The Internet Archive is a treasure trove of fascinating media, texts, and ephemera. Items that if they didn’t exist here, would be lost forever. Yet so many of our community members have difficulty describing what exactly it is…that we do here. Most people know us for the Wayback Machine, but we are so much more. To that end, we’ve put together a fun and useful guide to exploring the Archive. So, grab your flashlight and pith hat and let your digital adventure begin…
1. Pick a place & time you want to explore. Search our eBooks and Texts collection and download or borrow one of the 3 million books for free, offered in many formats, including PDFs and EPub.
2. Enter a time machine of old time films. Explore films of historic significance in the Prelinger Archives.
3. Want to listen to a live concert? The Live Music Archive holds more than 12,000 Grateful Dead concerts.
4. Who Knows What Evil Lurks in the Hearts of Men? Only the Shadow knows. You can too. Listen to “The Shadow” as he employs his power to cloud minds to fight crime in Old Time Radio.
5. To read or not to read? Try listening to Shakespeare with the LibriVox Free Audiobook Collection.
6. Need a laugh? Search the Animation Shorts collection for an old time cartoon.
7. Before there was Playstation 4… there was Atari. Play a classic video game on an emulated old time console, right in the browser. Choose from hundreds of games in the Internet Arcade.
8. Are you a technophile? Take the Oregon Trail or get nostalgic with the Apple II programs. You have instant access to decades of computer history in the Software Library.
9. Find a television news story you missed. Search our Television News Archive for all the channels that presented the story. How do they differ? Quote a clip from the story and share it.
10. Has your favorite website disappeared? Go to the Wayback Machine and type in the URL to see if this website has been preserved across time. Want to save a website? Use “Save Page Now.”
What does it take to become an archivist? It’s as simple as creating your own Internet Archive account and diving in. Upload photos, audio, and video that you treasure. Store them for free. Forever.