Posted by: Burlington Public Library (WA) | November 28, 2012

Holy archives, Batman

Here’s one for the “blessing or a curse?” list: the Internet Archive has a goal to “collect all the books, music and video that has ever been produced by humans,” says founder Brewster Kahle.  It began with web pages: 150,000,000 of them — in its famous WayBack Machine.

Now they’re moving on to the news.  According to the New York Times, as of September, the site offers “every morsel of news produced in the last three years by 20 different channels, encompassing more than 1,000 news series that have generated more than 350,000 separate programs devoted to news.”

You may be thinking, “Whatever for?” and I may be thinking that with you.  It seems possible that the embarrassment factor may outweigh any research opportunities — but I’m probably wrong.  It’s just the idea of an archive of every minute of every day of CNN that has me shaken.  Yikes.

On the other hand, this site is truly overwhelming.  Besides the news, it includes archives of everything from live music to MIT courses, cartoons to poetry; movies, sport, TV, you name it.

Want to try it out?  Click here and search for any topic you can think of.  And notice the news flash in the upper left: 10,000,000,000,000,000 bytes archived!

Holy archives, Batman.
–Mary Beth



  1. 150 BILLION old web pages to “browse through”?
    I can’t even keep up with the NEW pages!

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