Hours of VHS recordings of MTV from the '80s have been uploaded to the Internet Archive, unedited and with commercials. The recordings span 1981 through 1989 and were uploaded by a contributor to the site who says the archive will be regularly updated as they find more recordings. Besides their own collection, some of the recordings were found on torrent sites and through other sources.
Take a trip down memory lane — The recordings look a bit compressed here and there, but there's a lot of cool content to enjoy — especially the annual countdowns, like the Top 100 Videos of 1985. Maybe these will trigger some nostalgia for the days when you were watching MTV instead of doing actual things with your life. Unless you're a '90s kid, that is. But who knows, perhaps your flashback collection will also find its way onto the site eventually.
The library of the digital age — The Internet Archive has become the defacto digital library that aims to preserve copies of online human history that might otherwise disappear. Much media nowadays is quite ephemeral — websites shut down, VHS players become obsolete, and whenever it happens, years of amazing art is at risk of disappearing too.
The Internet Archive started out in 1996 just by saving web content but now digitizes everything from books to movies and music. There are more than 48 petabytes of content in the non-profit's storage. Most people probably recognize the Internet Archive thanks to the Wayback Machine where you can go on a nostalgia trip by looking at old versions of your favorite websites. The tool works by periodically crawling the web for changes to websites and keeping a copy of the source code and elements.
Prefer reading? — In response to coronavirus, the Internet Archive recently opened public access to a "National Emergency Library" containing more than 1.4 million books free to anyone. The organization's collection of books was previously only accessible via a waitlist but the company wanted to ensure that students have access to assigned readings as most libraries around the U.S. remain closed. Like a traditional library, books in the National Emergency Library are normally limited to a few rentals at one time, but the Internet Archive removed any caps until the pandemic is over.