May 23, 2022

Internet Archive Receives Grant to Develop the Next Generation Wayback Machine

Great news about an important and essential Internet research tool and overjoyed to read (below) that keyword search is on the list of project goals.

From the IA Blog:

When completed in 2017, the next generation Wayback Machine will have more and better webpages that are easier to find. The Internet Archive, with generous support from the Laura and John Arnold Foundation (LJAF), is re-building the Wayback Machine which currently offers access to 439+ billion Web captures including Web pages, video and images.


Project Goals

Highlighting the provenance of pages found in the Wayback Machine. Hundreds of organizations and individuals participate in building web collections at the Internet Archive. Patrons will be able to see the partner that selected websites or webpages for collection by the Internet Archive.

Rewriting the Wayback Machine code. This will enable us to improve reliability and functionality.

Optimizing the scope and quality of pages we crawl. We now capture about 1 billion pages per week. This project will help us improve what we capture.

Improving the playback of media-rich and interactive websites. Supporting new formats while maintaining older ones is a key challenge for keeping as many webpages visible as possible.

Updating the user interface. Making it easier for patrons to discover archived websites and learn from our digital history.

Finding websites based on keywords. While indexing all of the pages in the Wayback Machine is beyond what we can do, we will index homepages of websites so that patrons won’t have to enter specific URLs to dive into the Wayback Machine.

Partnering with other services to repair broken links by pointing to the Wayback Machine. For example, we are working with the Wikimedia Foundation to identify broken links in Wikipedia sites and replacing them with links to archived pages from the Wayback Machine.

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.