Are you using Internet Archive for genealogy? Internet Archive is exactly what it sounds like: a non-profit library of millions of free books, movies, software, music, and more.
Founded in 1996, the Internet Archive offers:
- over 150 billion web pages (archived in the Wayback Machine),
- about 240,000 movies,
- over 500,000 audio items (including over 70,000 live concerts),
- over 1,800,000 texts, 1600 education items, and over 30,000 software items.
There’s no way we can show you in a single blog post how to find everything you’d want for genealogy on Internet Archive, from family histories to all the U.S. censuses (search from the home page on “Census of the United States” plus the year) , to a digital book collection from the Allen County Public Library Genealogy Center. Its resources are so huge you can easily get lost or distracted: you start by looking for something related to your ancestors and find yourself listening to an old radio program.
Your best bet is to schedule yourself an hour to just start browsing! (Try not to get TOO distracted by the movie and audio archive, unless this is where you want to be. Maybe pick something and start listening, then open a new screen and keep searching for family history goodies.) Lisa has already zeroed in on some items: “I searched within the Allen County Public Library Genealogy Center collection on Internet Archive and found a couple of old digitized books about Huntingdonshire, England that I can’t wait to comb through in search of Cookes!”
Before you start digging, we recommend this series of free new videos by Internet Archive. The site has changed over the past six months–great news especially for those who access it via a mobile device. Our Tip: We’d start with these short videos, in this order:
What will YOU find on Internet Archive for your family history? Share your discovery on our Facebook page or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with what you’ve found!