May 20, 2022

Web Archiving: Stanford Libraries Unearths the Earliest U.S. Website

From Stanford University News:

Some of the earliest pages from the World Wide Web have been restored and are once again browsable, providing a glimpse of how the web once operated.  Stanford Libraries has made these pages available with Stanford Wayback, a customized version of an open source platform that enables long-term access to archived web assets.

The first website featured in Stanford Wayback is the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory site. Originally created in 1991, the SLAC site is the earliest known website in the United States.

“Thankfully, a handful of staff at SLAC who worked on the early web fortuitously saved the files, along with their timestamps, associated with the first and several subsequent versions of their website,” said Nicholas Taylor, web archiving service manager for Stanford Libraries.


The release of Stanford Wayback is part of the Libraries’ web archiving initiative, which aims to collect, preserve and provide access to web content that is at risk of being updated, replaced or lost.  Subject specialists have been actively capturing websites, as well as social media pages, that have significant research and teaching value, including topical collections in government documents, African politics, Middle East politics, digital games and virtual worlds.

Stanford Libraries joins an international community of web archiving organizations and is actively collaborating to deepen the informational resources available for scholarship. Currently, the Libraries, Archive-It, and the Institute for Research in the Social Sciences (IRiSS) are creating a comprehensive and longitudinal archive of all 2014 congressional primary and general election candidate websites.

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Note: Nearly 2500 Collections From a Variety of Organizations are Publicly Available on the Archive-It Web Site. Archive-It is a fee-based service from the Internet Archive and a service we mention regularly here on infoDOCKET.

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.