Monday, December 03, 2018

BPN1744: 'Ancient' Dutch web collection found

A web archiving team of the Royal Dutch Library started to secure Dutch internet sites in 2007 and has now stored more than two million websites with a .NL suffix. Since 2017, the team has paid special attention to the very oldest websites from the early days (1992-2000) of the Dutch web. The first Dutch website came online in February 1992 and this Nikhef site was the third website worldwide. This was followed by real internet pioneers such as NLnet and Knoware. But the real breakthrough of the Internet in The Netherlands came with the Internet suppliers XS4ALL (May 1,1993) and The Digital City Amsterdam (15 January 1994). 
On November 29, 2018 there was a big surprise, when the Royal Library announced at UN World Preservation Day, that the web archiving team had discovered a special web collection from Internet provider Euronet. This is interesting, as Euronet is an Internet provider with a 'long' history. 

Euronet,the company
Euronet did not have its roots in the Internet, its ideals and anarchy. Euronet*Internet meant business by providing access to internet for companies and residents. The founders, Arko van Brakel and the Englishman Simon Cavendish, realised that Euronet had a difficult message with explaining what the Internet was and how to access it. So the company had to attract attention and it did. So the founders designed a welcome box for newsubscribers, containing a manual and a CD for gaining access to internet.

Their most famous action was the monkey tail campaign, where on the morning on 1 May 1995, Labour Day,  posters of a monkey with a curly tail were posted in bus shelters throughout Amsterdam .

In 1998 France Telecom bought the company, after which the company changed hands several times as did the trade marks: Wanadoo, Orange and now under most of the original web name

Despite all these marketing problems, the URL continued to exist as a sub mark for the business market. And so you can find sites that exist since 1995 and have never changed. Moreover, the archiving team has found overviews of the websites on Euronet from May 1997, December 1998 and 2005 and February 2017. Only a small part of the original Euronet sites is included in the collection of the well-known Internet Archive (IA) archives service. The web archiving team accidentally found a copy of a political website of the Dutch liberal party D66 from 1998 and pages of the local site of the D66 chapter Aalsmeer. According to the source code, this site has been online at this web location for twenty years.

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