Visiting Internet History With The Wayback Machine

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From the responses to Download Warren Zevon Concert Recordings Legally & At No Cost, I came to realize that a significant number of readers aren’t aware of the tools and resources offered at the Internet Archive. Consequently, I’m posting introductions to some aspects of this asset. Today, we’re focusing on the wonderful Wayback Machine.

The Wayback Machine is simply an archive of websites created by the Internet Archive, a nonprofit organization. Since 1996, the Wayback Machine has been archiving cached pages of websites onto its computers by revisiting sites every few weeks or months to capture a new version.  The intent is to capture and archive content that otherwise would be lost whenever a site changes or closes.

To find a page, just enter the URL in the box. In this case, I’ve entered “http://LeonardCohen.com,” which produces a graphical display of which dates the site was cached. (Note: Not all sites are archived. If a site indicates it is not to be surveyed by search engines, the Wayback Machine browser respects those instructions.)

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Below, for example, is the Wayback Machine copy of the LeonardCohen.com  home page cached on Feb 3, 1999.

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Even more impressive is this page from the now-defunct LeonardCohenLive.com reference site, which shows information about the 1988 Tour. (The pages are much easier to read on the Wayback Machine site)

Anyway, you get the idea: the Wayback Machine is fun and useful – such a deal.

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