Sunday, December 09, 2007

Everything Old is New Again

I sometimes feel that I missed the very best days of the internet...back when it was a free for all for information and fun stuff...before it became just another venue for commerce. I became computer literate just at the time all that cool stuff was, well, not disappearing, because it's still there, but getting harder for the Average Joe like me to find under the clutter of optimized commercial sites.

Do a search for an old piece of music, for example, and you'll land on I-Tunes or Amazon, who are more than willing to take your dollar.

But today, I stumbled on a completely neat, wonderful site completely devoid of any practical value, but a lot of fun....Internet Archives.

My Grandfather used to entertain his children, Grandchildren, wife and extended family, by singing the song of Anne Boleyn- with "Her 'head tucked underneath her arm"- and asked me, since I was in London to find a copy of the recording. I had no luck in the stores, but a trip to the internet took me to the Internet Archives.

What a great site. Internet Archives is host to the famous Wayback Machine (an archive of web pages from (gosh) decades (can you believe - decades?) past- but I never knew it was crammed full of so much other neat stuff!

A group of several collections of material, all of it in the public domain is housed there...

Not only did I find an MP3 version of the old British Novelty Record, but I also found a recording from the early 1900s of "The Wreck of the Old 97" a song my dad used to play on his guitar to sing me to sleep as a child.

You want to hear FDR's fireside chats, and download them...there they are....right alongside all the bootleg concert tapes that the Grateful Dead always allowed in the public domain....

At any rate, a great trip if you into collecting virtual junk...have fun.

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