Jun 13, 2013

    Dig up websites, past and present

    The Internet Archive Wayback Machine (IAWM) has been collecting past and present websites since 1996, says technology writer J.D. Biersdorfer of The New York Times.

    When a website shuts, is it gone forever?

    The site's creator may still have the files that made up the original website, but locating a public copy of it may prove elusive. Still, you may be able to find a preserved version of the site in the IAWM, a service that has been crawling and copying the Web since 1996.

    Does the IAWM have a copy of every site?

    Even though it has well more than 240 billion Web pages (and counting) in its archive, the IAWM does not have samples of every site that went online.

    Sites that were password- protected, or that escaped the attention of the IAWM software that automatically crawls the Web looking for pages to copy, were probably excluded. Site owners who do not (or did not) want their pages to be copied can exclude their content from the collection as well.

    How do I use it?

    Visit the IAWM website, type the URL of the site you want to dig up in the address bar and click the Take Me Back button. If the site you seek has been archived, you may even be able to see different versions of it spanning its existence and select a copy from a specific month or year.