To mark the 20th anniversary of the world’s first website CERN (The European Organisation for Nuclear Research) launched a project to restore that first site. More specifically this means, in the first instance, restoring the original URL and the files that were there at its earliest iteration.
Websites can be thought of as a form of ephemera. That is material that is used for only a short period of time and is important at that time. A particular type of print ephemera is material that has been used to sway political decisions often in the form of mail deliveries or as handouts at elections. Since the birth of the internet people or organisations wishing to push a political angle have also used the internet in a similar way.
One of the most frustrating questions a web archive curator may confront is that which asks “what websites have you not archived?” It is frustrating for a number of reasons, not the least because it is a question that is, for the most part, impossible to answer because, without some other trace of evidence, we don’t know what may have existed but no longer does. Apologies for the grammatical contortions, but I hope you see what I mean.