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5 Tips For Maximizing Use of the Internet Archives

Screen shot of the internet archives

Do you like to research your home and perhaps in your pajamas fantastic? Then you will want to use these tips when researching the Internet Archive!!!

I interviewed a popular speaker, Dan Earl, known as The Family History Guy, on Twitter and found out his five best tips for using Internet Archives to add depth to your family history.

VIDEO: How to research internet archives

Watch this video on YouTube.

Tip #1: Sign Up for Free Internet Archive account

Before you can take advantage of the Internet Archive, be sure to sign up for a free account. Why? Because this allows you to corral your favorite finds and check out eBooks!

With a free account, you can also upload content and recommend websites to be archived.

Tip # 2: Download Full-Color PDFs from the Internet Archive

If you’re going to be downloading a book, make sure you download the full-color version of the PDF. Sometimes, when we download things in black and white, you can’t see little nuances if you don’t see the page in color.

Tip #3: Look for Optical Character Recognition Guides

Before you search through the texts of a digital book, go onto Google and look for an optical “character recognition exchange guide.”

When computers digitize books, they misread it a “c” with a fleck of dust in the middle as the letter “e.” Suddenly, Carl becomes Earl.

If you have that cheat sheet when you’re searching for something and don’t get the results you’re expecting, you can start using those character substitutions to find what you’re looking for in the Internet Archive.

If you find a cheat sheet, this tool can also be used for digitized newspapers, city directories, and more. Place it right above your workspace for easy reference.

Tip #4: Bookmark Websites and Then Use the Wayback Machine on Internet Archive

When you’re on a website, there’s a risk that things will not be permanent. Make sure you save your findings to your favorites bookmarks on your browser. If you have a URL saved, and the website disappears, you can use the Wayback Machine on Internet Archive to find the website again.

The Wayback Machine on the Internet Archive is a feature where they’ve been archiving parts of the internet since 1996. If you get an error message when trying to access a website, you will copy and paste the URL into the Wayback Machine, and you’ll see when that website was archived from 1996 to the present.

Some of the pictures on the Wayback Machine will no longer be accessible, but you will be able to access the text and navigate the links for the old web pages.

Tip #5: Play old video games!

The Internet Archives as playable versions of games, such as Oregon Trail. Games like Oregon Trail allow you to teach your kids history, especially if he had families that were part of a pioneer movement. They learn so much, and you can share family histories about their ancestors as they play.

↪️ Are you looking for more genealogy resources?

Grab your copy of this FREE Genealogy Research Guide:

Fingers typing on keyboard with title 10 Online Genealogy Resources You Have to Try

BONUS TIP #6: Explore the Radio

You can access old radio programs, like Gunsmoke and Dragnet. This is a great way for you to share those pre-YouTube days with your grandkids.

What tips do you use with the Internet Archive?

Dan, shared these great tips in further detail in the video. Be sure to watch it in its entirety. If you have questions, leave them here on this blog post or in the comments section on YouTube.

Be sure to support Dan by visiting his blog or connecting with him on Twitter.

You Might Also Like These Additional Online Genealogy Tips:

Discover 5 tips for making the most out of the Internet Archive for genealogy discoveries. #genealogy #archives #resources

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