In reality, it took half a century of hard work and innovation to bring the Internet about, with contributions from a global network of individuals, institutions and organizations—each with a story to tell.
There are numerous sources designed to chronicle the resulting history of the Internet—each offering a somewhat unique perspective—and we’ve compiled a few our favorites here.
The Computer History Museum is an information-packed source for Internet history and the history of just about everything related to computers.
The website regularly shares articles, exhibits and educational videos, including seminars and spirited panel discussions hosted by the museum. Visually-pleasing and easy to navigate, the site scores big points for free lesson plans and activities for students in grades three to 12.
Other stand-out features include exhibits such as “Internet History 1962 to 1992,” a “Timeline of Computer History” and “Revolution: 2,000 Years of Computing,” a standing and online exhibit reaching all the way back to the earliest counting systems.
This site is a gold mine of free information on the history of all things computer. Find it at Computerhistory.org.
The History Channel provides a colorful, multimedia platform chronicling “The Invention of the Internet,” from its origins during the Cold War to the birth of social media.
Well written and easy to read, the site includes interesting factoids, and profiles many of the scientists, innovators and inventions that introduced the Internet to the world stage. It also presents a twin section on the “Invention of the PC.”
This is a great source of information for students in middle school and up. The main website is at history.com.
Web entrepreneur and job-search blogger Brian McCullough narrates a cheerful, podcast series covering everything from the “Netscape to the iPad,” including the business of the Web and major tech trends.
“The Mosaic web browser blew up. There is really no other way to describe it,” McCullough says in his Chapter 1-Part 1 podcast.
McCullough is a real storyteller. He narrates through web history – reporting on topics like the growth of e-commerce and breakthrough technologies like the web cam – in an upbeat tone, recordinng in-depth interviews with web innovators and entrepreneurs.
The podcasts are free and downloadable. Some are more than an hour long, but they’re easy listening for tech geeks. See more of what the podcast has to offer at Internethistorypodcast.com.
No list would be complete without yours truly, the Internet Hall of Fame. The Internet Hall of Fame, dedicated to celebrating the people who brought the Internet to life, presents a comprehensive collection of articles, videos, in-depth interviews and profiles on the global Internet’s brilliant and intrepid pioneers.
The website lays out an expansive history of the Internet, from with the Cold War and creation of the ARPAnet, to the World Wide Web and its spread to remote regions of the Earth.
The Internet Hall of Fame’s Internet History timeline is a streamlined, graphics-rich feature, offering a ride through history of the Internet’s evolution with photos, charts, videos and more. It is one of the best Internet history timelines out there (if we may say so ourselves.)
Much of the content is built on first-hand accounts of the Internet’s origins from Internet Hall of Fame inductees, the very people responsible for bringing the Internet to life. Find us at Internethalloffame.org.