DON'S FREEWARE CORNER - MAY 2020

SAVING WEBPAGES TO THE WAYBACK MACHINE ON INTERNET ARCHIVE


Don's Freeware Corner articles are printed in the UTAH VALLEY TECHNOLOGY AND GENEALOGY GROUP (UVTAGG) Newsletter TAGGology each month and are posted on his Class Notes Page https://uvtagg.org/classes/dons/dons-classes.html where there may be corrections and updates.

SAVING WEBPAGES TO THE WAYBACK MACHINE ON INTERNET ARCHIVE

2020 Donald R. Snow - Last updated 2020-05-04.

INTERNET ARCHIVE AND THE WAYBACK MACHINE

Internet Archive is a free webpage that has the goal of "saving all knowledge and making it available for free".  Its URL is https://archive.org/  and a Wikipedia article about it is at 
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_Archive .  It is supported entirely by donations and has millions of items stored on it now, with more being added every day.  These include old versions of websites stored in their WayBack Machine.  They started "crawling" the internet in 1994, so you can find old versions of webpages from then on.  You type in the URL in the search box for the WayBack Machine which is near the center on the Internet Archive home page.  (See the image.) 



htttps://uvtagg.org


And here's what they have for our old webpages.  Our URL in the early days was uvpafug.org, so that's what I entered. The first screenshot shows the dates they scanned our webpage and the second one shows what it looked like on 8 Aug 2000, thir first scan of it.

 




uvtagg.org


The scroll bar on the website in the first screenshot can be moved to the right to show all scans up to the latest in 2020.  The image for 9 Aug 2000 is the first one they stored, but our webpatge was up before that, of course, so it's not the first day of our website.  Notice that they have stored more than 300 scans our old webpage.  That's not our URL now, but that old URL is still used by our webmasters for testing, so it's still there and being scanned.   We started the organization in about Jan 1991, so this was almost 10 years later.  And I was involved with it from the beginning.

For another example take a look at my own webpage on 6 Mar 2012 by searching for uvtagg.org/classes/dons/dons-classes.html .  Times have changed, haven't they?

Near the top of these old versions of websites is a box with the date and arrows left and right which take you to previous or later scans of that webpage, so you can follow what it looked like over time.   Since they don't always scan everything, if you find a website that you want to be sure they preserve in the WayBack Machine, this article shows how to do it.

BROWSER EXTENSIONS

Extensions are add-on programs to accomplish tasks in browsers.  The one we are discussing today, Save To The WayBack Machine, is for the Chrome browser and there may be similar extensions to do the ssame thing in other browsers.  To use a browser extension you install it first and they are easy to install.  You select the ones you want and when you install them, they put icons on your browser taskbar to click to run them. 

INSTALLING THE CHROME EXTENSION SAVE TO THE WAYBACK MACHINE

 To install this extension on Chrome click on the 3-vertical-dot icon in the upper right corner of Chrome.  Then click on  More Tools > Extensions.  That page shows the Chrome extensions you already have installed.  To find the extension we want here, Save To The Wayback Machine, click on the "hambuirger" icon (the 3 horizontal bars in the upper left corner), then click on Open Chrome Web Store (lower left corner) and search for "wayback machine" (without the quotes).  This finds two or three extensions, so click on the one called Save To The Wayback Machine.  Click to add it to your Chrome browser and it puts a small Internet Archive icon in your Chrome taskbar near the upper right side.  If you already have several extensions installed, you may not see the Internet Archive icon until you click on the 3-vertical-dots icon to open up more taskbar space.  When you hover your cursor over the icon, it says Save To The Wayback Machine.

USING THE CHROME EXTENSION

Once you have the extension installed in Chrome, when you see a webpage that you want to be sure is preserved in the WayBack Machine, click on the extension icon to open a short men.   Note that you can only save "static" webpages, not dynamically produceed ones such as in FamilySearch when you search for an individual.   Here is a screenshot of the Save To The WayBack Machine short menu.



The short menu contains information such as the last time that webpage was preserved, its Archival History, and how many webpages you have asked to be saved, yourself.  I don't know if there is a limit to the number pages an individual can save, since they want to preserve what people are interested in.  Also, I don't know if you have to be a member (free) of Internet Archive to save webpages, since I am a member and don't know if you can save them without being one.  The Archival History shows a bar graph of every day that webpage was saved and that could go back as far as 1994 when they started. I noticed that several of my class notes webpages have never been saved, probably because they are fairly recent and Internet Archive hasn't "crawled" them yet.  I've been clicking to save them to see if that triggers saving them more often.  It only takes a second or two to save the webpage and it asks if you want to view the saved page in the WayBack Machine. BTW, I haven't found any way to save subpages, only the one you are on.

CONCLUSIONS

Remember the Internet Archive WayBack Machine when you are looking for a webpage that is now gone from the internet or changed. Not all pages are there, of course, but most are and they scan the internet often enough that they get most of the changes that are made to webpages.  But to be sure they save the ones you want, install the extension and click on it when you see a good page to save.  This has only been for the Chrome browser, but there are probably similar extensions for other browsers.