Sunday, November 21, 2010


Digging up the web's past

Posted By TelecomTV One , 15 November 2010

An industry-wide initiative to archive the web’s bygone era before it disappears forever has been launched in London with an exhibition. Leila Makki reports.

The exhibition, entitled Digital Archaeology, is kick starting Britain’s inaugural web archive to preserve some of the earliest websites for the last two decades.

Based out of Shoreditch, East London, the small gallery space has some of the Internet's earliest known websites on display in the same hardware it was developed on.

There's an interactive Kylie Minogue website from 1997 on a Power Macintosh 6500/250 and the same NeXTstation computer used by Tim Berners-Lee at CERN, circa 1992.

The idea behind Digital Archaeology came from Jim Boulton of digital content agency Story Worldwide, who believes, the death of the website is fast approaching.

Since the majority of websites are being stored on soon-to-be obsolete technology, he felt compelled to make sure history was not lost forever.
“In five years time or so, I doubt websites will exist and I expect the vast majority of sites from the first twenty years of the web to be gone forever,” said Boulton.

“Today, when almost a quarter of the earth’s population is online, this artistic, commercial and social history is being wiped from the face of earth, within millions of hard drives lying festering in recycling yards or rusting in garages."

The Digital Archaeology exhibition is part of a larger industry appeal to help "dig" up other sites from hard drives and redundant servers of yesteryear and preserve them for future generations to see.

[Big thanks to my colleague Gordon Adgey for tipping me off]


Digital Archaeology: Rescuing Neglected and Damaged Data Resources

Introduction to Digital Archaeology

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