Internet Archive Website; Operations, Web Archiving and Services

YAIOA September 10, 2022
Updated 2022/09/12 at 3:03 PM
9 Min Read
Internet Archive Website
Internet Archive Website

The Internet Archive Website is an American digital library with the declared goal of “universal access to all information.” It offers free public access to collections of digital content, including websites, software programs/games, music, movies/videos, moving pictures, and millions of books. The Archive also advocates for a free and open Internet as part of its activism work. The Internet Archive has more than 35 million books and texts, 8.5 million movies, videos, and TV series, 894 thousand software applications, 14 million audio files, 4.4 million photos, 2.4 million TV clips, 241 thousand concerts, and more than 734 billion web pages in the Wayback Machine as of September 10, 2022.

The Internet Archive Website offers the ability for users to upload and download online content to its storage cluster, but the majority of its data is automatically gathered by its web crawlers, which aim to safeguard as much of the open internet as possible. There are hundreds of billions of online grabs in its web archive, called the Wayback Machine. One of the biggest book digitalization initiatives in the world is also managed by The Archive.


In the US, there is a nonprofit organization called The Archive. Its $10 million yearly budget in 2003 was funded by fees from Web crawling services, other collaborations, grants, contributions, and the Kahle-Austin Foundation. Periodic fundraising efforts are also managed by the Internet Archive Website. For instance, a campaign in December 2019 aimed to raise $6 million in contributions.

The headquarters of The Archive is in San Francisco, California. Its headquarters were located in the old American military installation of the Presidio of San Francisco from 1996 until 2009. Its main office has been located at 300 Funston Avenue in San Francisco, a former Christian Science Church, since 2009. The majority of its employees used to work at its book-scanning facilities; as of 2019, screening is done by 100 salaried operators globally. San Francisco, Redwood City, and Richmond are three Californian towns where The Archive also maintains data centres. The Archive makes duplicates of some of its collections in farther-flung places, such as the Bibliotheca Alexandrina in Egypt and a facility in Amsterdam, to lessen the danger of data loss.

The Archive was given official library status by the state of California in 2007 and is a participant in the International Internet Preservation Consortium.


Web Archiving

Wayback Machine

The Internet Archive Website uses the moniker “Wayback Machine” for a service that enables searches and access to World Wide Web archives, capitalizing on the term’s widespread use in a Rocky and Bullwinkle cartoon episode (specifically, Peabody’s Improbable History). Users can browse a few archived web pages using this service. When a three-dimensional index was developed to enable viewing of preserved web material, Alexa Internet (owned by and the Internet Archive collaborated to establish the Wayback Machine. A database contains millions of websites together with the data they are related with (pictures, source code, papers, etc.). The service may be used to access websites that are no longer online or to see old versions of websites that no longer exist. It can also be used to get authentic source code from websites that are no longer directly accessible. Because many website owners opt to exclude their sites, not all websites are accessible. The Internet Archive Website, like many websites that rely on data from web crawlers, misses a lot of the web for a number of other reasons. A 2004 study identified international biases in the reporting but concluded that they were “not purposeful.”

In October 2013, a “Save Page Now” archiving option became accessible from the Wayback Machine’s home page’s bottom right corner. After entering and saving a target URL, the website will be archived by the Wayback Machine. Users can submit a wide range of files to the Wayback Machine using the Internet address, including PDF and data compression file types. Even if the uploaded content is not found while searching on the main website, The Wayback Machine produces a persistent local URL of the upload that is still reachable online.

The number of archived pages displayed has decreased as a result of a change in how web pages are tallied that was disclosed in October 2016.  PDF,  HTML, and plain text documents continue to be considered “web pages” even when embedded items like images, videos, style sheets, and JavaScript are no longer included.


Other services and endeavours

Physical media

Kahle, who has a strong objection to the thought of books being thrown away, now plans to acquire one copy of each book ever produced after being inspired by the Svalbard Global Seed Vault. Although we won’t succeed, that is our aim, he declared. Kahle intends to save the Internet Archive’s previous servers, which were updated in 2010, along with the books.


With terabytes of computer publications and journals, books, shareware CDs, FTP sites, video games, and other materials from 50 years of computer history, The Internet Archive Website claims to have “the greatest archive of historical software online in the world.” In order to preserve them, The Internet Archive has assembled an archive of what it refers to as “old software.” The initiative pushed for an exception from the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which was granted in 2003 for a three-year term, allowing them to get beyond copy protection. The exemption only allows for “archival replication of published digital content by a library or archive,” hence the Archive does not make the program available for download. In 2006, the exemption was reaffirmed, and in 2009 it was further extended indefinitely awaiting new rulemakings. In 2010, the Library reaffirmed the exception as a “Final Rule” with no deadline. Beginning in 2013, the Internet Archive Website started to provide abandoned video games that could be played in a browser using MESS, such as the Atari 2600 game E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. Since December 23, 2014, the Internet Archive has made thousands of DOS/PC games available via a browser-based DOSBox emulator for “scholarship and research purposes exclusively.” Prior to the December 31, 2020 deadline for the Flash plugin’s end-of-life across all computer platforms, the Archive launched Ruffle, a new emulator for Adobe Flash, in November 2020.

Table Top Scribe System

A system that combines hardware and software and performs a secure way of content digitization has been created.

Credit Union

In order to give access to low- and middle-income people, the Internet Archive Website ran the Internet Archive Federal Credit Union from 2012 to November 2015, a federal credit union with headquarters in New Brunswick, New Jersey. The National Credit Union Administration and the IAFCU frequently clashed during the IAFCU’s brief existence, significantly limiting the IAFCU’s loan portfolio and raising worries about serving Bitcoin enterprises. When it was dissolved, it had 395 members and a value of $2.5 million.

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