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Internet Archive – The Web In A Box

Topics: Popular Media | Add A CommentBy admin | March 26, 2009

Thousands of hours of media and archived web content in a shipping container

I’m always a little amazed when I mention the Internet Archive to someone who spends a lot of time on the web, and they haven’t heard of it. If you’re not familiar with the site, it’s an incredible archive of film, audio, text, and even the internet itself. The Wayback Machine lets you visit sites that no longer exist, so we can enjoy lost treasures like RubberBurner.com, where you can learn some “FAST and BASIC facts” about Curry, “A slim and handsome race car driver” (a site which later turned out to be one of the first viral marketing campaigns). If you’re the kind of person who accidently spends hours on Wikipedia, the Internet Archive can be dangerous. The Prelinger Archive, for instance, not only has classic feature films like Un Chien Andalou, Night of the Living Dead, and Nosferatu available for download, but a wealth of often hilarious old commercials like the one featured at left from 1956 called Once Upon a Honeymoon, in which a (probably gay) angel descends from heaven to sprinkle fairy dust on the house of a young couple to ensure they have fashionable new phones before they go on their honeymoon. I’m especially drawn to the film section of the site, because of things like Cinemocracy, where they’ve archived 1940′s propaganda pieces by directors like John Ford, John Huston, and Frank Capra. If you’re a technophile, you’ll also find it pretty interesting that they’re moving the entire three petabyte archive into a shipping container, much like Google’s floating servers.