For every new website that goes up, there are some like these that get lost or forgotten – along with a sense of what online culture used to look like. We may have faster network speeds and better web features now, but – like finding an old mixtape (yes, on actual cassette tape) – finding a webpage dating back to the turn of the century is like unearthing King Tut’s tomb.

And there’s something about those artifacts that’s worth preserving, whether it’s a promo site for the 1996 film Space Jam (above) full of twinkling-little-stars backdrop and spinning GIFs, a virtual “mall” promoting Kevin Smith’s Mallrats, or a collection of (now-nearly-obsolete) “Enter” pages. Some of these gems are easy to find, but others are not, and there’s always a chance that some may disappear from the web forever and while the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine has logs of more than 240 billion pages and counting, but it probably can’t save everything.

In 2009, fearing that the web would lose a lot of great Flash-based pages – particularly with Yahoo’s shuttering of GeoCities – Ryder Ripps began archiving a lot of the best images from his favorite sites. Dubbed the “Indiana Jones of the internet” he set up Internet Archaeology and began archiving hundreds of images with the intent to “explore, recover, archive and showcase the graphic artifacts found within earlier Internet Culture.” As Ripps and his fellow internet archaeologists see it, web culture is just as important as any album, painting, film, or other cultural artifact and its preservation is essential to chronicling the birth of internet culture – as much for the historical record as for the creative one.

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(Source: Wired)

  1. princesslucina reblogged this from wired
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  7. gnarlydigital reblogged this from wired and added:
    Space Jam, you guys! But really, Internet Archaeology is a jammin’ website.
  8. mckeelaw reblogged this from wired and added:
    If you are bored and need something else to look at on the internet, then check out this library of forgotten, but...
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    Miss the good old days.
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