LJAF Awards $1.9 Million to Improve 'Wayback Machine'

The Houston-based Laura and John Arnold Foundation has announced a $1.9 million grant to the Internet Archive, the world's largest public digital library, to develop a search engine for its  popular Wayback Machine portal.

The grant will enable the nonprofit organization to develop a search engine that provides researchers, historians, and others with unprecedented access to the billions of webpages and websites it has archived over the years, ensuring that a comprehensive, open record of the Internet is accessible to all. Currently, users of the portal, which relies on outdated technology and lacks an effective cataloging system, are limited in their ability to find content. The new search engine will allow users to find websites by simply entering a topic or keyword, enabling individuals to uncover an extensive range of relevant content while creating unparalleled access to humanity's digital history.

"It is important that as our methods of communicating evolve, our methods of preserving information also change," said LJAF vice president of venture development Kelli Rhee. "We need an open, free, public record that can be used to hold governments accountable, to ensure that cited evidence is accurate and complete, and to guide decision-making in the digital age. By making it easier to search the Wayback Machine, the Internet Archive is helping to preserve information within the infrastructure of the Web."