Author Archives: michelle

IA + ARC + Cuba


Cuba Music Week is a live and online effort – both crowd sourced and curated – to highlight the importance and beauty of Cuban Music. One goal is to introduce people to ideas and music from this vibrant culture.

In the past we have created “weeks” on Muslim music, Brazil and India. To do this we contact artists, academic institutions, bloggers, broadcasters, venues and collectors to send essays, activities and events that could be coordinated with our event. Sometime the response is great, sometimes not.

Cuba is our fourth attempt and we have partnered with Cubadiscos, a Cuban government organization that hosts a weeklong music festival and a symposium on the music in Havana. Cuba has a few problems with the internet, so there is no website. We have posted a list of their activities on our site from a list that we only got the day before the festival began!

Just for fun have a look at the galleries of record covers, cha cha maybe? Our galleries are one of the best features we create. The ARC doesn’t scan images of other people’s holdings or borrow materials for the site – we own everything pictured. A few of the recordings are taken from the joint ARC and Internet Archive collection stored out in the Richmond warehouses. Here are two sweet ‘almost’ Cuban, afro-Cuban recordings from this collection. They were donated by the family of Jerry Adams.



Mr. Adams was a radio DJ who became a major voice in promoting the Monterey Jazz Festival and helped Clint Eastwood build his collection. So some very nice stuff here. A good reason why the Internet Archive is, and should be, going after audio collections of quality with us.

One of the best features of the site are the databases, listing the Cuban recordings here at the ARC and glossaries of genres and instruments – many hundreds of styles and instruments briefly described. It’s info that is only available here. Soon everything will be stolen by Wikipedia, but for now probably the only easy-to-find source for much of this information. For audio fun we have worked with the Peabody Award winning radio show, Afropop Worldwide to bring everyone 18 hours on Cuban Music. Soon all of their 25+ years of audio will be available on the Internet Archive.
An important outgrowth of this project is our work – both the Internet Archive’s and the Archive of Contemporary Music’s – with the Cuban National Library José Martí. Last year I met with Perdo Urra who was working on a project to take old library typed and handwritten index cards on the recordings in their collection into OCR readable form.  So for us they rushed this project forward and now there are more than 30,000 cards scanned, making this data available online for scholars for the first time. Catalog available here and one example below.

Our Cuba site site will remain active as an online resource to make this culturally significant body of work readily available to people around the globe for study and enjoyment.

Do have a look at Cuba Music Week and spread the word.

Thanks,  B. George,

Director, The ARChive of Contemporary Music, NYC.

Sound Curator, The Internet Archive, San Francisco


Join us for “How Digital Memory is Shaping our Future” with Abby Smith Rumsey– April 26

Abby Smith Rumsey photo by Cindi de ChannesWhat is the future of human memory? What will people know about us when we are gone?

Abby Smith Rumsey, historian and author, has explored these important questions and more in her new book When We Are No More: How Digital Memory is Shaping Our Future.

On the evening of Tuesday, April 26 at 7 p.m., the Internet Archive hosts Abby Smith Rumsey as she takes us on a journey of human memory from prehistoric times to the present, highlighting the turning points in technology that have allowed us to understand more about the history of the world around us.

Each step along the way – from paintings on cave walls to cuneiform on clay tablets, from the Gutenberg printing press to the recent technological advances of digital storage – shows how humans have adapted to the increasing need for new methods to share knowledge with a widening community. In addition to these milestones of human communication, the development of machinery in the industrial age helped unlock the geological record of the physical world around us, changing how our societies think about time and change to the natural environment on a grand scale.

When We Are No More_HC_catExamining the past helps us understand where the future might lead us. Yet with our current methods of digital storage, what will still be accessible and what steps can we take to make sure knowledge persists? Out of the vast amounts of data that we are capable of saving, what will be considered important? Only time will tell, and it will be when “we are no more.”  The Internet Archive, under the leadership of Brewster Kahle, is one organization playing an important role in bringing our civilization’s record of knowledge into the future. Smith Rumsey will share her insights into how we can leave a legacy for those in the future to best understand our lives, our struggles, our passions – our very humanity.

We hope you’ll join us for an enlightening evening with this thought-provoking author, historian and librarian.

Event Info:
How Digital Memory is Shaping Our Future:  A Conversation with Abby Smith Rumsey
Tuesday, April 26, 2016
Internet Archive, 300 Funston Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94118

Doors open at 6:30 PM, Talk begins at 7:00pm
Reception and book signing to follow presentation

This event is free and open to the public.  Please RSVP to our Eventbrite at:

For more information about Abby Smith Rumsey and her book, please visit her website at

Wayback Machine Hits 400,000,000,000!

logo_wayback_210x77The Wayback Machine, a digital archive of the World Wide Web, has reached a landmark with 400 billion webpages indexed.  This makes it possible to surf the web as it looked anytime from late 1996 up until a few hours ago.

Let’s take a trip back in time and visit some sites.
Yahoo (Captured way back in Nov 28, 1996)


Geocities (Captured December 12, 1998)


There were even places to start your very own web diary way back in 1999. (Captured November 27, 1999)


Mumbleboy was using Flash to push the creative limits of Web Animation (Captured August 1, 2001)


Before there was Borat, there was Mahir Cagri.  This site and the track it inspired on created quite a stir in the IDM world, with people claiming that “Mahir Cagri” was Turkish for “Effects Twin” and that the whole thing was an elaborate ruse by Richard D. James (Aphex Twin). (Captured December 29, 2004 and December 7, 2000)



Have you ever wondered what happens when the Wayback Machine archives itself?  Will we fall into a search window of recursion, never to find our way out of the mirror maze again? (Captured October 22, 2008)


I guess we don’t want to break our brains.  Oh, well.

The Wayback Machine has had some exciting adventures over the years as it grew. Here are some highlights:

2001 – The Wayback Machine is launched.  Woo hoo.

2006 – Archive-It is launched, allowing libraries that subscribe to the service to create curated collections of valuable web content.

March 25, 2009 – The Internet Archive and Sun Microsystems launch a new datacenter that stores the whole web archive and serves the Wayback Machine.  This 3 Petabyte data center handled 500 requests per second from its home in a shipping container.

June 15th, 2011 – The HTTP Archive becomes part of the Internet Archive, adding data about the performance of websites to our collection of web site content.

May 28, 2012 – The Wayback Machine is available in China again, after being blocked for a few years without notice.

October 26, 2012 – Internet Archive makes 80 terabytes of archived web crawl data from 2011 available for researchers, to explore how others might be able to interact with or learn from this content.

October 2013 – New features for the Wayback Machine are launched, including the ability to see newly crawled content an hour after we get it, a “Save Page” feature so that anyone can archive a page on demand, and an effort to fix broken links on the web starting with and

Also in October 2013 – The Wayback Machine provides access to important Federal Government sites that go dark during the Federal Government Shutdown.

We’re proud of you, Wayback Machine!  You’ve grown so big on a healthy diet of web captures, and you’re growing more every day.