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Using Wayback

I'll post the instructions here so other people can benefit too. I doubt that you're the only one with this question, FC.

To start, you need to copy an old URL that doesn't work. When you go to Wayback, there's a little BROWSE HISTORY window in the middle of the screen with http:// already in it. Copy over that and paste in the URL you want to search on. (If you leave the original http:// there it won't work, so you need to either copy over it or delete before starting.)

When you click on Browse History you're going to get one of several results.

1. Hrm. Wayback Machine doesn't have that page archived.

This means it's not available at all. You're out of luck.

2. The site for this page is down. Try again (paraphrasing here).

Sometimes Wayback gets tired and pages won't come up, even though you know they have it. Just make a note of that and try again later.

3. A page full of calendars with a timeline across the top. Some of the years have black lines in them and some of the calendar days have a blue circle over them. This is what you WANT to happen. Every one of those circles represents one instance when the site was archived by Wayback. Click on one.

Sometimes you'll get the old site. Sometimes you'll get a page saying the domain is for sale. Sometimes you'll get a porn site (that happened with beduini's original site - don't go there!). If you don't get the old site right away, click on a different year in the timeline that has black lines in it. Wayback tends to bring up the newest instances, so you're going to have to go backward in time until you find the original site. But you should find it. Very very rarely is the site not there at all.

You won't necessarily be able to see the original images or graphics from the site because they often don't get saved. You might even find that none of the links work. But I use those times to make a list of titles and then google them individually. Hopefully you can find them somewhere else.

I hope all of that made sense. Wayback is confusing enough on its own without me making it worse. Good luck, and let us know how you do.



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