©2019 by Donald R. Snow
This page was last updated 2019-04-01.  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.  In a previous class we discussed their text and book files and this class will discuss their collection of audio, video, movies, TV shows, music, and "snapshots" of the entire World Wide Web.  On their Wayback Machine you can see and use what was on the internet every few days from when they started in 1996.  It also allows you to upload material you want saved.  This class will discuss how to find and use these items and, as we discussed before, it is a gold mine of information for family historians.  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 .  There are also other related articles there. 
  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 we are discussing here with the approximate number of items.
    1. Web - 350 billion web pagesfrom 250 million websites
    2. Video - 5 million videos and TV shows
    3. Audio - 5 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 1/2 million collections of various kinds, including music, text, movies, libraries, etc.; each collecton may contain hundreds or thousands of items
  11. Help articles
    1. Home Page Overview -- 
    2. Internet Archive General Information --  
    3. About --  
    4. The Wayback Machine -- 
  12. Items out of copyright are complete and completely downloadable; items still in copyright have only a short segment, e.g. for music CDs still in copyright there may be only 30 seconds of each song on it
  13. AUDIO

  14. Includes music, podcasts, radio broadcasts, digitizings of old 78 RPM records, TED talks, and much more -- lots of good stuff 
  15. 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 and is a lossless format
    3. ogg vorbis and VBR are lossless formats for better sound quality 
    4. See comparisons at -- 
  16. IThere may be several recordings of the same piece in several formats and/or from different original sources and with different sound settings. 
  17. For a player VLC is a good and free one with many features -- available from -- 
  18. 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.     
  19. VIDEO

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

  27. Many hits for locations, e.g. St. George,Utah got over 2,000 hits which include buildings, posters, documents, and people
  28. Chesterfield, Derbyshire, England got 12 hits including several of old churches there and that's where my grandmother was from 
  29. "North Hollywood" California got nearly 400 hits and that's where I grew up
  30. Try things like towns, buildings, people, events, etc.

  32. Seems to be mostly old versions of software, even commercial software, but old versions, and things such as books about software
  33. There are other internet websites with old versions of software for free 

  35. Helps for The Wayback Machine --
  36. This is where all 351 billion webpages are stored; snapshots of the entire internet on the days they "crawled" (scanned) it, starting in 1996.
  37. The Wayback Machine search box is at the top of the Home page -- to get to the top of the Home page from anywhere else, click the Internet Archive icon (the building) which is usually near the center of the top of any screen you are on 
    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 down in the calendar below click on 16 Aug, the first day they copied the 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:  Washington County Historical Society -- -- has had 174 captures starting on 04 May 2009; it's fun to look at and remember the early formats of the website 
    3. Example 3:  has been crawled 17,435 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 and we were interviewed on TV about the new website - I'll have to look for those interviews on the Video part of Internet Archive -- as some of us have said before, we'll never live long enough to track down everything that is available on our own lives, even  :=)
    4. Example 4: -- FH Training Video the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints put out; note who's on it   
  38. There is a box in the upper right corner with the date and arrows to go to the previous crawl or the next one
  39. Some years have more crawls for the website than others, for some reason, perhaps due to the website not changing very much that year 
  40. Sometimes hard to find what you are looking for, unless you know more details -- FAQs says they are working on an every-word index for it 

  42. Click on Texts -- you see two large round icons at top left, Books to Borrow and Open Library
  43. Many ebooks and audio books and information is there to browse and check out books  
  44. Includes a wiki with goal of at least one webpage for each book every published to show info, dates, publisher, etc. 
  45. Open Library shows whether ebook is in or checked out; can add your name to wait list, if it's checked out 
  46. Need a free Internet Archive account to check out audio or ebooks; they check out for two weeks 

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

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