©2019 by Donald R. Snow
This page was last updated 2019-03-03.  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 open to everyone. It is supported by donations, but they are not required. Their goal is to store the entire world's knowledge to make it available to everyone  for free. They do this by digitizing and posting books, magazines, music, movies, TV, radio broadcasts, concerts, software, and more, and every few days they make and store a "snapshot" of the entire internet for everyone to use. Items are organized in thousands of collections and everything that can be is searchable. They have contracts with many libraries and universities to store and make available their items. As an example, they contract with the Church History Library of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to store and make available all old LDS publications such as periodicals, Conference Reports, videos, and early books. This class will show what Internet Archive contains and how to search, use, and download text items. Another class will discuss websites, music, videos, etc. The notes for this class and related articles, all with active 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 .  Ther is also a Freeware Corner article, Dec 2018, on my webpage about Internet Archive.
  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. The problem for today:  What the Internet Archive website is and how to find and use text items from it.
  5. Another class will discuss audio, video, music, the Wayback Machine, and other things on the website.

  7. The Internet Archive is a free website at  (Note that "archive" is singular here.)
  8. Wikipedia article about it 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 nearly three million public-domain books."  
  9. To accomplish their goals they have contracts with libraries and organizations to store and post their materials and, every few days, they make a "snapshot" of the entire world wide web and make these available to everyone for free.  
  10. Founded in 1996 by Brewster Kahle and supported completely by donations -- -- Kahle has been a keynote speaker and presenter at several RootsTechs genealogy conferences in Salt Lake City.  
  11. Free accounts are available to receive information, store information, upload data and websites, and several other things, but you don't need an account to access most things.   
  12. The Internet Archive blog is at -- .   

  14. On the first page of the Internet Archive website is a row of icons of the kinds of items they have:  Web, Texts, Video, Audio, TV, Software, Image, Concerts, and Collections.
  15. Clicking these icons gives you an idea of the great numbers of items they have 
    1. Under Texts there are 20 million Ebooks and Text items  
    2. Under Audio there are 5 million items  
    3. Under Collections there are 100,000s of collections, some containing millions or items     
  16. Each set of items can be sorted in various ways; when sorted by Title you see an alphabet so you can go to any letter   
  17. When viewing any collection, in the left panel is a breakdown of the collection in categories like Subject, Type, Creator, Year, and Language, and you can narrow your searches by clicking on various ways these can be sorted   
  18. Topics & Subjects brings up one or more pages of keywords and you can click as many as you want; keywords are such as U.S. states, types of records, newspapers, lists, maps, etc.; then click Apply Filters and your hits are narrowed down to those keywords -- California has 67 collections and there are 80 more that are californiarelated, whatever that means; United States has 154 collections; Yearbooks has 37 collections -- that's collections, not just yearbooks   
  19. To get back to the home page from anywhere click the Internet Archive icon, the 4-columned building front, usually near the top center of the screen     
  20. Scrolling down the home page shows their Top Collections -- I don't know what "Top Collections" means, but you can keep clicing at the bottom to open hundreds of pages of this list; the numbers in boxes are the number of items in that collection; some have millions of items and some just a few  


  21. At the right end of the string of icons on the Home page is a Search Box to go directly to what you are interested in -- This is NOT the search box at the top for The Wayback Machine which will be discussed in another class  
  22. Keyword searches help greatly; for example, searching for "utah genealogy" (without the quotes) gives 866 hits  
  23. Ideas to try for text searches -- go to Texts and modify these for your own interests
    1. "[your name]", also try nicknames, use quotes to get hits of exactly that, not all hits of any of the words -- I found many items here about me that hadn't seen before  
    2. A state of the U.S., e.g. California    
    3. "mormon migration" Denmark
  24. On the left side are more Filters that narrow your search to various kinds of records or dates or locations; with no checks in the Media Type boxes, you get all media types; adding a check in one or more, immediately narrows the hits to just those types 

  26. The Internet Archive has millions of books - many helpful in family history
  27. Books can be downloaded in several formats from Internet Archive; all are every-word searchable, that is, the pdfs download with the text layer included to make them searchable  they h
  28. Examples of books for LDS family history research
    1. Pioneers and Prominent Men of Utah by Frank Esshom - pictures, biographies, and histories
    2. Church Chronlogy (several editions) by Andrew Jenson - day-by-day chronology of ships, immigration, happenings, travels, details - completely searchable
    3. Times and Searsons - 6-year periodical published in Nauvoo 1839-1946
    4. Journal of Discourses, Conference Reports, Improvement Eras, Women's Exponent, many more 
    5. Ward and stake records
    6. Books by Orson Pratt, Parley P. Pratt, John Taylor, B.H. Roberts
    7. Early histories of the Church
  29. They have an Open Library where you can check out books to read for two weeks  

  31. Below ae a few of the many collections of interest to genealogists -- besides family history you will find many other collections for your other interests        
  32. These lists are only a sampling -- numbers after the collection names are the rounded-off numbers of items in that collection
  33. So you don't have to look through things you have already seen, there is a search filter for records added in different time periods, if you keep track of when you last searched
  34. Libraries
    1. Family History Library - 1,000
    2. Brigham Young University Library - 25,000
    3. Church History Library (LDS) - 15,000
    4. David O. McKay Library, BYU Idaho - 1,600
    5. European Libraries - 654,000
    6. Boston Public Library - 55,000
    7. Indianapolis Public Library Yearbooks - 600
    8. The Boston Library Consortium - 82,000
    9. The Newberry Library - 44,000
    10. The Library of Congress - 159,000
    11. New York Public Library - 144,000 items
  35. Universities
    1. BYU Campus Publications - 500
    2. University of Michigan Books - 209,000
    3. University of Pennsylvania Libraries - 1,700
    4. Kansas State University Yearbooks - 120
    5. Kansas State University Newspapers - 1,700
    6. UCLA Yearbook Collection - 100
  36. Military
    1. British Army List - 220
    2. British Navy Lists - 120
    3. WWII Archive - 5,000
  37. United States
    1. California Digital Collection - 191,000
    2. Minnesota Historical Society - 2,600
    3. North Carolina Digital Heritage Center - 14,000
    4. Pennsylvania Germans - 170
    5. State Library of Massachusetts - 1,500
  38. Newspapers
    1. Kentucky Digital Newspapers - 95,000
    2. Newspapers - 204,000
    3. Daily Colonial Newspaper Collection - 33,000
    4. The PastPages News Homepage Archive - 1,714,000
    5. Giganews Usenet Collection - 25,000
  39. Books, Magazines, and Journals
    1. Internet Archive Books - 824,000
    2. Journals - 1,758,000
    3. JSTOR Early Journal Content - 452,000
    4. Computer Magazine Archives - 22,000
    5. Computer Newsletters: User Groups and Flyers - 4,700
    6. Million Book Project - 10,000
    7. The Magazine Rack - 145,000
  40. Family History
    1. Genealogy - 141,000
    2. Passenger and Crew Vessel Lists for New York, NY 1897-1957 - 7,100
    3. Reclaim the Records -- Mostly vital records of Eastern U.S. - 1,000s
    4. Rutland Historical Society - 950
    5. Scottish Family History - 430
    6. Congregational Library of the American Congregational Association - 1,200
    7. UF Family Search - 7,300
  41. Maps
    1. USGS Maps - 59,000
    2. USGS Maps of Arizona - 1,900
    3. USGS Maps of California - 2,800
    4. USGS Maps of Colorado - 1,900
    5. USGS Maps of Idaho - 1,700
    6. USGS Maps of Nevada - 1,900
    7. USGS Maps of Texas - 4,400
    8. USGS Maps of Utah - 1,500
  42. United States Censuses - 23,000
    1. Internet Archive has all the U.S. Federal Censuses.
    2. To find them for a state, search for "federal census [state]" (without the quotes).
    3. Can be sorted in several ways and you can download them for the states and counties you want, in several formats, including pdf   
    4. Has a Census Reader to show two pages of the censuses side-by-side; click to turn pages; works fast for showing the pages  
    5. Can download and/or print any pages you want   
    6. Since there were several filmings of the U.S. censuses, some are clearer than others; find census page; then look for it on  websites to find the best copy -- Scans were done by FamilySearch Historical Records, Ancestry, HeritageQuest Online, and Internet Archive
    7. Internet Archive does NOT have a U.S. Census index, so for a large area, find the particular page by an index or Enumeration District Map on another website, then look here, too 
  43. LDS publications - some were listed above  
    1. LDS Church Magazines - 5,000 -- includes Ensign, Improvement Era, Relief Society Magazine, Children's Friend, Liahona of Mexican Mission, etc -- later magazines since 1971 are on Gospel Library
    2. LDS Church Magazines - German, Scandinavian and Dutch - 7,000
    3. General Conference Reports
    4. Latter-day Saints Millennial Star - 2,500 


  44. The number and types of collections and items here is staggering and they are adding new collections all the time -- My problem is that I lose track of time while looking through it  
  45. For your genealogy research consider university and library collections near the locations of your ancestors since they may have local collections  
  46. For your other interests or, if your kids or grandkids need help, there are collections such as the Khan Academy with 2,000 items; for example search for "khan academy tutorial" (without the quotes)  
  47. In another class we will discuss audio, video, the Wayback Machine, and other types of collections on Internet Archive.  

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