- The Computer Chronicles was hosted by Stewart Cheifet and broadcast from 1983-2002. Some of my favorite episodes include:
- “The Internet” (1993): jump to 9:08 to watch Brendan Kehoe demo Gopher to explain “what is the big deal about Internet?”; Howard Rheingold demos the Well at 18:52.
- “Online Services: Part I” (1987): features a young Steve Case showing off Quantum Link (7:15).
- “Web Site Creation” (1997) includes coverage of “a new trade show just for web designers” (15:45), The Web Design and Development Exhibition (Web ’97), where an East Coast design team battles a West Coast design team to create a site for a non-profit in 8 hours. (The East Coast team wins because they care about “content” while the West Coast team focused heavily on technology. Two years later the tables were turning with the rise of e-commerce systems.)
- I’m a fan of Olia Lialina. Her art and her writing about vernacular web design (here, here, and here) are great. She and her partner Dragan Espenschied (with whom she co-authored Digital Folklore in 2009), are blogging One Terabyte of Kilobyte Age about their experiences digging through the GeoCities archive. Here’s the GeoCities torrent.
- Textfiles is Jason Scott’s collection of ASCII text files from BBSes of the (mostly) 1980s. Jason is the creator of the BBS Documentary, GET LAMP, and tons of cool things can be found on his site. He heads the Archive Team and works at the Internet Archive. His weblog is ascii.textfiles.com.
- Jelane’s Free Web Graphics was a popular resource for web graphics in the mid-to-late 90s. It’s no longer online (the archived version I linked to is from 1999) but you can still find thousands of references to this site from DIY web publishers. I remember being very inspired by her notion of “families” when I made my first site in 1996. This was like using templates before CSS.
- Webmuseum.dk is in Danish, but it’s still a wonderful visual resource. The project was started by Ida Engholm (Danish Center for Design Research), who has written about web genres and styles and the history of graphic design on the web
Internet history projects
- Business Plan Archive and the Dot.com Archive (started by David Kirsch)
- The Women’s Internet History Project was co-founded by Tery Spataro and Aliza Sherman in 2009. It includes a number of bios and short accounts of women working in the internet industry in the 1980s and 90s.
- The World Wide Web History Center is a non-profit educational organization to make public the history of the World Wide Web and preserve it for posterity. See also the World Wide Web History Project from 1997, which includes the archives of a number of www lists from 1992-95. A few prominent announcements are listed here, here, here, and here. (This is why nobody’s real sure what date in 1993 to date the release of the Mosaic browser.)
Internet Archive and the Wayback Machine
Internet Memory Foundation (formerly the European Archive)
LiWA Living Web Archives
Wikipedia List of Web Archiving Initiatives
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