In the spirit of the continuing theme this week of recovering old files lost, I’d like to present a great site that can potentially help you recover a website you are looking for that in no longer in it’s old spot.
I found this resource when I was taking a course on web design a few years ago and it has proven a great resource time and time again. The WayBack Machine!
‘The Internet Archive is a 501(c)(3) non-profit that was founded to build an Internet library. Its purposes include offering permanent access for researchers, historians, scholars, people with disabilities, and the general public to historical collections that exist in digital format. Founded in 1996 and located in San Francisco, the Archive has been receiving data donations from Alexa Internet and others. In late 1999, the organization started to grow to include more well-rounded collections. Now the Internet Archive includes texts, audio, moving images, and software as well as archived web pages in our collections, and provides specialized services for adaptive reading and information access for the blind and other persons with disabilities.”
It’s basically an Internet library that attempts to catalog and archive websites so that you can find a website that may have been up 10 years ago and no longer is. In no way is there process complete. Obviously the idea of archiving every site on the internet complete with links, images, and documents is a ridiculously large one. So it stands to reason that not every site is archived, nor is every image or file. But it’s still a great place to go and look if all else fails. So how does it work?
Follow the link to the homepage.
Enter the name of the website you’d like to find and “Go Wayback”!
The results you get will hopefully look like above. A top bar that lists years from ’96 to current will appear as well as a calendar. The top bar shows the archiving activity for the years that the site being searched was archived. As you can see in the above example, onceuponasketch.com was first archived in 2011.
You can select any year that the site has archived information for in that top bar. Once you do you will note that there are blue circles around select days within the calendar. These blue circled dates correlate to when the site was archived by the Wayback Machine. So if we had an article on our site on March 2nd that we took down or edited on March 6th you should be able to still find the old version of the article on March 2nd.
So please add this site to your resources and use it as you have need! It doesn’t always catch everything but it’s usually my first stop when trying to find an old site, image or article that is no longer available. Enjoy!