This paper discusses the challenges and opportunities for using archival Internet data in order to observe a host of social science phenomena. Specifically, this paper introduces HistoryTracker, a new tool for accessing and extracting archived data from the Internet Archive, the largest repository of archived Web data in existence. The HistoryTracker tool serves to create a Web observatory that allows scholars to study the history of the Web. HistoryTracker takes advantages of Hadoop processing capacity, and allows researchers to extract large swaths of archived data into a link list format that can be easily transferred to a number of other analytical tools. A brief illustration of the use of HistoryTracker is presented demonstrating the use of the tool. Finally, a number of continuing research challenges are discussed, and future research opportunities are outlined.