How to find those old Chronicle Herald articles related to forestry in Nova Scotia and a lot more on the Internet Archive 12Apr2020

Perhaps all of this is well known to journalists. But it wasn’t to me. As well as static documents, whole functional websites are archived on the Internet Archive and within those archived websites, links to pre-Sept 2018 CH articles (no longer  available via the CH website), go to perfect replicas of the original articles.

Followers of this blog will likely know that I have had a bit of a bug about the Chronicle Herald not providing access to articles that appeared in the public domain before they made a major change in their platform in September of 2018

Just removed (Apr 12, 2020) from the In the News 2020 page:

NOTE Sep 19, 2018: due to the Chronicle Herald moving their website to a new platform circa Sep 15, 2018, links that refer to articles in the Chronicle Herald before that date are not currently working. Presumably they will fix that issue.
Nov 14, 2018: There is no sign that the CH will fix and make accessible the old links and now the Chronicle Herald further restricts online access to news and opinions (Post, Nov 10, 2018). In general, from this point on I will not cite Chronicle Herald articles when alternative reports are available.
Feb 1, 2019: It seems the Chronicle Herald is again making a lot of material freely available so I am again referencing such items. Thx CH. Too quick, I received this explanation a few hrs later: My Q: “I noticed that the CH is again making a lot of material freely available online (since Jan 23 or earlier). Can you confirm a change in policy? Thx. and Thx CH.” Response: No change in policy: “we continue to work on improving the online experience and in doing so, our web developers have made e-paper access available from time to time – this will not be permanent.”

Last fall sometime, I was looking (googling) around for info on the history of forest management in Nova Scotia, and stumbled on a remarkable book:
Nova Scotia through the trees 1761-1930
Kenneth C. Burrows. 2003. Terra Firma Press, Wellington NS, 149 pp
Available from Internet Archive

I say remarkable for several reasons. First it is an incredibly lucid, scholarly, informative and, I would say, entertaining account of what otherwise might sound like a drab recounting of dates and events related to the development of environmentally oriented forest legislation in NS. Second, I have mentioned it to a number of people who have studied/researched in this area, and none were aware of the book. Third and finally, the author made it freely available by placing it on the ‘Internet Archive’. There it is available ‘on loan’ once you set up a (free) account and log In. There is also a “Limited Book Preview”. You can read it online, or download a special PDF file which is functional only for the loan period.

That was my first introduction to the Internet Archive (or so I thought). I did a search for “Forests, Nova Scotia“, selecting ‘Search text contents’. Wow. Ralph Johnson’s Forests of Nova Scotia is there as a “borrow”, like Nova Scotia Through the Trees, also At the Cutting Edge and Budworm Battles, both by by Elizabeth May, and Fernow’s Forests of Nova Scotia (1912). Then go back a few more decades to   A Forecast of the Future of the Maritime Provinces  by Henry Youle Hind, a lecture delivered in 1876 with lots of interesting stats on fish caught, boats built etc. and there’s Forest Life in Acadie (1869)…but really not a lot on forests and forestry in NS in recent years (so I thought).

Contemplating an end to sometime, I thought, well, I should start archiving materials and posting them on the Internet Archive; at least those may be useful as a chronology of news, opinions etc. related to forestry in NS over a period in the early internet age when  so much of our history seems to disappear into the depths of the internet somewhere – the loss of Chronicle Herald articles being an example.

I managed, painfully, to make a couple of PDFs from website materials and post them (view NSFN. Archived Pages). But that was slow and tedious and wouldn’t go much further.

Somehow or another, more recently I decided to see whether the internet Archive actually archives whole websites such as The answer Yes! Go to the Internet Archive WayBackMachine and enter a domain name, in this case,

and up  comes  the whole site archived repeatedly from its inception, and each link brings up the whole website as it existed at the time. AND It’s a fully functional website, not a static PDF!

Now here is what is even more useful: those now defunct links on the current website  to the pre-Sept 2018 Chronicle Herald articles are actually functional in the archived websites; instead of bringing up a link to where the article once appeared on the old Chronicle Herald platform, it brings up the relevant pages of the Chronicle Herald now stored on the Internet Archive! Wow.

For example, in a post on Sept 8, 2018 – just before the Chronicle Herald shifted to a new platform – I made reference to a CH item: OPINION: Lahey forestry report: The good, the bad & the missing
Raymond Plourde in the Chronicle Herald. published online Sat Sep 8, 2018

Try that link and an Oh no! Page not found message comes up.

But consult the same page on this Internet Archive, and you get a perfect archive of the Raymond Plourde Op-ed as it appeared in the Chronicle Herald.

Perhaps all of this is well known to journalists. But it wasn’t to me*, so I am passing it on in case it wasn’t to others who might be looking for older materials posted on the web that are no longer available.
*I realize that I have long been accessing materials on the Internet Archive, but not by searching the Internet Archive itself, rather via Google or via links on extant websites. It does make a difference – search for those old CH articles on Google, and you won’t come up with the archived versions, or at least not readily.  

There are limits to it, not everything is archived, and it can be slow (by high-speed internet standards). Some of it, particularly the older stuff, has some holes in it, but a heck of a lot of the materials that were publicly available on the web in the past but are not currently available on those same websites today is available on the Internet Archive.

Another example. For a few years in my pre-nsforestnote days, I was a member of a group we called the ‘Wildland Writers’. We were a small group of nature-oriented folk who wrote articles about the natural history of Nova Scotia that were published in the Chronicle Herald under a column titled “NaturallyNS”. They appeared in the print-ed of the CH, and after several months, in publicly available online articles. (We were paid for them and contributed the $ to nature groups e.g. the Young Naturalists of Nova Scotia). I maintained a website for the group at Go there now, and the links to the CH articles bring up that Oh No Page not Found message. BUT, if I go to the Internet Archive WayBackMachine, and enter “” the whole website is available as it existed on each of 25 different times it was archived, and the links to the CH articles go directly to the articles as they are archived on the Internet Archive! Wow!

I think I could spend the rest of my virtual life exploring the virtual library on the Internet Archive… (but give me a walk in the forest anytime).

In the meantime, I had semi-forgiven the Chronicle Herald, and last fall took out an electronic-only subscription, which gives me access to all Saltwire publications. (I had tried the paper subscription previously but the amount of paper – mostly flyers- that came with it was overwhelming). But now I wonder: will the materials that are now available only to subscribers be archived on the Internet Archive? I don’t think so – unless at some point they are made public. So maybe that is some incentive to the CH to do just that.

I have been very appreciative that the Halifax Examiner makes many or most of their subscriber-only articles freely available after some time, and yes… the Halifax Examiner website and contained articles  are archived on the Internet Archive. (I am also appreciative enough that I finally maintain an open subscription ($10/mo), rather than just pay $10 every now and then when there is a particular article I want access to right away.)

Note added 13Apr2020: What about the Chronicle Herald itself? Is it archived on the Internet Archive?

The Answer: Yes there is an archive of sorts on the Internet Archive, but it does NOT direct one to those perfect replicas of original articles accessed as cited above, rather there is a redirect to a separate archiving system which provides the content without the original layout.

I wondered, can I see archived pages, as I remain blocked from visiting this website? Answer: yes, and finally I can again see a List of the Big Tree Contest Winners!

I also wondered, can I see some of those older L&F/DNR pages…. Answer, yes, at least a lot of them.

So a big benefit of all of this is that it makes it difficult to rewrite or erase our history on the web without a trace – for any of us, myself included – my whole personal public website, is archived 53 times since its inception in 2004!

That got me thinking just as I write: what about public Facebook Groups that have contributed so much to the evolution of our thinking about forests and forestry in NS such as (I try to ‘archive’ some it, at least temporarily, under Social Media Posts.) Are those archived? I entered that URL in the WayBackMachine and a message came up:

So I clicked on the Save this URL…”, and yes, NOW it IS archived on the Internet Archive!

Wow again. I also noticed the DONATE button, and made a donation accordingly.

Happy Virtual Easter or whatever it is in 2020, folks.

Some links

The Internet Archive

Internet Archive Wayback Machine General Information

The Cobweb: Can the Internet be archived?
By Jill Lepore January 19, 2015 in\

Wikipedia on the Internet Archive

Canadian Government Publications Portal
“Internet Archive Canada, with advice and assistance from government and university librarians across Canada, have digitized more than 20,000 Canadian Government publications and made them freely available online.

Canadian Libraries Internet Archive Canada
Currently, 618,398 items are archived

Something I look forward to in a post-Covid-19 era: a repeat of a visit I made to the Mersey on April 30, 2010.

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