September 26, 2016

Major Milestone for the Wayback Machine

I can’t begin to recall how many times I have relied on the Internet Archive’s “Wayback Machine” to fetch a file that I had inadvertently deleted without a backup. Or checked out how bad my web design was back in 1996. I mean, srsly. So I was delighted to see that the Wayback Machine had just received a huge update.

According to Brewster Kahle:

Now we cover from late 1996 to December 9, 2012 so you can surf the web as it was up until a month ago.  Also, we have gone from having 150,000,000,000 URLs to having 240,000,000,000 URLs, a total of about 5 petabytes of data.   (Want a humorous description of a petabyte?  start at 28:55)  This database is queried over 1,000 times a second by over 500,000 people a day helping make the 250th most popular website.

In the past I’ve had my doubts about the commitment the Internet Archive has toward this service, but with a major update in 20011 and another major update this year, the Wayback Machine appears to be on a solid footing. And that can only be a good thing for folks like me who ocassionally lose files or who just want to revisit the past.


Note: Thanks to my pal Tracy Seneca for the heads-up.

View TDS Archive
On October 14, 2015 Library Journal, School Library Journal, and thousands of library professionals from around the world gathered for the 6th annual Digital Shift virtual conference to focus on the challenges and opportunities presented by the digital transition’s impact on libraries, their communities, and partners. Now available on-demand, this year’s program provides actionable answers to some of the biggest questions our profession faces for and from libraries of all types – school, academic, and public and features thought-provoking keynotes from John Palfrey, author of BiblioTech: Why Libraries Matter More Than Ever in the Age of Google, and Denise Jacobs, tech leader, author, and creativity evangelist.
Roy Tennant About Roy Tennant

Roy Tennant is a Senior Program Officer for OCLC Research. He is the owner of the Web4Lib and XML4Lib electronic discussions, and the creator and editor of Current Cites, a current awareness newsletter published every month since 1990. His books include "Technology in Libraries: Essays in Honor of Anne Grodzins Lipow" (2008), "Managing the Digital Library" (2004), "XML in Libraries" (2002), "Practical HTML: A Self-Paced Tutorial" (1996), and "Crossing the Internet Threshold: An Instructional Handbook" (1993). Roy wrote a monthly column on digital libraries for Library Journal for a decade and has written numerous articles in other professional journals. In 2003, he received the American Library Association's LITA/Library Hi Tech Award for Excellence in Communication for Continuing Education. Follow him on Twitter @rtennant.


  1. Thank you, Roy for the nice comments on the Internet Archive and Wayback Machine. As you know, librarians live for positive comments from users.