Research Resource: archive.org

One of the best things about graduate school is discovering the wealth of research resources available, whether for a project or just your own curiosity. While I love JSTOR and typical databases such as that, sometimes I need more than articles. One of my recent favorites is Internet Archive (archive.org). From the “about” page:

The Internet Archive is a 501(c)(3) non-profit that was founded to build an Internet library. Its purposes include offering permanent access for researchers, historians, scholars, people with disabilities, and the general public to historical collections that exist in digital format. Founded in 1996 and located in San Francisco, the Archive has been receiving data donations from Alexa Internet and others. In late 1999, the organization started to grow to include more well-rounded collections. Now the Internet Archive includes texts, audio, moving images, and software as well as archived web pages in our collections, and is working to provide specialized services relating to training, education, or adaptive reading or information access needs of blind or other persons with disabilities.’ Click here to read more about an internet archive.

My use for Internet Archive so far has been reading periodicals for research. Many historic periodicals are only available at a handful of libraries across the country, and they may be too fragile for copying or sending for inter-library loan, but a digital version allows access to anyone who needs it. Best of all, you can read these digital copies page by page in a book layout, almost like having the volume in front of you (sort of like an ebook, I would imagine). While flipping digital pages is not nearly as fun as flipping actual pages, it’s still a wonderful resource for those hard to obtain volumes. When searching choose among texts, moving images, software, web, audio, and more. For example, search for “American City” in text – American literature and you can instantly read fascinating issues of the magazine. Maybe you’ll get lucky and find what you need! (By the way, Internet Archive is also home of the Wayback Machine if you’re looking for an old website.)

Now another topic for discussion: what do you think of digital libraries? Perhaps we’ll save that for later this week. Think about it! Otherwise, what’s your favorite internet resource?