Category Archives: Video Archive

Digitizing Balinese Lontars

With the help of the Internet Archive and Ron Jenkins, a theater professor at Wesleyan University, the Balinese are leading the world as the first culture to have their entire literature go online. The documents are centuries-old lontar palm leaves incised on both sides with a sharp knife and then blackened with soot. As of today 477 lontars have been scanned and uploaded to the Internet Archive.

The writings consist of ordinary texts to sacred documents on religion, holy formulas, rituals, family genealogies, law codes, treaties on medicine (usadha), arts and architecture, calendars, prose, poems and even magic. The estimated 50,000 lontars are kept by members of the Puri (palace) family and high priests to ordinary families. Some are carefully kept as family heritages while others are left in dirty and dusty corners of houses. Digitizing the lontars makes them available to scholars and students and salvages the documents from getting destroyed by insects or humidity, as many already have.

Very few Balinese have actually read any lontar due to language obstacles and the view that is it sacrilegious. Traditionally, the lontars are read and performed by priests. Forty-one of such performances have been uploaded to the Internet Archive.

Gatutkaca Pralaya Nyoman Catra

Visit the Balinese Digital Library at The Internet Archive:

Balinese Digital Library collection
Collection of Lontars
Collection of Videos

Read more about this project and Balinese lontars at The Jakarta Times:‘lontar’-manuscripts-go-digital.html

US scholar brings ancient Balinese scripts to digital age | Ni Komang Erviani, Denpasar

-Grace Neveu and Jake Johnson

Edited on May 9, 2011: “Very few Balinese have actually read any lontar due to language obstacles and the view that it is sacrilegious. Traditionally, the lontars are read and performed by priests. Forty-one of such performances have been uploaded to the Internet Archive.”

The Real Mad Men

What do Susan Sarandon, Frosty the Sno-cone Machine, Chuck Norris, Florence Henderson and Elsie the Cow have in common? They are all in vintage television commercials in the new Adviews Collection at

Over 8,500 very cool, funny, weird and nostalgic old commercials of 240 different brands were digitized by Skip Elsheimer of AV Geeks at the request of the Duke University Library’s Digital Collection. These commercials were created or collected by the ad agency Benton & Bowles or its successor, D’Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles (DMB&B).

A big thank you to duke Will Sexton and Sean Aery from Duke University for this fantastic contribution. As a big fan of Mad Men and having grown up during this era it is a lot of fun to see these cultural relics.

Check it out.

-Jeff Kaplan

Jules Verne

A colleague here at Internet Archive suggested that I post on the birthday of the French author Jules Verne.  He wrote about space, air and underwater travel before practical means of those types of travel had been invented. He is referred to as one of the Fathers of Science Fiction.

We have quite a few of his works at in a variety of mediatypes.

Starting from inside the planet and working out:

Journey To The Center Of The Earth

A librivox recording of the book

A text version

20,000 Leagues Under The Seas

A Disney version is available for browserlending:

A 1916 silent movie:

An old time radio CBS Radio Adventure Theater broadcast:

A librivox audio recording:

Around The World In 80 Days

A librivox recording:

A Gutenberg Junior book text version:

and last but not least, wallpapers from the Jackie Chan Disney movie:

All Around The Moon

A Gutenberg Project text:

Other texts include The Works of Jules Verne:

And an audio recording of Master Of The World:

A number of his works can be found in French as well:

Enjoy the journeys.

-Jeff Kaplan

Martin Luther King Jr. Day

On this Martin Luther King Jr. Day I found a number of items of interest. I’ve included some descriptions written by the uploaders.

“I Have A Dream” speech from August 28, 1963
Often referred to as one of the greatest speeches in American history.

The March On Washington (1963):
Scenes from Civil Rights March in Washington, D.C., August 1963. People walking up sidewalk; gathering on Mall, standing, singing. Lincoln Memorial with crowds gathered around reflecting pool. People singing and clapping at speakers platform. Speakers, including Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. Crowd swaying, singing, holding hands.

Integration Report I (1960):
A documentary showing sit-ins, marches, boycotts and rallies in 1959 and 1960. Includes such events as the first mass marches in Montgomery, Alabama, reactions against police brutality in Brooklyn and protests against the prejudiced treatment of Negroes in court.

Democracy Now! Monday, January 18, 2010:
Today is the federal holiday that honors Dr. Martin Luther King. He was born January 15th, 1929. He was assassinated April 4, 1968, at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee. He was just thirty-nine years old. While Dr. King is primarily remembered as a civil rights leader, he also championed the cause of the poor and organized the Poor People’s Campaign to address issues of economic justice. Dr. King was also a fierce critic of US foreign policy and the Vietnam War. We play his “Beyond Vietnam” speech, which he delivered at New York’s Riverside Church on April 4, 1967, as well as his last speech, “I Have Been to the Mountain Top,” that he gave on April 3, 1968, the night before he was assassinated.

The New Negro (1957). An interview with Martin Luther King Jr.: Guests: Martin Luther King with J. Waites Waring.

-Jeff Kaplan

Holiday Flicks

Internet Archive Forum contributors are a diverse bunch. A recent post by The_Monkey_Master in the Movies Forum had a timely list of films for the holiday season. With his permission I thought I’d share it. (He requested that credit for the idea came from a thread started a year ago by poster Moose Malloy.)

‘The Ruggles’ Christmas episode
‘You Asked for It’
‘Joe Santa Claus’ (1951)
Ozzie And Harriet – Busy Christmas
Ozzie and Harriet – The Christmas Tree Lot
“The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet” 1956 Christmas episode
Love That Bob – Grandpa’s Christmas Visit
The Beverly Hillbillies – Christmas At The Clampetts
Beverly Hillbillies – Home For Christmas
Dragnet – A Gun For Christmas
Dragnet The Big Little Jesus (1953)
The Jack Benny Christmas Show (1960)
The Liberace Show – 1954 Christmas episode
Meet Corliss Archer – Christmas Episode (Circa 1954)
Your Hit Parade – Christmas Eve Show 1955
Hancock’s Half Hour – Hancock’s 43 Mins (Christmas Special) (1957)
Date with the Angels – 1950s Family Sitcom – Christmas Episode (1957)
The Nativity (Westinghouse Studio One) (1952)
Captain Gallant: S1E36, The Boy Who Found Christmas
Sherlock Holmes: The Christmas Pudding
George Burns and Gracie Allen Show:
S2E7, Christmas Episode
The Christmas Carol as told by Vincent Price
“The Perry Como Show” – 24/December/1952
The Mary Hartline Show (1950) – Christmas Episode

New Years
Your Hit Parade: 1955 New Years Eve episode
Jack Benny Remembering New Years Eve
Jack Benny ep New Years Eve


-Jeff Kaplan

Adventures in Internship at the Archive

Link to cookbook Bohemian San FranciscoI’ve been working as an intern here at the Archive since the end of August-a requirement of my Library Technology program at Diablo Valley College. Since I was a professional cook for 20 + years, I undertook consolidating the cookbook collection. I learned a lot and made some blunders along the way. I suggest that anyone doing an internship at any kind of library do so after they have studied cataloging. Considering my food background, I started from a personal idea of what I thought was related to cookinga wide range of topics from actual cooking to the roles surrounding food in different cultures, to gardening and farming, to sustainability and world food production, including the politics that shape these issues. In my zeal to incorporate all things food in the cooking collection, I added thousands of files to the collection that were not appropriate to the subject heading of “Cooking”. This does not fly with Library of Congress. The scope note for the subject heading (part of the classification process for organizing books) states “ … that the term “Cooking” is used broadly to include food preparation of any kind, regardless of whether or not heat is applied.” “Recipes,” is not an appropriate subject heading or search term either. A recipe can be for a souffle, floor wax or shoe polish.

I love the old cookbooks from early to mid-century. The quality of the graphics, fonts and engraving is of a quality not seen today. They were written before processed foods were easily available. Food was pure, and people had time to cook. Clarence E. Edwords traveled through virtually every neighborhood to report on “Bohemian San Francisco: Its Restaurants and their Most Famous Recipes-The Elegant Art of Dining,” published in 1914. This is quite the romantic paean, a wonderful journey in time to post-earthquake San Francisco. If you want to try your hand at authentic turn of the last century’s San Francisco cooking, the recipes are here (heavy on the shellfish and cream), along with some colorful descriptions of the neighborhoods, grand hotels, restaurants, chefs and purveyors.Link to video Let's Make a Sandwich

On the other hand, in the most disgusting sandwich in the world category, there is “Let’s Make A Sandwich” (the video was made by the American Gas Association in 1950 to promote “modern” cooking techniques) in which Sally Gasco makes Tuna Rarebit for her guests. No matter how you try to dress it up, canned tuna, butter, milk and cheese do not mix, especially in black and white, but it’s worth the trip to the ’50s for a lesson in cultural training for young women.

link to video ooking with JoleneVenturing east and into the surreal, you might want to watch “Cooking With Jolene The Trailer Park Queen,” in her trailer park kitchen. Jolene Sugarbaker teaches home economics in the northern Virginia area, and has an on-line cooking video series. It’s not fancy, but it’s real. Jolene is instructive, friendly and entertaining. If you were ever curious about how to prepare fried pickles or an economical casserole, Jolene’s your girl.Looking at thousands of cookbooks and videos for these past few months has been a great pleasure. Just in time for the holidays, there are a few thousand free books, audios and videos about every kind of cooking technique, ingredient, time period, and world region imaginable. If you didn’t know about it already, I encourage everyone to take a look at this treasure trove for food enthusiasts. All you have to do is go to

Laurel Bellon

Ted Nelson Launches His Autobiography at Internet Archive


Ted Nelson discusses Xanadu


On October 8, 2010, Brewster Kahle and Internet Archive hosted Ted Nelson’s book launch for his autobiography “Possiplex.” It was a special evening. There was a wide array of guests, including some of Ted’s closest collaborators.

Ted Nelson spent over two hours reading from his book “Possiplex” and answering questions from the audience. He discussed his many projects and gave a demonstration of Xanadu. He also thrilled us with a screening of his movie that he wrote, directed and filmed in the 1950’s. I found it hilarious. He was both gracious and opinionated, which made for a rousing event.

Visit the Possiplex collection page to see photos and video from the event:
Photos from the event,
Video of Ted Nelson’s talk
Doug Englebart interview

Roger Gregory interview
Paul Saffo interview

Ted Nelson has been a computer and information visionary for 50 years. He coined the concept and term hypertext. There are many quotes about Ted and his book on the collection page at Here are a few:

“Tesla:Electricity = Nelson:Digital. … All of the web is in essence a pale shadow of just one of Ted Nelson’s dreams. Now do I have your attention?…” — Mitch Kapor, founder of Lotus

“Ted Nelson is the Thomas Paine of the Information Revolution.” – Stewart Brand, creator of the Whole Earth Catalog

“A truly first-class mind … one of the dozen or so most brilliant people I’ve met in a lifetime of hanging out with geniuses and the highly gifted”– Eric Raymond, Open Software Initiative

Thanks to the folks who organized the event: June Goldsmith, Laura Milvy, Jeff Ubois, and of course Brewster Kahle and Ted Nelson.

-Jeff Kaplan

Little Known Classics You NEED To Watch!

The classic, the rare, the obscure…you movie junkies love this stuff. It’s always cool to discover the weird films made by familiar faces. Kudos Matt Holmes and Peter Willis of Obssessed With Film for assembling a Top 10 of little known classics.

You can watch 5 of them right now at Internet Archive. Whoa, is that Telly Savalas!? I’m going to watch Quicksand! now…it has Peter Lorre and Mickey Rooney together.

Check them out:

Horror Express
Too Late For Tears

-Jeff Kaplan

Top 40 best free legal movies you can download right now

Sean P. Aune at tech.blorge has put together a great list of movies on  From his blog:

The Internet Archive works to bring together anything and everything that resides in the public domain, and that includes movies.  We’ve gathered together 40 of the best ones that will keep you entertained for hours on end, all without costing you a dime outside of using some of your bandwidth.  Enjoy!

I haven’t seen a lot of these and didn’t even know we had some of them. This is a great list. Gotta watch one of the Hitchcock movies right now.

Sean, thanks for doing the heavy lifting!

-Jeff Kaplan

Then and Now

With the continued difficulties in the economy and the comparison often heard to the Great Depression I thought I’d search the Archive for some perspective. While unquestionably there was hardship and suffering, I was heartened to see footage from two places that show daily life.

The first is a series by Ivan Besse of life in Britton, South Dakota. An amazing set of scenes from small town America in the late 1930s show busy people hustling downtown, smiling faces, civic activities and generally what seems to be a tight-knit community that is happy and healthy.

The second from just a year or so later is of San Francisco, home of Internet Archive. In contrast to the Besse film this shows a teeming metropolis full of activity. This film seems more about the scale of enterprise, the high-rise hotels, people hustling to and from businesses, crowds on the Wharf, the early airport and urban life. Less smiling faces but a lively metropolis nonetheless.

During the years these were filmed there was very high unemployment. Yet programs such as the Works Progress Administration were created to provide meaningful employment for many. It was responsible for the creation of many civic projects we continue to enjoy today. Here at Internet Archive we had high hopes that the unemployment extension act that was finally approved by the Senate on Tuesday would help protect the jobs of 140 people who work here. The JobsNow program, originally part of that bill, was cut out at the last minute. So, we all hope that our representatives will find a way to extend the program so that we can continue to expand Internet Archive, a free resource that is intended to provide universal access to all knowledge.

-Jeff Kaplan