The Internet Archive is a little known resource that I have been using for years for free music, movies, and digital educational media. Built off public domain and freely published media, the Internet Archive now hosts one of the largest media centers on the free internet. From Audio Books, Cultural and Academic Films, and University Lectures to Vlogs (Video Blogs), a Live Music Archive (now hosting music from over 3000 performers!), Animations and Cartoons, and even a Children’s Library.

From archive.org,
The Internet Archive is a 501©(3) non-profit that was founded to build an Internet library, with the purpose of offering permanent access for researchers, historians, and scholars to historical collections that exist in digital format. Founded in 1996 and located in the Presidio of San Francisco… In late 1999, the organization started to grow to include more well-rounded collections. Now the Internet Archive includes texts, audio, moving images, and software as well as archived web pages in our collections.

Well, there certainly is a lot to browse from here, and we haven’t even gotten into the reason why this site was created in the first place: as a so-called Wayback Machine. The Wayback Machine is a tool the engineers at IA have developed to create “snapshots” of the internet. You can type in almost any address and be swept back in time to all the snapshots created since the IA was first created in 1996. Some folks here at Small Dog have even used it to see old versions of our page:

Smalldog.com pages.

and even older (circa 1997-2002):

Smalldoggy.com pages.

This is a tool that can be used also to see web pages that have gone offline years ago. All you need is an address and the Wayback Machine does the rest. It is kind of like Time Machine for the internet!

To wrap it up, the Internet Archive is an amazing resource for doing any kind of research on the internet. All files hosted on archive.org are public domain and I believe can be used in educational multimedia presentations. I know I have spent hours downloading music, movies, and text for my personal library.

As a data collector, I really must tip my hat to the team at IA–they have done an excellent job not only amassing large amounts of digital media and data, but have really made it accessible and easy to navigate. I’d love to hear about your experiences with digital libraries and how they’ve changed the way you access information.

Thanks, Internet Archive and great job!!

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