Answered By Library Staff
Last Updated: Jun 08, 2023     Views: 58

Check out the Wayback Machine from the Internet Archive (IA).

Have a url that is defunct (no longer working) or that now is behind a paywall? Often we will find references to material in our research but run into issues accessing or opening a link. If a link is broken (will not load a page or gives an error message), the link could still be good - for finding the previous version of that content! See an archived version of a link by using the IA's tool to get access to the history of a webpage. 

(!) Keep in mind that if corrections or additions were made to an article/webpage, the earlier versions might not have them (!).

Sometimes the Wayback Machine is the only way to access the content if something has been deleted or removed, however.

See this in-depth IA tutorial on how to use. 

Here's a quick video without sound on how to use it to access earlier archived versions of paywalled content (screencapture used was not able to show right clicking on Google results title to get the url to plug into the Wayback Machine): 


This tutorial from the TCC Library, though targeted for faculty, shows how to use the Wayback Machine as well, starting at the timestamp: 


Sometimes, a Wayback Machine link will be sent in "Open Access" responses to interlibrary loan/document delivery requests if it is the only way to get access to the material. Our preference for fulfilling article requests through the Access Services Office is a scan of the print, so that patrons have more context to the provenance of material (ie as something looked in print publication). But that is not always possible, efficient, or cost effect. 

Though Open Access typically means licensed material freer of typical copyright restrictions, Open Access in the Access Services Office has a wider umbrella definition. See below for more information.