The author of mix marginnotes with marginpars without overlap is/was interested in a certain loss of functionality from one version of the marginfix package to the next. Out of interest and curiosity I wanted to see what this blockmargin environment was all about. However, only the most up-to-date versions of packages are available for download from most repositories.

Is there an archive of historical versions of packages available (on CTAN, perhaps)? Hopefully something similar to this historical, stable version archive of beamer. Or is this all left up to the package authors? And I doubt whether Wayback Machine would be that good a place to start...

I am not planning on using the older version, since they may have deprecated functionality that does not interface well with other packages.

  • 1
    Funny, I just tried to get the old version of marginfix from the TeXLive SVN repository to manually add it to my CTANHG site, but there is only one old version marked as "new package" and this doesn't has the blockmargin environment in it as well. The only difference is that the INS file doesn't include the debug tag any longer. Where there versions of this package around before it got on CTAN? Oct 21, 2011 at 9:21
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    I added now the older version of marginfix manually: ctanhg.scharrer-online.de/pkg/marginfix Oct 21, 2011 at 10:37

6 Answers 6


CTAN holds the current release of each package: the 'archive' in the name is more because it's a single source for 'everything' than meant to imply a record. (Remember that before CTAN collecting TeX sources meant trawling many different author-maintained sites.)

Maintaining a 'back catalogue' of material is down to each package author, and as a result many packages have limited or no publicly-available source repository. The nearest you can get is probably the TeX Live SVN, which gets updated each time a package is changed in TeX Live. Of course, that means anything 'non-free' will be missing, and very occasionally will miss a short-lived version of a package. The later is most likely around the yearly TeX Live freeze.


EDIT: This doesn't exist any more.

I'm actually working on an archive of CTAN using automated Mercurial repositories for the last two weeks. The CTAN content is mirrored daily and each CTAN package (with exceptions) is committed to its own Mercurial repository.

This is currently online as http://ctanhg.scharrer-online.de/, but not 100% finished yet. Also, it might not handle large loads well. You can get each archived version as ZIP or Mercurial clone.

The marginfix package entry is under http://ctanhg.scharrer-online.de/pkg/marginfix.html. Update: I now manually added the older versions of this package. However, they weren't published on CTAN so I took them from the git repository. I only took the very first and last revision because they had versions attached to them.

All my own packages are accessible as normal Mercurial repositories under https://bitbucket.org/martin_scharrer/. These hold any commit I do, not just the CTAN releases. However, every released version is tagged and can therefore be retrieved easily.

  • Would you be interested in older versions of packages provided by the package authors?
    – domwass
    Oct 18, 2011 at 11:11
  • @domwass: Yes, but it depends in which form I would get them. I also only archive released versions. Oct 18, 2011 at 11:30
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    @MartinSchröder: Thanks for the offer! It isn't completely finished yet. I'm still adding some features to the python script I programmed for it. I'm also happy to receive suggestions about the web interface. Futhermore older versions might be manually converted from the TeX Live SVN repository. Please contact my by email (address is on the website), so we can talk about it more. Note there is now a bug/suggestion tracker under bitbucket.org/martin_scharrer/ctanhg Oct 19, 2011 at 9:20
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    Are the links on 'CTANHg' still live? I can't seem to access historical versions (I'm looking for historical versions of the manuals) of any package I've tried. All I get is something like the following: The requested URL /hg/koma-script/rev/koma-script-3.11 was not found on this server.
    – jon
    Feb 28, 2016 at 21:36
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    The website ctanhg.scharrer-online.de doesn't exist any more.
    – Ben C
    Apr 1, 2018 at 10:57

there are only archives of complete TeXLive versions:



EDIT: this will be shut down in 2018.

You can use https://ctanmirror.speedata.de/ to get old versions. It gets back to 2013-03-17.

  • 3
    Daily captures. Wow...!
    – Werner
    Mar 30, 2016 at 17:49
  • @Werner the archive is currently 350 gigabytes (stored as a git repository)...
    – topskip
    Mar 30, 2016 at 21:11
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    This seems to be a more current (and comprehensive) package repository storage facility.
    – Werner
    Mar 7, 2017 at 20:05
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    @Werner <whining mode on> nobody cares about it. Even the CTAN team does not care at all about having a daily archive... One day I'll switch it off. <whining mode off>
    – topskip
    Mar 8, 2017 at 7:51
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    Sorry to hear this will be shutdown. It's such a valuable resource and it's a shame the TeX/LaTeX community doesn't take archiving more seriously. How big is the archive currently? Wondering if someone else could take over running this service, preserving the data. May 3, 2018 at 18:34

I cannot answer the question in general, but I know the repository for marginfix in particular: https://github.com/shicks/marginfix


As a member of Dante (and I think also TUG and other TeX User groups) you get each year a DVD with the actual data from CTAN. So you could build a archive of CTAN extracts.

Sure, it will not solve your problem now and you get only a yearly extract and not each version.

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