you like to read, watch old films, or just learn new things, you’ll find there’s a wide variety.
The Internet Archive, a 501(c)(3) non-profit, is building a digital library of Internet sites and other cultural artifacts in digital form. Like a paper library, we provide free access to researchers, historians, scholars, the print disabled, and the general public. Our mission is to provide Universal Access to All Knowledge.
We began in 1996 by archiving the Internet itself, a medium that was just beginning to grow in use. Like newspapers, the content published on the web was ephemeral – but unlike newspapers, no one was saving it. Today we have 20+ years of web history accessible through the Wayback Machine and we work with 450+ library and other partners through our Archive-It program to identify important web pages.
Free resources you’ll find in the Internet Archive include:
- older books published in the early part of the 20th century
- modern books available through their online library
- a microfilm collection (scanned for computer viewing)
- movies from the early days of film, some silent and others with sound
- the old “classroom” type educational movies
- audio files ranging from concerts to old-time radio and audio books
- collections of old computer software and games
- television news broadcasts
- photographs and various images
- websites that may be gone now, or changed over the years
- and so much more!
Take a few minutes and review their collections. Once you visit, you’ll likely find yourself returning to this unique “library” again and again.
With so many free resources in the archive from modern times back through the 20th century, you’ll find entertainment, education, fun, and may even spark memories as you surf through this online treasure trove.
Ed. Note: If you find that the Internet Archive is a useful resource for you and your family, you may support their work. As a nonprofit they accept donations. They also offer volunteer opportunities.