I always look forward to checking out new sites recommended to me by one of my many colleagues. This time, Mr. Brandon, our TV Production guru, has hit gold with his discovery. He directed me to the Internet Archive, a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving and cataloging text, audio, moving images and software. The site is a work in progress (as is everything that exists in digital form, no?) and finding what you are looking for is no easy task yet – it probably doesn’t even exist in the IA catalog, as copyrights and other issues means there are still limitations to the collection.
Among the many resources that you will find at IA are lectures from places like the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute (MSRI), the Monterey Institute for Technology and Education (MITE), and 14 universities from China.
Many people, I suspect, will find the moving images and audio collections to be the most interesting link at IA. Each collection is divided into categories and sub-categories, which can also be organized according to popularity and most downloaded. The moving images collection, for example, is divided into groups such as, “animation & cartoons”, “ephemeral films”, “sports videos” and “movies”. Movies is then further sub-divided into “home movies”, “stock footage”, “classic TV”, “feature films”, etc.
Don’t be disappointed when you can’t find the latest blockbusters under “feature films”. What you will find are many films from a bygone era with titles such as, “Night of the Living Dead”, “Nosferatu”, “His Girl Friday” and “D.O.A”. Great stuff for the film lover, not so much for the Internet surfer. Besides viewing these films online, some of the links also allow you to download the films to your computer. This download feature is also available on the “stock footage” link, which provides generic film footage to be used, free of charge, in your own video productions.
Like many other non-profits, the Internet Archive depends on contributions and contributors. Unlike many other sites, the “ABOUT” section of the IA actually contains useful information for those wishing to help with money, or desiring to become a contributor of information. Scroll down the “ABOUT” section, and you will also discover links to yet more information resources such as Project Gutenberg, and The National Science Foundation Digital Library Program, – to name just two.
Thank you for stopping by.
© 2008 henry toromoreno