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February 24, 2008

"Tip of the Week" - Finding Old Internet Pages

The Web changes constantly, and sometimes that page that had just the information you needed yesterday (or last month or two years ago) is not available today. At other times you may want to see how a page's content or design has changed. There are several sources for finding Web pages as they used to exist.

While Google's cache is probably the best known, the others are important alternatives that may have pages not available at Google or the Wayback Machine plus they may have an archived page from a different date. The table below notes the name of the service, the way to find the archived page, and some notes that should give some idea as to how old a page the archive may contain.

While this list is extensive, the popular Archive It is a great tool, as is the Wayback Machine which goes back to 1996 (That's just not really waaaaay back for me!) and holds over 85 billion pages.

The Internet Archive is a 501(c)(3) non-profit that was founded to build an Internet library, with the purpose of offering permanent access for researchers, historians, and scholars to historical collections that exist in digital format. Founded in 1996 and located in the Presidio of 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.

Why would you want to use these tools? Well, it is a 'library' of sorts.  And like a library, there is information you will require, an out of date website holding information you need from an author no longer publishing from a site now defunct and not easily found through normal search words on Google for any number of reasons.

Again, just a couple of nifty tools to book mark for that unanticipated researching occasion.


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