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History of the Internet

tim berners-lee and vint cerf
Sir Tim Berners-lee and Vint Cerf  © Internet Society / Richard Stonehouse

From the early days of ARPANET to today’s mobile technologies, here we share some of the proposed histories of the Internet from various personalities and organizations:

A Brief History of the Internet
Written by those who made it history, including Barry M. Leiner, Vinton G. Cerf, David D. Clark, Robert E. Kahn, Leonard Kleinrock, Daniel C. Lynch, Jon Postel, Lawrence G. Roberts, Stephen Wolff.

History of the Internet in Africa
Although still a "young" technology, the Internet has had a profound impact on the world in the few decades that it has been around. One of the most interesting chapters of this short history has been its development in Africa.

IUKNOF Internet History Project
The early days of the Internet in the United Kingdom. As a modest first step, individuals who played key roles in the creation and growth of the Internet in the UK are being invited to give presentations at UKNOF meetings.

Imagining the Internet: A History and Forecast
A diverse collection of resources by Elon University and Pew Internet Project including concise historical information, current Internet governance discussions, and predictions about the future of the Internet.

A Concise Guide to the Major Internet Bodies
By Alex Simonelis

Who is Who in the Internet World (
A perpetual archive devoted to Internet pioneers worldwide.

Internet History and Growth (PPT: 1MB)
Presentation by William Slater III - Chicago Chapter of the Internet Society

Interesting Historical Background to Internet Governance Issues By One of the Internet Pioneers
Address by John Klensin to the opening of the IGF, Rio de Janeiro, 2007

A Short History of Internet Protocols at CERN
By Ben Segal

Net History
A site dedicated to Internet history links, including Internet, email, web and other related history sources.

Brief History of the Internet
Narrative of the Internet and Related Networks by Vint Cerf.

Hobbes' Internet Timeline
An Internet timeline highlighting some of the key events and technologies which helped shape the Internet as we know it today.

Contains a snapshot of worldwide connectivity every 6 months from November 1993 to May 1997.

History of the Internet
This is an in-depth, researched article about the Internet with accurate and updated data.

ConneXions: The Interoperability Report
ConneXions was a monthly publication which ran from 1987-1996 focusing on computer interoperability, particularly the development of networking protocols. The scanned copies of ConneXion form a valuable archive of technical articles and discussions from a pivotal time in the Internet's history.

PBS's Nerds 2.0.1
A follow-up to the original

History of the IETF/The Internet Society relationship
By Vint Cerf, July 1995.

Announcing The Internet Society
by Vint Cerf, Bob Kahn, Lyman Chapin, 1992

Internet History Mail List
An archived mailing list for questions about Internet history

The World Wide Web: Past, Present and Future
By Tim Berners-Lee, Director of the World Wide Web Consortium and a principal research scientist at the Laboratory for Computer Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

A Little History of the World Wide Web
From W3C, this document dates from 1995 and has not been updated. The history is of course still valid though not up to date. Some links may not work. This is a monthly history list from 1980 to October 1995.

Keith Lynch's Timeline of net related terms, concepts, stories, and people
Timeline from June 1975 to February 1998 showing when terms, concepts, stories, and people were first mentioned.

A Brief History of the Internet
By Walt Howe, Manager of the Delphi Navigating the Net and Publishing on the Web Forums (Last updated October 24 1998).

History of Internet and WWW: The Roads and Crossroads of Internet History
An overview of the philosophy and history of the Internet, by Gregory R. Gromov.

Internet for Historians, History of the Internet
(Outline in English) History of the net, designed for non-experts, which also hopes to give some of the concepts necessary to understand how the Net works. Also includes a history of the Web and electronic mail.

The Living Internet
Examines the history of the Internet, Web, Email, Usenet, and more, using an unique step-by-step approach.

Origins and Nature of the Internet in Australia
By Roger Clarke

History and Overview of CSNET (PDF: 156KB)
by Peter J. Denning, with Anthony Hearn and C. William Kern. Published in ACM SIGCOMM 83. This paper reviews the history, the goals, the organisation and the components of CSNET (the Computer Science Research Network). CSNET bridged between the original (closed) ARPANET and the NSFNET (open) by spreading the TCP/IP and nameserver technology, and by negotiating new policies with ARPA and NSF for commercial traffic on the net.

The Tao of IETF - A Novice's Guide to the Internet Engineering Task Force
A guide to the history, culture, and philosophy of the IETF.

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