2018 Donald R. Snow - Last updated 2019-01-11

Don's Freeware Corner notes are printed in the UTAH VALLEY TECHNOLOGY AND GENEALOGY GROUP (UVTAGG) Newsletter TAGGology each month and are posted on his Class Notes Page at   where there may be corrections, updates, and additions.


The Internet Archive is a free website at  There is a good Wikipedia article about it at .   Here is a quote from the Wikipedia article: "The Internet Archive is a San Francisco-based nonprofit digital library with the stated mission of 'universal access to all knowledge'.   It provides free public access to collections of digitized materials, including websites, software applications/games, music, movies/videos, moving images, and nearly three million public-domain books."  To do this, among other things, it makes a "snapshot" of the entire world wide web every few days and makes these snapshots available to everyone for free. It was founded in 1996 by Brewster Kahle -- -- and is supported completely by donations. He has been a keynote speaker and presenter at several RootsTechs conferences in Salt Lake City. You can sign up for a free account to store information, upload data, and several other things, but this article will only discuss some things you can do without an account.


On the first page of the Internet Archive website you see a row of icons of the kinds of collections they have, e.g. Web, Texts, Video, Audio, etc. At the right end is an icon for Collections. Clicking on it shows that they have 382,000 collections of materials, all of which are free to anyone. On the left side of the screen you see the break down of all these, e.g. by Subject, Type, Creator, and Language and you can click to examine any of these groups of collections. There is an icon to show more details in the names and the group can be sorted in various ways, by Title, for example. Clicking on Topics & Subjects brings up one or more pages of keywords and you can check as many of these keywords as you want and then click "Apply Filters" to see those groups under those key words. These keywords include things like all the U.S. states, types of records, etc. For example, there are 67 collections related to California and 80 more that are californiarevealed, whatever that means. There are 154 collections relating to the United States and 37 related to Yearbooks. There are lots of newspapers, lists, maps, and other types of records.


To the right is a search box to find the types of collections you want immediately. Note that this is NOT the search box at the top for THE WAYBACK MACHINE. That will be discussed in another Freeware Corner article. For an example of searching, type into the search box a state of the United States that you are interested in and see what comes up. On the left side are more Filters that you can click to narrow your search to various kinds of records or dates or locations. I was surprised at the large number of hits here for everything that I tried.


To see the complete list of collections on Internet Archive I kept clicking at the bottom to expand the list downward, but finally stopped after 137 pages and never did get to the end. Each page has information of about 20-30 collections and the number of items in each collection. I saved this large file by printing it to PDF and that gave me an abbreviated version, but it was searchable and showed the numbers of items in each collection. It was only 137 pages of the entire list and I have no idea how much further it would have gone. By going through this 137-page file I selected out collections that were of interest to me, both for family history and for other interests, e.g. math and jazz music. It really gave me an understanding of how much information there is on this website and how it is organized. To give you an idea of these collections, below is the list of my family history selections and then later the list of collections I want to check for other interest. After compiling the list, I alphabetized it so that related collections would sort near each other. I couldn't tell what the original sorting order was. The numbers after the collection names are the rounded-off numbers of items in that collection. You can see that some have thousands, or even millions, of items and others, just a few. This is only meant to whet your appetite and I only selected about 1% of those on my 137-page list.


Boston Public Library - 55,000
Brigham Young University Library - 25,000
British Army List - 220
British Navy Lists - 120
BYU Campus Publications - 500
California Digital Collection - 191,000
Church History Library (LDS) - 15,000
Community Audio - 2,465,000
Community Video - 926,000
Computer Magazine Archives - 22,000
Computer Newsletters: User Groups and Flyers - 4,700
Congregational Library of the American Congregational Association - 1,200
Daily Colonial Newspaper Collection - 33,000
David O. McKay Library, BYU Idaho - 1,600
European Libraries - 654,000
Family History Library - 1,000
Genealogy - 141,000
Giganews Usenet Collection - 25,000
Great Classics Reading List - 70
Indianapolis Public Library Yearbooks - 600
Internet Archive Books - 824,000
Journals - 1,758,000
JSTOR Early Journal Content - 452,000
Kansas State University Newspapers - 1,700
Kansas State University Yearbooks - 120
Kentucky Digital Newspapers - 95,000
Latter-day Saints Millennial Star - 2,500
LDS Church Magazines - 5,000
LDS Church Magazines - German, Scandinavian and Dutch - 7,000
Million Book Project - 10,000
Minnesota Historical Society - 2,600
MIT Open Course Ware - 400
New York Public Library - 144,000 items
Newspapers - 204,000
North Carolina Digital Heritage Center - 14,000
Passenger and Crew Vessel Lists for New York, NY 1897-1957 - 7,100
Pennsylvania Germans - 170
Podcasts - 394,000
Powerpoints - 2,300
Project Gutenberg - 59,000
Reclaim the Records -- Several collections, mostly vital records of Eastern U.S. - 1,000s
Rutland Historical Society - 950
Scottish Family History - 430
State Library of Massachusetts - 1,500
The Boston Library Consortium - 82,000
The Improvement Era (LDS) - 800
The Library of Congress - 159,000
The Magazine Rack - 145,000
The Newberry Library - 44,000
The PastPages News Homepage Archive - 1 ,714,000
UCLA Yearbook Collection - 100
UF Family Search - 7,300
United States Census - 23,000
University of Michigan Books - 209,000
University of Pennsylvania Libraries - 1,700
USGS Maps - 59,000
USGS Maps of Arizona - 1,900
USGS Maps of California - 2,800
USGS Maps of Colorado - 1,900
USGS Maps of Idaho - 1,700
USGS Maps of Nevada - 1,900
USGS Maps of Texas - 4,400
USGS Maps of Utah - 1,500
WWII Archive - 5,000


Internet Archive seems to have all the U.S. Federal Censuses. To find them for Utah, for example, search for "federal census utah" (without the quotes). These can be sorted in several ways and you can download them for the states and counties you want. There are several formats for downloading, including pdf. They also have a nice reader on the Internet Archive website where you see two pages of the censuses side-by-side and can click to turn the pages. This works fast for rendering (showing) the pages. If you find something you want, you can download and/or print it. Since there were several filmings of the U.S. censuses, when you find something in a U.S.census on FamilySearch Historical Records, or Ancestry, or elsewhere, you can find the same page on Internet Archive and the filming may be better. Keep in mind that Internet Archive does not have the censuses indexed, so if you don't know where the person is in a census, use one of indexed versions, e.g. FamilySearch Historical Records or Ancestry, and find them,;then locate that page of the census on Internet Archive.


In the list above are several collections of records relating to the LDS Church, e.g. old LDS periodicals, both in English and in other languages, and thousands of items from the Church History Library. These include all the General Conference Reports and many historical books such as Church Chronology by Andrew Jensen and these are all downloadable. Among other items, I found the Scandinavian Jubilee Album (50 years) after Erastus Snow started missionary work in Denmark, and several other Church items that I was interested in.


There are thousands more collections, so there are probably many that you would be interested in. There are many, many university library collections, so you might want to examine those that are located near the areas you are researching for genealogy, since those may have local genealogy collections.   Here are some additional collections that I want to look at sometime.

78 RPMs and Cylinder Recordings - 132,000
78rpm Records Digitized by George Blood. L.P. - 106,000
Album Recordings - 4,800
Audiophile CD Collection - 182,000
Boston Public Library 78rpm Collection - 46,000
Folkscanomy Mathematics: Books of a Mathematic Nature - 300
Free Music Archive - 16,000
Free Music Charts - 68
Khan Academy - 2,000
Old Time Radio - 2,500
Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London - 18,000
Radio Archive - 13,000
TED Talks - 2,800
Television Archive - 1,633,000
The David W. Niven Collection of Early Jazz Legends, 1921-1991 - 600
WWII Era Audio Recordings - 100


I was surprised at how many different collections and types of collections of records that Internet Archive has, and they are adding new records all the time. One of the search filters is for records added in different time periods, so you can keep up-to-date without having to go through the collections you have already been through, if you keep track of your searches. The problem for me here is that there is so much there, that I lose track of time while examining the data. I will write more Freeware Corner articles about Internet Archive, so stay tuned.