Skip to main content

Communication 4473: Survey of Political Communication: Internet Archives

Library of Congress - Election Webpage Archive

United States Elections Web Archive
Since 2000, the Library has archived websites related to the U.S. presidential, congressional, and gubernatorial elections. Snapshots are taken less than the Internet Archive's Wayback Machine. However, snapshots are reviewed by staff at the Library of Congress.

When citing archived webpages, remember check the rules for Rites & Access!
For LoC, citations should indicate: Archived in the Library of Congress Web Archives at


Internet Archive - The Wayback Machine

The Wayback Machine is a tool that has been created by an organization called Internet Archive. Every few months, the Internet Archive does a sweep of the surface web and saves the content in image form. Their search engine, called The Wayback Machine, allows the public to search the records they've gathered from the state of the surface web at various points in time.

For more information about how the Wayback Machine works and how to use it, check out the Internet Archive's Wayback Machine FAQs. There are no citation format requests from the Internet Archive, but I would recommend following the Library of Congress citation standard.

The Surface Web vs. The Deep Web

Do you need to see how a website looked in 2014? Are you looking for a webpage that no longer exists? The "surface web" is constantly changing. Websites and webpages are edited or removed every day. Fortunately, internet archives crawl the web every few days/weeks/months to record a snapshot of a moment in a website's existence.

Keep in mind, if a website that has webpages removed daily may not have been recorded completely. If you're having trouble finding the information you need, don't hesitate to Ask a Librarian.

A visual aid in understanding the Web. Source:

Who archives the internet?

“We can’t expect for-profit corporations to care about the past, but we can support the independent, nonprofit organizations that do.” As Google abandons its past, internet archivists step in to save our collective memory

Learn more about how non-profits have stepped up to archive the internet.