I have been thinking a lot about what on the internet I find valuable enough to save for future generations. I often give myself the prompt, "If a catastrophic event caused the world to lose all access to the internet in 24 hours, what would I spend my time trying to save?"


This is obviously a question with very personal answers. And I ask you to think about it for yourself. What images would you download from your Facebook profile? What articles would you print out so you had a hard copy? Would you save your Gmail contacts list?


Then I like to zoom out from my personal wants. What should we save for society? My first thought is Wikipedia entries. A modern Tower of Babel. In 2015 an art project called Print Wikipedia was created by Michael Mandiberg. Mandiberg set out to print a large portion of the English Wikipedia. It proved to be labor-intensive and very costly. 

Above I mentioned a project that sparked my interest by Olia Lialina. You can read more about her work by clicking here. The TLDR version is that Yahoo! purchased the domains hosted by Geocities (a platform for some of the first personal websites) and quickly realized they weren't worth any money. So they dumped them and mass erased the sites. Before it all went dark a group called the Archive Team got to work on downloading all the information. Every .gif and every hyperlinkThey saved years of work that would have been lost because it could not bring in money for Yahoo!


If this happened once before, it could happen again. Imagine if Facebook pulled the plug. All those pictures of me in bridesmaids dresses would be lost. 

Internet Archiving - Who? What? Where? How? WHY?

Stephanie Murano


My interest in this topic began while taking a class last semester with Matt Mehlan. After digging deeper into a project by Olia Lialina related to archival practices and the internet I found my interest significantly piqued. Who should be archiving internet art, web pages, and histories having to do with design? What is considered important? How would we save this information as technology changes daily and where would we store it? Data may be invisible, but it takes up significant amounts of space in server farms. Is anything on the internet even worth archiving? There are so many questions to explore and I hope to form my own opinions while interrogating others in the field. Archivists, artists, tech experts are all of interest for this work. The research will include interviews and a deep dive into archival work being done in the digital realm. Much like my partners on this project, I’ll be using my personal experiences to lead my research. What would I like to see saved on the internet? In a pandemic ridden world what is most important? I hope to explore these questions further. While I don’t expect to have concrete answers, I do hope to engage in conversation and uncover what thinking is being done to solve those questions.


This page reflects my thoughts on the subject. A very jumbled and unorganized page of thoughts, not unlike the internet.




What is archived? What can I see? 


What would I personally archive on the internet?

These gifs reflect all the images of Dolly Parton from Google, Yahoo, and Bing image searches on December 7, 2019. I sourced them and created gifs representing each search engine. 

Internet Art

Geocities and the Early Internet

This is what the internet sounds like

Download the entire torrent file for Geocities here.