Guns, Gams & Gumshoes

A blog for PIs and writers/readers of the PI genre

  • Writing a Sleuth?

    A Guide for Writing Fictional Sleuths from a Couple of Real-Life Sleuths

    "How to Write a Dick is the best work of its kind I’ve ever come across because it covers the whole spectrum in an entertaining style that will appeal to layman and lawmen alike."

    Available on Kindle

  • Copyright Notices

    All rights reserved by Colleen Collins. Any use of the content on this site (including images owned by Colleen Collins) requires specific, written authority.

    It has come to our attention that people are illegally copying and using the black and white private eye at a keyboard image that is used on our site. NOTE: This image is protected by copyright, property of Colleen Collins.

  • Writing PIs on Twitter

  • Guns, Gams, and Gumshoes

Archive for the ‘Researching archived web pages’ Category

Going Back in Time:

Posted by Writing PIs on June 2, 2010



Your Internet searches don’t need to stop with the “404 Error–Page Not Found”– lets you bypass this broken link and look up archives of the website.  Kinda like stepping back in Internet time.  But that’s not all offers!

What Is

The Internet Archive is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, and since 1996 has been building a digital library of Internet sites and other cultural artifacts in digital form.  To quote from its site, “Like a paper library, we provide free access to researchers, historians, scholars, and the general public.”

Way Back Machine

As PIs, one of our favorite features is the “Way Back Machine” where you can put in a url, press the “Take Me Back” button and see archived pages of an Internet site.  So if you run into one of those 404 Errors while looking for a site, go to and enter the url in the Way Back Machine at the top of the main web page.  You can even drag and drop the Way Back Machine bookmarklet to your browser’s tookbar so if you want to view archived images of a website you’re visiting, just click this toolbar link.

Universal Access to All Knowledge

The Internet Archive offers, through its Open Education Resources Library, hundreds of free courses, video lectures, and other

One of two cameras on a book scanner at the In...

One of two cameras on a book scanner at the Internet Archive headquarters in San Francisco, California. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

materials from universities in the U.S. and China.  To go to the Open Education Resources Library, click on “Projects” at the top left of the main page, scroll down the page,  and click the “Education” link.

Download Free Books and Texts

The Text Archives contains over two million items, including fiction, popular books, children’s books, historical texts and academic books.  To go to these free books and texts, click on “Texts” at the top left of the main page.  We “checked out” The True Benjamin Franklin (published 1903).  The e-bookreader opens to an image of the hardback cover. Clicking the “flip page” buttons, we could move forward and back, page by page, through the book (with the pages flipping).  You can increase the font size for readability, search for words, layout the book in multiple-page format, even print pages.

Making U.S. Federal Court Documents Available, for free!

In our investigations business, we’ll sometimes access the fee-based PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records), which provides online access to US. Appellate, District, and Bankruptcy court records and documents.  These documents are gradually becoming free to the public, via, through the efforts of the Princeton University’s Center for Information Technology who’s working with the Internet Archive to launch the RE-CAP project.

There’s a lot more.  Check it out, and while there, take a step back in time via the Way Back Machine.

Have a great week, Writing PIs

Posted in Researching archived web pages | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

%d bloggers like this: