Mar 27, 2012

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In bookstores, we only see the finished product of a body of work, but the Internet allows us to explore a collection of drafts. We can chart the progress or history of a website thanks to the Wayback Machine.


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The Wayback Machine: allows you to browse through 30 billion Web pages archived from 1996 to a few months ago. To use this site type in the URL of a site or page of which you would like to research, and click the Take Me Back button. Once you have conducted your search, select from the archived dates available.

Try looking at the history of this Martin Luther King site. The site, (UPDATE – at the time of posting this article, it was a live site) seems like a good site for students to find information about Martin Luther King Jr. The URL contains his name, and if you search for Martin Luther King in Google, this site usually appears in your top five results, claiming it is a “valuable resource for students and teachers.” As you read the material on the site, you will find very negative and misleading information about Dr. King. It is published by a White Pride organization called Stormfront. In fact because it is a hate site, it will be blocked by many Internet filters.

Have a look at the history of this site. Go to the Wayback Machine: Type in the search box. The first archive of this site dates from April 21, 1999.

If you click on this archive you will see how the site used to look. While on this page, scroll to the bottom. Note that the heading is front and center on the site.

Now check the date June 22, 2003. Note that the heading Stormfront has been removed from the home page. Currently, Stormfront is back up on the home page.


  1. Amazing!

  2. So I clicked on the saved links of the page and very inappropriate things popped up on my screen. Good to know.

  3. Tricky people! It’s good to know a way to know what information might actually be bad information.

  4. Wow!

  5. This has a lot of potential for research!

  6. I feel like I’ve been given the keys to the kingdom! So much information is available to me know that wasn’t before.

  7. Sneaky folks

  8. Good to know!

  9. I am not sure how useful this website is. It is pretty cool however I am not sure my students would ever delve this deep into a website.


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