Top 40 best free legal movies you can download right now

Sean P. Aune at tech.blorge has put together a great list of movies on  From his blog:

The Internet Archive works to bring together anything and everything that resides in the public domain, and that includes movies.  We’ve gathered together 40 of the best ones that will keep you entertained for hours on end, all without costing you a dime outside of using some of your bandwidth.  Enjoy!

I haven’t seen a lot of these and didn’t even know we had some of them. This is a great list. Gotta watch one of the Hitchcock movies right now.

Sean, thanks for doing the heavy lifting!

-Jeff Kaplan

Posted in Cool items, Video Archive | 13 Comments

The Fourth Generation Petabox

Waiting for your upload or download....

Behind all the cool stuff users see on is some serious hardware. I was curious about the ongoing development of data storage here at Internet Archive. I spent a little time with Mario, Master of the Machines, while he gave me a tour of the newest generation of our staff designed and built Petabox storage units.

Here are some of the specs he gave me for the newest version.
• each has 480 terabytes of raw storage
• each Petabox contains: 240 2-terabyte disks in 4U high rack mounts
• each computer has: 2 – 4 core xeon processors, 12 gigs of RAM each, speed-2 GHz
• each machine has pair of 1Gbit interfaces that are bonded so it’s effectively 2Gbit
• the rack has a switch with uplink of 10Gbit
• Ubuntu OS is stored on a pair of mirrored internal hard drives separate from the data disks
• each has IPMI management interface (allows remote control power cycling and remote console)
• in all there will be a total of 8 units (that’s about 4 million gigabytes).

-Jeff Kaplan

Posted in Hardware, News | 10 Comments

Then and Now

With the continued difficulties in the economy and the comparison often heard to the Great Depression I thought I’d search the Archive for some perspective. While unquestionably there was hardship and suffering, I was heartened to see footage from two places that show daily life.

The first is a series by Ivan Besse of life in Britton, South Dakota. An amazing set of scenes from small town America in the late 1930s show busy people hustling downtown, smiling faces, civic activities and generally what seems to be a tight-knit community that is happy and healthy.

The second from just a year or so later is of San Francisco, home of Internet Archive. In contrast to the Besse film this shows a teeming metropolis full of activity. This film seems more about the scale of enterprise, the high-rise hotels, people hustling to and from businesses, crowds on the Wharf, the early airport and urban life. Less smiling faces but a lively metropolis nonetheless.

During the years these were filmed there was very high unemployment. Yet programs such as the Works Progress Administration were created to provide meaningful employment for many. It was responsible for the creation of many civic projects we continue to enjoy today. Here at Internet Archive we had high hopes that the unemployment extension act that was finally approved by the Senate on Tuesday would help protect the jobs of 140 people who work here. The JobsNow program, originally part of that bill, was cut out at the last minute. So, we all hope that our representatives will find a way to extend the program so that we can continue to expand Internet Archive, a free resource that is intended to provide universal access to all knowledge.

-Jeff Kaplan

Posted in News, Video Archive | 2 Comments

Eels as party favors?

Playing toques in Plaza Garibaldi on June 26 (photo by Scarlet Sanschagrin)

I was in Mexico City a couple of weeks ago, and we went to Plaza Garibaldi where all of the mariachi hang out, waiting to be hired.  There are great bars on the plaza where you can sip tequila (NOT shoot it – don’t get me started!) and listen to mariachi music all evening.  If you’re feeling a bit fatigued and thinking it might be time to call it a night… just wait until the guy with the toques comes along!

Toques is a game where everyone in the group holds hands and the lucky people on the end hold onto metal handles attached to a machine.  The machine is basically a car battery, and the operator slowly cranks up the voltage which courses through everyone’s bodies until the first loser lets go.   (I’m not saying that playing this game is good for your health, I’m just saying it exists!)

Imagine my surprise when I ran across Electric Eel (1954) today on the archive and realized the primitive genesis of this electrifying game!

Whether you go with toques or an electric eel, there’s nothing quite like a few hundred volts to perk you up for the rest of the evening.  Trust me.    — Alexis

Posted in Video Archive | 2 Comments

Millions of books get digitized for the disabled

Thanks to By Stephanie Steinberg at USA TODAY  for the nice writeup about the books for the disabled service at

Millions of books get digitized for the disabled

“For those who are blind, dyslexic or have diseases like multiple sclerosis and have difficulty turning book pages, reading the latest best seller just got easier.

“Brewster Kahle, a digital librarian and founder of a virtual library called the Internet Archive, has launched a worldwide campaign to double the number of books available for print-disabled people.”

Read more at USAToday

-Jeff Kaplan

Posted in Books Archive | 1 Comment

New Support for HTML5 audio tag!

We just rolled out the tag support option for our audio files (which is similar to our tag support that we have had as an option for a bit).

So patrons can now opt to not use our flash plugin for audio file playback with relatively modern browsers (Safari v4+, Firefox v3.5+, Chrome, etc.) that support the new audio/video HTML5 tags.  For such browsers, you can visit an item and then look below where the normal player would be and click “Would you like to try the new audio tag?”  If you prefer this way of listening, we give you the option to set a cookie to make archive audio/video items always use this (non-flash) option.


-Tracey Jaquith

Posted in Audio Archive | Tagged , | 7 Comments

Want to discuss the Wayback Machine or Internet Archive’s web archive?

Over on the web group’s blog is a post inviting input on the Wayback Machine and Internet Archive’s web archive. You can post comments and suggestions. There’s also some useful links. Check it out at

-Jeff Kaplan

Posted in News, Wayback Machine | 1 Comment

October 1962…Camelot in Crisis

Being a fan of MadMen and also being old enough to have experienced “duck and cover”, these recordings are just a revelation:

There’s the Mississippi University Crisis and the Cuban Missile Crisis. Hey, there’s Bobby Kennedy, then the Attorney General. Also, Archibald Cox who was later fired by Richard Nixon (well, Robert Bork actually did the firing). And, Ted Sorenson who is attributed with largely authoring the inaugural “ask not” address. Wait…it’s little Jerry Brown being put on the phone to talk to JFK by his dad, California Governor Pat Brown. Mentions of Hubert, Adlai and Eisenhower.

I couldn’t stop listening until I heard all of them. Check them out.

-Jeff Kaplan

Posted in Audio Archive | Leave a comment

Small Moves: Open Library Integrates Digital Lending

Today, the Internet Archive is pleased to announce 2 new borrowing options through Open Library:

  1. Borrowing ebooks through OverDrive – an ebook through your local library
    We have worked with the team at OverDrive to import about 70,000 new ebook editions into Open Library. All loans via OverDrive are managed through the OverDrive system. Once you click on borrow for these titles, you’ll need to tell OverDrive where you are so it can find your local library.

    Want to try a search through the OverDrive titles?

  2. Borrowing Scanned Books through participating libraries – an ebook to you, anywhere in the world
    Three long-time Internet Archive library partners are now offering scanned books from their collections for loan through Open Library. Boston Public Library, the Biblioteca Ludwig von Mises at the Universidad Francisco Marroquin in Guatemala, the Marine Biological Laboratory in Wood’s Hole as well as the Internet Archive itself are proud to make around 200 titles available for loan as ebooks through Open Library.

    You’ll need to download the free Adobe® Digital Editions software to manage borrowing scanned books.

  3. Borrowing Physical Books through WorldCat– from your local library
    Since Open Library was launched back in 2007, we’ve added links wherever possible into the WorldCat catalog, which you can search using your location to find a copy of the book near you.

Remix Edition page on Open Library

As you may have seen in our recent 1 million accessible books announcement, we used an Open Library subject to group those works with an accessible edition together. We’re doing the same thing with both an OverDrive subject page and a Lending Library subject page, to help you browse what’s available, or click through to a search for something specific.

There are some classic technology titles in the Scanned Collection, from The Media Lab: inventing the future at MIT by Stewart Brand to that 1986 gem, Voice/data telecommunications systems by Michael Gurrie.

Here are a few shortcuts to dive into these new borrowable books…

OverDrive titles:

From the teeny scanned books offering:

If you need any help trying to borrow a book, please be sure to review the borrowing a book through Open Library FAQ. Check out the official announcement over on!

Posted in Books Archive | 3 Comments

New Firefox Add-on for searching the Wayback Machine

Fellow time travelers,

We have a new Firefox add-on that allows you to search the Wayback Machine from your browser. You can get it at:

For those who have yet to travel back in time, the Internet Archive Wayback Machine allows you to browse through over 150 billion web pages archived from 1996 to a few months ago.

So install the Wayback Machine Firefox add-on and take a trip.

-Jeff Kaplan

Posted in News, Wayback Machine | 3 Comments

Please help again…Senate to vote on bill to preserve jobs at Internet Archive

Friends of Internet Archive,

I’m back to ask your help again in getting S. 4213 passed this week to preserve and create jobs at the Archive. The bill would extend the JobsNow program. The House passed there version of it last week and this week, maybe today, the Senate will vote to determine if it will become law.

The Jobs Now program has been a game changer not only for us, but also for the 125 IA staff we have hired with these dollars. We all want this program to continue to be funded for 2010/2011. Passage of bill S 4213 will also help the unemployed and underemployed in all 50 states.

Please check out this link –

Please call the Senators in the state where you live, you were born in, the Senators in the state you used to live in and pass this link across the Nation. Tweet it, blog it, email it.

Our goal is to get 10,000 calls in 100 hours to 50 Senators. Passage of the bill happened in the House two weeks ago. Passage is not assured in the Senate. The Senate returns to Washington Tuesday, June 8th.

Let’s rise to this challenge and make Archive history and help our fellow citizens.

Please call as soon as you can to express support for passage of Senate bill S. 4213.

Thank you.

-Jeff Kaplan and all the staff at Internet Archive

Posted in News | 2 Comments

We need books to scan, please send what you can.

We need books to scan.

See that widget over there on the upper right. It’s titled “IA BookDrive Book of the Week • Please Contribute Yours •“. I’m going to be posting photos of books each week that we have received for the Internet Archive Book Drive. But we need more, lots more, which is where you come in. We’re covering the cost of scanning the first 10,000 books we receive. That’s 10 cents a page (I’ll let you do the math on your own books).

They can be new or used, sent from you or from an online bookseller. (note: if you’re buying books to send please check on to see if we’ve already scanned the work). You can send as many books as you like (if you have more than 100 please contact us about shipping). Bestsellers, fiction, non-fiction, reference, technical, paperback, hard cover, any subject, any genre…they’re all good.

We need books to scan.  Please send what you can.

There’s more information at

a box of book going to Internet Archive

Please send your books to Internet Archive Book Drive

Posted in Books Archive | 3 Comments

Call for Applications for the K-12 Web Archiving Program

K-12 Archiving ProgramFrom the Archive-It team:

If you were a K12 student which websites would you want to save for future generations? What would you want people to look at 50 or even 500 years from now?

These questions are central to the K12 Web Archiving Program, a partnership between the Internet Archive and the Library of Congress. Now wrapping up its second year, with 12 schools in 11 states around the country, this innovative program provides a new perspective on saving history and culture, allowing students to actively participate and make decisions about what “at risk” website content will be saved. The decisions they make help them to develop an awareness of how the Web content they choose will become primary sources for future historians studying our lives.

Archive-It logoThe program uses Archive-It, a web archiving service from the Internet Archive, to capture born digital content from the Web to create collection “time capsules.” Students decide the type of collections and the specific websites to be captured, attaching a brief description to every one so that people in the future will know why they chose this content. By allowing students to identify websites that will be preserved for the long-term, the program gives teens and younger students a chance to identify and document their cultural history and the world that’s important to them. Unlike time capsules of tangible objects, which usually remain hidden for decades or centuries, the resulting Web collections are immediately visible and publicly accessible, with full text search for study and analysis.

Any teachers that are interested in this program, please visit the application website for more information and to fill out an application for the 2010/2011 school year.  Applications are due by July 2.

To see collections that students have created in the first two years of the program, please visit the program website.

-Jeff Kaplan

Posted in Archive-It, News | 2 Comments

We need your help

Some of the Internet Archive JobsNow staff

We love what we do here at Internet Archive and hope you do too. We’ve grown immensely over the past year in large part because of a program that is little known outside of San Francisco called JobsNow. It is a federally funded program which helps create and protect the jobs of over 100 people on staff who scan books, manage collections and make sure that we continue our mission to provide universal access to all knowledge.

Today, the House of Representative will vote on HR 4213 to extend the JobsNow program for one year. If it is approved the Senate will immediately also vote on their version of the bill.

Respectfully, we would appreciate your calling 877-442-6801 to urge your Representatives and Senators to vote for HR 4213.

Please call right away as they are voting today.

Below my signature is additional information on the program and the bill.

Thanks so much.

-Jeff Kaplan and the Internet Archive staff

Additional information:

1. Vote status – The House vote is supposed to be happening today, Wednesday May 26th. The Senate vote needs to happen before the holiday recess.

2. Take a minute and call 877-442-6801 and urge your representative to vote for H.R. 4213 to create and save jobs. It only takes 2 minutes.

3. Overview from San Francisco Examiner article

If the bill wins House approval tomorrow (May 26), it will immediately go to the Senate where Senate leaders will attempt to bring it to a vote before Congress adjourns for the Memorial Day recess. Republican leaders are likely to filibuster the jobs bill, meaning it will take 60 votes for passage.

But if it isn’t passed and signed into law before the recess, millions of jobless workers will lose their unemployment insurance (UI) and COBRA health insurance benefits beginning June 2, when the extended programs for both expires.

In a separate analysis, EPI estimates the legislation, which extends UI payments through the end of 2010, will provide an estimated 5 million unemployed workers with support, while ensuring access to affordable health care. But without this extension, over 8 million Americans will run out of unemployment insurance benefits by the end of this year. The extension will ensure that 5 million of these workers continue receiving support until the end of 2010.

4. Relevant section of the bill – see page 13


Extension of TANF jobs and emergency fund. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act created an Emergency Contingency Fund (ECF) within the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program to help States with increasing expenditures on: basic assistance for families in the TANF program; short-term, one-time aid for needy families; and subsidized employment programs (such programs temporarily pay for all or part of the wages of a worker in a public or private job).  This emergency fund is now scheduled to expire on September 30, 2010, which will lead some States to shut down ECF-funded subsidized employment programs even earlier.  (These programs are scheduled to fund 185,000 jobs by the end of September.)
The bill would provide $2.5 billion to extend this fund through FY 2011, as well as clarify certain program rules, such as eligibility for workers exhausting unemployment benefits.  This provision is estimated to cost $2.48 billion over 10 years.

5.    Full bill

Posted in News | 2 Comments

New NASA Images Guest Showcase: June Lockhart

From NASA Images:

NASA Images is proud to welcome June Lockhart to the Guest Showcase line-up in June Lockhart: The NASA Diaries.

June has been involved with NASA for years.  She has attended shuttle launches, opened the Kids Space Museum at the Johnson Space Center, and helped NASA celebrate the 40th anniversary of Apollo. She has been a long time supporter of all things NASA. June takes this opportunity to share some of her dearest memories of her relationship with the space agency:

“’…There’s a new sunrise in space every hour and a half – so the song would be very appropriate.’ It was astronaut Ken Reightler speaking in response to my suggestion that my fathers song ‘The World is Waiting for the Sunrise’ would be a good wake up tune for the astronauts on the upcoming shuttle flight Columbia. We played the Les Paul and Mary Ford version of the song just after 2 a.m. On October 27, 1992. I was there in the mission control viewing room and listened to the music fill the sky. My father would have loved it. My eyes filled with tears…”

“…Bill Mcarthur and I shared some phone calls during his time on the ISS in 2005. On December 16, I went to JPL for a video conference. We sent films and photos and a poster of me in my space suit from ‘Lost In Space’ which he had posted on the wall of the ISS. He said I was the first pin-up in outerspace!”

Check out June Lockhart: The NASA Diaries at

Posted in Cool items, NASA Images | 1 Comment