18 December 2012

Internet Archive -- still a wonderful and free gem for genealogy and family history researchers!

One of the great and free resources for genealogists online is the Internet Archive.  Whether I am looking at a digitized directory, using the Wayback machine to re-capture something I “forgot” to save, reading a long-ago published community history, etc, I probably access this website at least once a day.

Back in October, SFGate published a piece about its creator, Brewster Kahle.

The article starts out ...

Brewster Kahle was a 19-year-old computer science student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology when a friend posed a simple, yet life-changing question: "What can you do with your life that is worthwhile?"

Kahle came up with two answers. The first, developing a microchip to ensure the privacy of telephone conversations, didn't pan out. But 32 years later, Kahle is still happily pursuing his second big idea - to create the digital-age version of the Great Library of Alexandria.

His Internet Archive - fittingly based in an old Richmond District church that architecturally harks back to the ancient Egyptian library - is building a rich repository of modern digital culture. It's best known for the online Wayback Machine, which provides a searchable online museum of the Internet, archiving more than 150 billion Web pages that have appeared since 1996.

Do recognize that the Internet Archive is a non-profit entity.  And, for once, as a Christmas present to the world of genealogists and family historians, I just made a donation to it.  It has provided countless value to me over the years and like many, it’s easy for me to “take advantage” of freely available resources and forget that real money is needed to maintain anything!

How has the Internet Archive helped your family history research?

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