You may be familiar with the Internet Archive and its Wayback Machine, which has been crawling the Internet since 1996, saving our history. In its more than 450 billion Web pages, it has captured what websites looked like and conveyed at particular points in time, before they were changed, moved, or overwritten, or before they just disappeared. Searchable by url and date, the Internet Archive can be the key to solving a tricky source gathering assignment for a law journal or just fun to explore for news and commentary posted when events actually happened. "The Cobweb," last week's wonderful New Yorker article by Jill Lepore, prize-winning author and Harvard history professor, tells the real story of the Wayback Machine--its beginnings, its goals and philosophy, how it works, and why it matters across the globe, to 600,000 users a day. This is well worth a read.
Hat tip to: Roll Call's Technocrat blog.
Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat
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