The Internet Archive Wayback
A massive archiving project has been collecting web pages that go way back in time, at least way back to 1996—the Internet Archive Wayback Machine. Now you can access this amazing archive via simple or advanced searches.
How did they do this, and who are 'they?' There’s a FAQ that explains all of this. Also explained are questions about how to include or exclude your site from the archive.
How big is this collection? This is mind-boggling! Here’s what their FAQ says:
"How large is the Archive?
The Internet Archive Wayback Machine contains over 100 terabytes of data and is currently growing at a rate of 12 terabytes per month. The archive contains multiple copies of the entire publicly available web. This eclipses the amount of data contained in the world’s largest libraries, including the Library of Congress. If you tried to place the entire contents of the archive onto floppy disks (I don’t recommend this!) and laid them end to end, it would stretch from New York, past Los Angeles, and halfway to Hawaii."
And how much is a terabyte? A trillion bytes.
The Wayback Machine also includes several special collections, as listed below.
This is a terrific research tool, a fun site to explore, or an interesting place to browse on a stormy day with a hot beverage.