The European Organization for Nuclear Research, or CERN as it’s more commonly known, has restored the first website and webpage to exist on the World Wide Web.
For a significant period of time previously, the URL had simply redirected users to a CERN information page.
A major historical document, the site – which can be viewed here – was created by British computer scientist, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, whilst working at CERN.
Marking a first in web development, the initial version of this site went live on August 6 1991.
However, CERN’s restored version is one reproduced from a 1992 copy, rather than the earliest site.
It has been reconstructed from an archive hosted on the website of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3) – an international standards organisation founded by Sir Berners-Lee in 1994.
CERN’s team, though, is hoping to find an older version of the site.
The restoration coincided with the 20th anniversary (30 April 1993) of the World Wide Web being made accessible to the public domain.
Part of a wider restoration project, web manager for CERN’s communications group, Dan Noyes revealed that it would continue once the rest of the site’s page had been restored.
He stated: “Then we will look at the first web servers at CERN and see what assets from them we can preserve and share.
“We will also sift through documentation and try to restore machine names and IP addresses to their original state,” Mr Noyes continued.
James Gillies, formerly a researcher at CERN during Sir Berners-Lee’s time, and now its head of communications, also worked on the project.
Speaking to the BBC News, he said: “One of my dreams is to enable people to see what that early web experience.
“You might have thought that the first browser would be very primitive but it was not. It had graphical capabilities. You could edit into it straightaway. It was an amazing thing. It was a very sophisticated thing.”
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