©2020 by Donald R. Snow --Page last updated 2020-05-24
Return to the  Utah Valley Technology and Genealogy Group Home Page  or  Don Snow's Class Listings Page .
ABSTRACT: Internet Archive is a free website with a goal of preserving the world's knowledge and providing it to everyone for free.  In a previous class we discussed their text and book files.  This class will discuss their other collections which include "snapshots" of the entire world wide web, music, concerts, radio and TV shows, movies, and more.  It must be out-of-copyright to be available to download.  Internet Archive was started in 1996 so you can find old versions fo websites there, even those gone from the internet now.  It also allows you to upload material you want saved.  We will discuss what it contains, how to search and download items, and how you can upload webpages you want to be sure are saved.  The notes for this class and related articles, all with internet links, are posted on my website .


  1. Instructor is Donald R. Snow ( ) of Provo and St. George, Utah. 
  2. The notes for this class and related articles, all with active internet links, are posted on my website .  
  3. Tips:  (1)  To put an icon on your desktop for the URL for these notes, or any webpage, just drag the icon that is in front of the address in your browser to your desktop.  (2)  To open a link while keeping your place in the original page, hold down the Control key while clicking the link, so the link opens in a new tab. 
  4. An earlier class was on Internet Archive text items and how to use them and the notes are on my website.
  5. The problem for today:  What does the Internet Archive contain besides text materials and how do you use it?

  7. The Internet Archive is a free website at  (Note that "archive" is singular here.) and a Wikipedia article about it is at  -- 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 ... books."  It was founded in 1996 by Brewster Kahle and is supported completely by donations. 
  8. Internet Archive blog has info on happenings -- 
  9. On the Internet Archive home page are icons of the types of collections uit has with the approximate number of items.
    1. Web - 433 billion webpages
    2. Video - 5 million videos and TV shows
    3. Audio - 11 million files
    4. TV - 2 million TV news broadcasts
    5. Software - 1/2 million software items
    6. Images - 3 million images
    7. Concerts - 200,000 concerts of all kinds
    8. Audio and ebooks to borrow through their Open Library - nearly 1 million books 
  10. The Collections icon lists 3/4 million collections of various kinds, including music, text, movies, libraries, etc.; each collection may contain hundreds or thousands of items
  11. Help articles
    1. Home Page Overview -- 
    2. Internet Archive General Information --  
    3. FAQs About --  
  12. Items out of copyright are complete and downloadable; items still in copyright have only a short borrow time like a library or for music CDs still in copyright there may be only 30 seconds of each song on it

  14. This is where all 400 billion webpages are stored including snapshots of the entire internet on the days they "crawled" (scanned) it, starting in 1996.
  15. Helps for The Wayback Machine
    1. The Wayback Machine -- 
    2. Using the Wayback Machine FAQs --
  16. The Wayback Machine search box is at the top of the Home page -- to get to the Home page from any other page, click the Internet Archive icon (the building) at the top left 
  17. Examples
    1. Example 1:  Type in , the website of our Utah Valley PAF (Personal Ancestral File) Group which is now the Utah Valley Technology and Genealogy Group; go to the year 2000 and in the calendar below click on 16 Aug 2000, the first day they scanned our website. That's what the webpage looked like back then; click on Meetings and see who spoke at the 14 Feb 2000 meeting and what the topic was; there were no handouts posted on the website in those days; in 2001 we started video-taping the meetings and those videos are still available and are being posted on our current website  for members to view.
    2. Example 2:  My webpage -- type in  starting 2006-07-16 -- Interesting to see what classes we were teaching then and the notes
    3. Example 3:  Washington County Historical Society -- --
        has had almost 200 captures starting on 04 May 2009, but it hasn't been saved for the past several months for some reason; it's fun to look at and remember the early formats of websites  
      1. Example 4:  has been crawled 19,000 times since 08 May 1999; since the searches are dynamic on FamilySearch, I don't think you can get it to search now; when the website came out my wife and I were on missions as Directors of the New York Family History Center in Manhattan and we were interviewed on TV about the new website and those interviews are probably stored there somewhere  -- as some of us have said before, we'll never live long enough to track down everything that is available on our own lives 
      2. Example 5: -- FH Training Video the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints put out; watch the first 3 or 4 minutes and note who's on it   
    4. On the crawled webpages there is a box in the upper right corner with the date and arrows to go to the previous crawl or the next one
    5. Some years have more crawls for a website than others, perhaps due to the website not changing very much in some years  
    6. If you find a website that you want to be sure is preserved as it is, there are extensions ("add-ons" on some browsers) that you click and it saves that webpage to the Internet Archive right then; for Chrome the extension is called Save To The Wayback Machine -- I usually click on that whenever I make major changes in my online notes, so those are recorded.
    7. Because of the size of this database, it is sometimes hard to find what you are looking for, but they are working on indexing every word on all these archived websites 
    8. AUDIO

    9. Includes music, podcasts, radio broadcasts, digitizations of old 78 RPM records, TED talks, and much more -- lots of good stuff here 
    10. Internet Archive has audio downloads in several audio file formats such as mp3, ogg vorbis, wav, and VBR (Variable Bit Rate)
      1. mp3 is the most popular due to its file size, but is a lower quality format
      2. wav is the best format, is lossless, but takes up more space
      3. ogg vorbis and VBR are lossless formats for better sound quality too  
      4. See comparisons of formats at -- 
    11. Ihere may be several recordings of the same piece in several formats and/or from different original sources and with different sound setting, so check around before you download
    12. For audio/video players VLC is good and free and has many features -- available from -- 
    13. Use the search box to find any song, piece of music, artist, or genre of music that you are interested in -- I've found hundreds of recordings of old 78 RPM jazz records that I've enjoyed downloading and listening to.     
    14. VIDEO

    15. Includes TV shows, news broadcasts, movies, concerts, and more
    16. Movies includes feature films, old comedy films, music films, Charlie Chaplin films, silent films, documentaries, movie trailers, and more
    17. TV News Archive includes current and old news programs
    18. Video collections includes hundreds of TV channels, both US and international, with many of their past programs
    19. Use the search box for items you may be interested in. 
    20. See some video examples above.   
    21. IMAGES

    22. Many hits for locations, e.g. St. George,Utah got over 2,000 hits which include buildings, posters, documents, and people
    23. Chesterfield, Derbyshire, England, where my grandmother was from,  got 12 hits including several of old churches 
    24. "North Hollywood" California, where I grew up, got nearly 400 hits
    25. Try things like towns, buildings, people, events, etc.
    26. SOFTWARE

    27. Seems to be mostly old versions of software including games and commercial software, but also things like books about software
    28. There are websites, other than Internet Archive, with old versions of software for free  -- do Google searches for things like "old versions of software" 

    30. Many ebooks and audio books to check out for two weeks; apply for a free Internet Archive account  
    31. The Open Library of Internet Archive -- -- are compiling one webpage for every book ever written -- see 
    32. Books to Borrow -- -- collection contains nearly 1.5 million items
    33. National Emergency Library -- -- 1.5 million items provided for education while schools and libraries are closed -- lots of info for home-schooling 
    34. Blog article about Internet Archive Lending Library --

    36. Internet Archive has lots and lots of good information about the past and it continues to save and share the world's knowledge.
    37. The hardest thing about using it seems to be getting hooked on browsing and looking at or listening to interesting items.

    38. Return to the  Utah Valley Technology and Genealogy Group Home Page  or  Don Snow's Class Listings Page .