Last Wednesday, November 6th 2013, at ~ 3:30 in the morning, a fire was detected in the scanning center at the Internet Archive’s San Francisco location.
You can read the full story here: Scanning Center Fire Please Help Rebuild While some folks are asking why they don’t have insurance, most are looking at this as a good reminder to make a long overdue contribution to the Internet Archives organization. Archive.org hosts a number of services:
- WebArchive (AKA: The Wayback Machine):
366 Billion web pages saved over time.
Almost everyone should know what this. It’s pretty much the only free to use webpage archive on the internet that snapshots all public-visible pages of major websites over time, saving new versions whenever they are detected. I’ve seen people resurrect major portions of hacked/deleted websites using this service, and as an SEO who often needs to know what sites ‘used’ to look like, this service is invaluable. – Video(or Moving Pictures):
This library contains digital movies uploaded by Archive users which range from classic full-length films, to daily alternative news broadcasts, to cartoons and concerts.
A great collection of free video in many handy formats. We’ve actually used the video clips in the past for posts where we wanted a little video to go along with an SEO post. There’s even some ‘banned cartoons‘ that had to be pulled for one reason or another. – Audio/Music
This library contains recordings ranging from alternative news programming, to Grateful Dead concerts, to Old Time Radio shows, to book and poetry readings, to original music uploaded by our users. Many of these audios and MP3s are available for free download.
This is a great spot for getting free sounds and other audio bits that you might need for a project. I can’t say we’ve used this for ‘SEO’ but the Community Audio section features over 1.3 million recordings that range from kids playing with microphones all the way to nice audio tracks that make good generic ‘hold music’. – Text/Books
Browse and read over 5 million books and items from over 1,500-curated collections. You will find a wide range of literature, historical texts and research materials; and wonderful thematic collections like Children’s Classics, Cookbooks and Genealogy.
While I haven’t spent much time in this portion of the archive, if someone wanted to create unique content from a fresh source, books/texts that have never previously been online might be a great place to start? I’d also wager this section is what was most impacted by the fire. From details included in the initial fire blog post it’s clear that works that were in the process of scanning were lost/damaged but otherwise the main loss is progress and equipment. – Live recordings:
A community committed to providing the highest quality live concerts in a lossless, downloadable format.
The Grateful Dead were early advocates of sharing live recordings and they had a ton of variety in live performances so they are well indexed on the archive. I was listening to their 1972 live performance in the Laeiszhalle. If only I knew more German and could understand some of the cheers from the audience. – Software:
The collection includes a broad range of software related materials including shareware, freeware, video news releases about software titles, speed runs of actual software game play, previews and promos for software games, high-score and skill replays of various game genres, and the art of filmmaking with real-time computer game engines.
Ever wonder where old ROMs go to die? Well they never die, not with sites like Archive.org making backups of old FTP servers, CDROMs, and other outdated storage mediums. Need an old boot disk, driver, or just want to play some old arcade classics in an emulator? Take a peek!