On October 24, 2001 The Internet Archive first made its retrospective data available through the Wayback Machine. The name Wayback Machine is a droll reference to a plot device in the animated cartoon series, The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show, in which Mr. Peabody and Sherman routinely used a time machine called the "WABAC machine" (pronounced "Wayback") to witness, participate in, and, more often than not, alter famous events in history.
"In 1996 Brewster Kahle, with Bruce Gilliat, developed software to crawl and download all publicly accessible World Wide Web pages, the Gopher hierarchy, the Netnews bulletin board system, and downloadable software. The information collected by these "crawlers" does not include all the information available on the Internet, since much of the data is restricted by the publisher or stored in databases that are not accessible. These "crawlers" also respect the robots exclusion standard for websites whose owners opt for them not to appear in search results or be cached. To overcome inconsistencies in partially cached websites, Archive-It.org was developed in 2005 by the Internet Archive as a means of allowing institutions and content creators to voluntarily harvest and preserve collections of digital content, and create digital archives.
"Information was kept on digital tape for five years, with Kahle occasionally allowing researchers and scientists to tap into the clunky database.When the archive reached its five-year anniversary, it was unveiled and opened to the public in a ceremony at the University of California" (Wikipedia article on Wayback Machine, accessed 12-06-2013).