Home Digital Archaeology Uncovers the Lost Cities of the Web

Digital Archaeology Uncovers the Lost Cities of the Web

Today and tomorrow in London, Digital Archaeology is digging down into the history of the Internet. Said the creators of this exhibit that delves into the early years (almost 20 years ago!) of the Web:

“Soon we will know less about what was seen on PC screens — the HTML blossoming that helped change our world utterly — than we do about the relief carvings in Mohenjo-daro or the Yucatán. Although they helped defined our new culture, almost none of the websites of less than two decades ago can be seen at all.”

The exhibit is curated by “Jim Boulton, the entrepreneur behind one of the UK’s earliest and most innovative web start-ups, Large Design (now rebadged Story Worldwide, following a 2007 creative merger).”

It consists of conversations with key players from the early years of the Web as well as more hands-on elements. Those include old computers set up to access the material. Some of the material can’t actually be looked at with newer computers – somewhat like listening to old 8 Tracks, perhaps. Also, high school and college students will be enlisted to save old materials in currently readable formats.

Thinq.co.uk put it this way.

“The team behind the exhibition . . . have trawled redundant servers and hard drives to piece together groundbreaking sites from the first two decades of the web. Many of the now-defunct sites will no longer run on modern hardware, so the exhibition’s organisers have assembled a veritable PC junkyard of old kit so you can make like it’s 1996 again.”

The exhibit takes place today and tomorrow, from noon to 9:00 p.m. at New Inn Yard, Unit 1, 36-42, in Shoreditch.

Old computers by Leif Brooks | IBM photo from Wikimedia Commons

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