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Friday, 21st January 2011

Now Online: The Internet Archive Releases Wayback Machine BETA

The Internet Archive is online with a new BETA version of one of the most important and useful web research tools, The Wayback Machine. The BETA utilizes open source software.

You can access the BETA at http://waybackmachine.org.

At this point, what's new?

1. Homepage
+ Two buttons are now found below the search box. The first takes you directly to the latest available archived version of the URL entered. For example, when we entered www.loc.gov and clicked "Latest" we went straight to this archived version of the LC homepage from July 22, 2010.

2. Calendar Interface to Browse for Archived Pages
+ We entered www.apple.com and clicked the "show all" button and ended up here. At the top of the page you'll notice what's referred to as the toolbar.

You'll read that the Apple homepage has been crawled (not the same thing as a page update) 2,185 times going all the way back to October 22, 1996.

+ Next, a clickable histogram showing when pages were crawled. So, if you select 2001 a complete 2001 calendar apperars directly below the histogram.

+ When you cursor over any day (that's shaded in a light blue) one the calendar you'll see how many pages were captured that day and the exact time(s) the crawler came to visit.

+ Select a date, click, and the desired page should appear. Here's the Apple homepage from November 29, 2001. Make sure to note the navigation arrows and a bit more info. We said earlier that 2,185 pages from this domain had been captured. Now, the number is 1937. Yes, it's a BETA so expect glitches and other problems.

More information about the Wayback Machine BETA in the FAQ.

Nice work by the Wayback/IA teams. A great way be begin the test. We're looking forward to more new features.

Btw, the "classic" version of Wayback remains online here.

Hat Tip and Thanks: Open Library Twitter Stream: @OpenLibrary

UPDATE 1: We just noticed that a BETA version of the Internet Archive homepage is also available.  See: http://xxx.archive.org. The page is crisp, clean, and direct. Again, nice work.

Update 2: Oops! Wrong! There is NO second beta release as described in Update 1. Apologies to all for the error. The Wayback Machine at http://waybackmachine.org is 100% BETA. Go take it for a test drive.

We would like to thank George Oates from the Internet Archive for letting us know about the incorrect info. Appreciated.

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