First-Ever Web Page Being Restored

The very first page on the World Wide Web, from way back in 1992, is being restored.

The very first page on the World Wide Web, from way back in 1992, is being restored.

BBC (“Cern re-creating first web page to revere early ideals“):

A team at the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (Cern) has launched a project to re-create the first web page.

The aim is to preserve the original hardware and software associated with the birth of the web.

The world wide web was developed by Prof Sir Tim Berners-Lee while working at Cern.

The initiative coincides with the 20th anniversary of the research centre giving the web to the world.

Well, okay. What’s not obvious is why this is a big undertaking. Early websites were incredibly primitive–white pages with some blue links on them. If we know what was on the site, it should take very little time, indeed, to restore them.

UPDATE: Commenters point out that the goal isn’t simply to recreate the HTML pages but to do so using long-defunct hardware. That is indeed a more formidable task.

FILED UNDER: Science & Technology,
James Joyner
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James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. john personna says:

    I think it’s the “hardware and software” part. Getting museum-vintage hardware running with a correct software stack for the date of that page would be a pain. Anyone got NeXT disks in their bottom drawer?

  2. mantis says:

    Concur with JP. If they want it running on a vintage server, it will take some work.

  3. Mikey says:

    Here’s a link to the project: First URL active once more

    And here’s the link to the First URL:

    It was on the front page of Reddit, so it’s currently inundated. Good luck.

  4. Franklin says:

    Pete and Repete are impressed by the copypasta.

    (James, the BBC quote is doubled.)

  5. Franklin says:

    @Mikey: Comedy, but the first URL is currently broken …

  6. Dave Schuler says:

    I think that it illustrates just how esoteric the WWW was at the time of its origins. About 50,000 NeXTs were sold over the lifetime of the product. I don’t know how many of those were owned by individuals or organizations with Internet connections. You needed both for the thing to be useful.