I was recently in a situation where I needed to find some pre-compiled Windows binaries for the XML package. Yes the old XML package that everyone seems to struggle to compile. It appears there is “a machine” someone out there in internet land that is capable of compiling this package whereas everyone I’ve ever spoken to about this package has failed. Not a great situation if you have this requirement.
Anyway, there is a very neat solution to this problem! Revolutionary Analytics keep daily snapshots of the CRAN master repository which includes all the downloads, both source and binaries (CRAN only stores source). The trick to getting to where you want is by the structure of the URL below. By finding the dates for the library version you need you can use the URL below to find the page with the binaries.
Very useful to know.