30 Second Bookmarklet for Saving a Web Location to the Wayback Machine

In passing, I just referenced a web page in another post, the content of which I really don’t want to lose access to if the page disappears. A quick fix is to submit the page to the Internet Archive Wayback Machine, so that at least I know a copy of the page will be available there.

From the Internet Archive homepage, you can paste in a URL and the Archive will check to see if it has a copy of the page. In many cases, the page will have been grabbed multiple times over the years, which also means you can track a page’s evolution over time.

Also on the homeopage is a link that allows you to submit a URL to request that that page is also saved to the archive:

Here’s the actual save page:

When you save the page, a snapshot is grabbed:

Saving a page to the Wayback Machine

Checking the URL for that page, it looks like we can grab a snapshot by passing the URL https://web.archive.org/save/ followed by the URL of the page we want to save…

Hmmm… 30s bookmarklet time. Many years ago, I spent some of the happiest and most productive months (for me) doing an Arcadia Fellowship with the University Library in Cambridge, tinkering with toys and exploring that incredible place.

Diring my time there, I posted to the Arcadia Mashups Blog, which still exists as a web fossil. One of the posts there, The ‘Get Current URL’ Bookmarklet Pattern, is a blog post and single page web app in one, that lets you generate simple redirection bookmarklets:

Window location bookmarklet form, Arcadia Mashups Blog

If you haven’t come across bookmarklets before, you could think of them as automation web links that run a bit of Javascript to do something useful for you, either my modifying the current web page, or doing something with its web location / URL.

When you save a bookmarklet, you should really check that the bookmarklet javascript code isnlt doing anyhting naughty, or make sure you inly install bookmarklets from trusted locations.

In the above Archive-it example, the code grabs the current page location and passes it to https://web.archive.org/save/ . If you drag the bookmarklet to your browser toolbar, open a web page, and click the bookmarklet, the page is archived:

Oh, happy days…

So, a 30s hack and I have built myself a tool to quickly archive a web URL. (Writing this blog post took much longer than remembering that post existed and generating the bookmarklet.)

There are of course other tools for doing similar things, not least robustlinks.mementoweb.org, but it was as quick to create my own as to try to re-find that…

See also: Fragment – Virtues of a Programmer, With a Note On Web References and Broken URLs and Name (Date) Title, Available at: URL (Accessed: DATE): So What?

Author: Tony Hirst

I'm a Senior Lecturer at The Open University, with an interest in #opendata policy and practice, as well as general web tinkering...

2 thoughts on “30 Second Bookmarklet for Saving a Web Location to the Wayback Machine”

  1. I love these simple bookmarklet tools. I have some that I use almost daily… the JavaScript I use to get the selected text is the same as I hatched in 2005

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