Tag Archives: Internet Archive

Free Virtual Tours, Online Collections, and Other Free Resources to Explore on the Internet

Peter Lobner, Updated 9 March 2021

This post contains links to many free virtual tours and other online resources that may be of interest to you.  Also check out the long list of recommended external links on the introductory webpage for Pete’s Lynx, here:

http://lynceans.org/petes-lynx/

This is a great time to explore. Happy surfing!

1. Google Arts & Culture portal:

Here you’ll find virtual tours and online collections from many partner museums and other organizations.  So many, that I suggest that you try finding something of interest in the “A-Z” view.  There are 145 “A’s” and 8 “Z’s,” with more than 2,500 other museums and collections in between.  Start at the following link: https://artsandculture.google.com/partner

Also check out the Streetview tours of famous sites & landmarks here: https://artsandculture.google.com/project/street-view

2. MCN’s Ultimate Guide to Virtual Museum Resources, E-Learning, and Online Collections

On 14 March 2020, MCN (formerly the Museum Computer Network) posted “The Ultimate Guide to Virtual Museum Resources, E-Learning, and Online Collections,” at the following link:  http://mcn.edu/a-guide-to-virtual-museum-resources/

This is a very extensive list of free online resources and their links. MCN notes, “This list will be continually updated with examples of museum and museum-adjacent virtual awesomeness. It is by no means exhaustive….. Every resource is free to access and enjoy.”

3. Library of Congress (LOC)

The LOC has a wide range of digital collections that are easy to access here:  https://www.loc.gov/collections/

4.  Other museums & historic places:

Here are some additional virtual tours to supplement what you’ll find on the Google Arts & Culture portal and MCN’s extensive list of links.

5. Drone video collection:

6. Video and photographic tours:

While you’re browsing these, you’ll find many similar YouTube videos and photos from other sources on the sidebar of your screen.

7. TED Talks:

More than 3,300 talks to stir your curiosity:  https://www.ted.com/talks

8. Internet Archive:

Check out the Internet Archive, which is a non-profit library of millions of free books, movies, software, music, websites, and more.  The main website is here:  https://archive.org.  Direct links to some of the specific parts of the Internet Archive are here:

9. Open Culture: 

The best free cultural & educational media on the web, with more than 1,500 free online courses from top universities, 1,150 free movies, 700 free audio books, 800 free eBooks, 300 free language lessons, 15,000+ free Golden Age comics from the Digital Comic Museum, and more:  http://www.openculture.com/freeonlinecourses

Also visit these related websites:

10. Libraries: 

11. Maps & Globes:

12. Additional resources:

Other authors have provided similar information in the recent articles listed below.  Many of the museums listed in the following articles are accessible via the Google Arts & Culture portal.

Internet Archive: a Great Access Point to Many Web Resources and Vintage Science Fiction

Peter Lobner

Internet Archive is a non-profit library of millions of free books, audio books, movies, music, software and more, which you can access at the following link:

https://archive.org

It’s hard to navigate this site to find out what’s there. The home page presents icons for the “Top Collections in the Archive,” but you have to scroll through many pages to view hundreds of these icons, each of which links to a corresponding collection. Interesting collections I found include:

  • American Libraries
  • The Library of Congress
  • The LibriVox Free Audiobook Collection
  • Software Library: MS-DOS Games
  • Computer Magazine Archives
  • Television Archive
  • Grateful Dead
  • Metropolitan Museum of Art Gallery Images
  • Kahn Academy

Archive icons

There’s a Pulp Magazine Archive at the following link:

https://archive.org/details/pulpmagazinearchive

Once there, select Topic: “science fiction”, or use the following direct link:

https://archive.org/details/pulpmagazinearchive?and%5B%5D=subject%3A%22science+fiction%22&sort=-downloads&page=2

Then you’re on your way to libraries of vintage science fiction.  Below are results from my own searches.

Galaxy Science Fiction:

Galaxy Science Fiction was an American digest-size science fiction magazine published from 1950 to 1980. It was founded by an Italian company, World Editions, to help it break in to the American market. World Editions hired as editor H. L. Gold, who rapidly made Galaxy the leading science fiction magazine of its time, focusing on stories about social issues rather than technology.

The Galaxy Science Fiction archive, with 361 results, is located at the following link:

https://archive.org/details/galaxymagazine

Galaxy SF archive pic

If:

If was an American science fiction magazine launched in March 1952 by Quinn Publications. The magazine was moderately successful, though it was never regarded as one of the first rank of science fiction magazines. It achieved its greatest success under editor Frederik Pohl, winning the Hugo Award three years running from 1966 to 1968. If was merged into Galaxy Science Fiction after the December 1974 issue, its 175th issue overall.

The If science fiction archive, with 176 results, is located at the following link:

https://archive.org/details/ifmagazine

If SF archive pic

Amazing Stories

 Amazing Stories was an American science fiction magazine launched in April 1926 as the first magazine devoted solely to science fiction. Amazing Stories was published, with some interruptions, for almost 80 years. Although Amazing Stories was not considered an influential magazine in the genre, it was nominated for the Hugo award three times in the 1970s. It ceased publication in 2005

The Amazing Stories archive, with 160 results, is located at the following link:

https://archive.org/details/pulpmagazinearchive?and%5B%5D=amazing+stories&sort=-downloads&page=2

Amazing SF archive pic

The Skylark of Space is one of the earliest novels of interstellar travel and is considered a classic of pulp science fiction. Originally serialized in 1928, it is available as a 9-hour audiobook at the following link:

https://archive.org/details/skylark_space_2_1012_librivox

Skylark of Space

Good luck navigating the Internet Archive website. I hope you find some interesting things.