Basics of Using the Internet Archive for Genealogy – Interview with Dan Earl

Do you like to do research in your home
in your pajamas fantastic you need to learn about Internet Archive howdy I’m Devon Noel Lee with family
history fanatics and we’re here with Dan Earl the family history guy and he’s
going to tell us some tips on how to research in the Internet Archive which
we can do in our pajamas or not yeah so the first thing I would recommend for
everybody is that you sign up for an account the account is free everything
on the internet archive is free but that free account is going to allow you to
save favorites it’s going to allow you to check out ebooks that they have as a
part of their collection that you can’t do without that free account so that
free count is a fantastic feature that allows you to do all of those things and
plus a lot of other stuff and you can upload things you can recommend websites
to be archived it’s just a fantastic simple free thing to do you know that
wasn’t new to me I didn’t know about the saving the ebooks and checking it out
that way so hey you just learned something new okay that’s another tip
you have okay the second tip that I have is if you’re going to be downloading a
book right because they have lots of stuff that you can download text wise
make sure you download the full color version of the PDF why is that because
sometimes when we download things in black and white the there’s little
nuances of things and if it doesn’t get caught just right it makes it difficult
to see so when we see it in full color it’s much easier to read that is a great
tip that’s why we’re talking to him alright then the third one is before you
search through the texts because you can search within each text within the
Internet Archive is to go onto Google and look for an optical character
recognition exchange guide because what happens is when they use the computers
to to digitize that and they read it a see with the fleck of dust in the middle
suddenly becomes the letter e so you’re Karl becomes an earl and not that that’s
a bad thing but it’s not who you’re looking for it may
not come up so if you have that cheat sheet with you then you’re searching for
something and you 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 well and I know this isn’t related to Internet Archive but it
sounds like we should just go get this cheat sheets for any database maybe
newspapers calm or ancestries city directories and use that cheat sheet as
well what do you think yeah exactly it’s an invaluable tool print it off have it
up above your workspace right next to your all your other stuff and it’ll be
well worth using your printer for aren’t you glad that you’re watching this video
I love this perfect keep going alright so another tip when it comes to
the to the websites is always always when you’re on a website and you there’s
a risk with the internet that things are not going to be permanent make sure you
save it to your favorites because if you forget the URL the WW that we type in at
the beginning there’s not a way for you to use the wayback machine feature on
the Internet Archive to find it it’s it’s not a miracle-worker you can’t just
ask it to find that website that I saw five years ago that I’m thinking of
right now it can’t do that but if you know the URL if you saved it in your
favorite in your browser you can go back and find it through that archived
internet that they have on there which is fantastic
so tell me more about this way back because you just kind of alluded to it
what is it what it what’s the purpose of it so the wayback machine on the
Internet Archive is a feature where they’ve been archiving parts of the
internet since 1996 so if you think about it that’s 23 years ago right so
almost a quarter of a century worth of the Internet has been archived not every
site gets archived but the big ones will right so if there’s important data
information that you’ve had where you get you’d log in and you try oh I’m
going to go to that website and you get the 404 error page not found instead of
getting frustrated and checking your computer out the window you copy and
paste that URL you go over to the Wayback Machine on the internet archive
paste it in there and it will give you a whole readout of when they archive that
web page from 1996 to present perfect so my mom had a pageant news service called
turn for the judges and it began actually
about 1996 oh that’s fabulous but I do remember checking out
I do remember checking out her website and some of the pictures weren’t there
do you know why but that might be yeah so sometimes when they archive the
website they’re not doing a screen shot which is great because it still makes
the page links interactive so you can go from one page to another you can still
click on the links they stay active but because of that if that picture is no
longer available that just comes up with like a little square with the sad little
piece of paper that’s folded over and one yeah that’s what I’m finding yeah
that’s the further back you go the more common that is but the further back you
go those links are still active which is fantastic okay great so not everybody is
searching for pageantry obviously but you could be looking for genealogy data
and so this archives death bet people posted long long ago I really like that
that’s a great tip do you have any more tips oh yeah so if you have kids if you
have grandkids one of the greatest video games in the history of that and if you
were born anytime between 1960 and now you have played Oregon Trail they have I
thought you’re gonna say something else on Atari like pong or Frogger or space
invaders but okay keep going they have those too but the Oregon Trail is
fantastic because it it’s it’s the cheese sauce on the broccoli of history
right because kids like like broccoli right they don’t necessarily like
history right I think they don’t like tide they’re fed up but when we cover it
in cheese sauce right it makes it much easier for them to eat right it’s that
it’s that so the Oregon Trail video game is broccoli and cheese okay I like that
or maybe broccoli and ranch dressing very there you go okay and so it allows
you to teach them the history especially if he had families that were part of a
pioneer movement that came across it’s a great way to for them to learn that
history we played that with our kids recently when they had a series of snow
days and we were ready for them to die of dysentery
and and our kids did we let them make mistakes we let them you know just
explore that game and they learned so much and my wife was able to share with
them trail stories and stuff that they from from our own ancestors that had
done that that had walked across the plains and it was a great experience for
them so making family history enjoyable for kids is incorporating some of the
things in the past especially the 10×2 the history I really like that cuz we
have a lot of good viewers you’re like what can I do with my kids get them
involved and I had kids who absolutely loved video games they ad nauseum oh my
gosh think it away from the screen you really like that so maybe I could do a
little trade-off what a great tip anything else um yeah so so yeah there’s
so much on the internet archive’s this is be the last one I promise and if you
are maybe an older person and you remember back in the days when TV didn’t
have pictures it was just called radio they have a series of old radio programs
like Gunsmoke and dragnet and what a great way for you to share that with
your with your grandkids do they have war of the world I believe they do on
LibriVox where you can listen to that okay we’re gonna have to check that out
because isn’t that the one where people actually thought the world was thought
the world was coming to an end yeah I think my kids are totally laughs since
they watched adventures and everything’s coming to end and they wouldn’t really
get it but it would be kind of fun with it yeah oh yeah it would the kids would
love it so often okay so Dan you are the family history guy tell me and the
viewers how they can connect with you and what is the family history guy mean
yeah so you can connect with me through any social media platform on Twitter
Facebook I’ve got a website that you can go to and the family history guy is just
that it’s just every family has that guy that’s in the family history right or
girl that’s in the family history and for my family I’m that guy and so I
started posting stuff about my own family and it’s grown to posting things
about other people’s family and how you can do research on your own so so what
is a post that you would recommend people reading like right now like your
favorite post did you post it okay my favorite one is about my oldest son
he was in a middle school jazz band a couple years ago and if you’ve never
been to a middle school jazz concert congratulations you’ve won the gift of
life if you’ve ever put a cat in a blender it
sounds pretty pretty close well because that’s a lot of people kind of barely
learning to play the instrument I played the oboe and it sounds like a dying duck
and so you’ve got a lot of dying duck heard of dying ducks and and they’re
trying to play jazz and so we went and and we patiently endured it but when we
got to the car I talked to my son I said oh did you know that your grandfather
was a professional jazz drummer in the 1930s in the Detroit area he’s like oh I
didn’t know that jazz must be in my DNA right and after that he just wanted to
listen to jazz music he just wanted to be like his grandfather who he’s named
after and he just wanted that experience because he hadn’t connected those dots
before and and that was and so I wrote a blog post about it and it’s a great way
where we can whenever we can make a connection like that with with with
young people and family history that’s that’s a win-win for everybody
absolutely and I was thinking you’re going to tell us something about an
ancestor but you started with the youth and then tied it to the ancestor because
there that we need to get them prepared to take over the reins right exactly
awesome well thank you so much Dan for joining us on family history fanatics if
you have any further questions about Internet Archive put them in the comment
section below and we’ll make sure Dan checks in from time to time to answer
them and if you like the content we have here on family history fanatics be sure
to hit the subscribe button and the bell perfect alright you

Comments 3

  • I could barely hear him, she was too loud. Great information on what I could hear.

  • (in reference to the below comment about Devon being too loud) Yes Devon you do need to move the microphone a little further away from you and a little closer to your guests. Dan's voice was a little on the low side. Like Devon, I too am hard of hearing – not profoundly deaf – but I have definitely lost a fair bit of my hearing. Otherwise that was an interesting inteview!! Thanks.

  • The sound is very low

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