Celebrating the Builders & the Dreamers

As the Internet Archive turns 25, we invite you on a journey from way back to way forward, through the pivotal moments when knowledge became more accessible for all.

From the Library of Alexandria to Johannes Gutenberg’s invention of the printing press; from the First Amendment’s guarantee of the right to information to the creation of the World Wide Web, access to knowledge has always been thanks to the builders and the dreamers.

Now, go way back with us to 1996 when a young computer scientist named Brewster Kahle dreamed of building a “Library of Everything” for the digital age. A library containing all the published works of humankind, free to the public, and structured as a nonprofit to last the ages. He named this digital library the Internet Archive. Its mission: to provide everyone with “Universal Access to All Knowledge.”

Read Brewster's reflections on this 25 year milestone

Join our Virtual Celebration

Come celebrate with us, no matter where you are in the world.

From Wayback to Way Forward: The Internet Archive at 25

A virtual journey with the builders and dreamers who have reached for the stars.
Thursday, October 21 at 6 PM PT (9 PM ET)

Attend our virtual event

Key Moments in Access to Knowledge

7th
cen.
BCE
2021
7th
cen.
BCE
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Collection
The world’s oldest library is founded in Mesopotamia
2nd
cen.
BCE
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Collection
Parchment is invented in Pergamon

400
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Collection
Buddhism’s Diamond Sutra appears in Chinese translation
Dec
15
1791
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Collection
The First Amendment is adopted in America

1450
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Collection
Gutenberg invents the Europe’s first printing press

1833
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Collection
The first US tax-supported public library is established

1969
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Collection
The Supreme Court rules that the right to information is fundamental

1971
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Collection
The first ebook is created by Project Gutenberg

1989
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Collection
Sir Tim Berners-Lee invents the World Wide Web
Oct
1996
Go
Wayback
Internet Archive crawlers capture first web pages, including MTV

1996
Go
Wayback
Brewster Kahle founds the Internet Archive
Dec
30
2000
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Collection
Rick Prelinger establishes the Internet Archive’s first moving image collection
Oct
11
2001
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Collection
Internet Archive establishes the 9/11 Television News Archive
Oct
24
2001
Go
Wayback
Wayback Machine unveiled at the University of California at Berkeley
Oct
9
2002
Go
Wayback
Internet Bookmobile arrives at the Supreme Court for Eldred vs. Ashcroft
Nov
5
2005
Go
Wayback
Internet Archive launches Archive-it web archiving service
Jul
16
2007
Go
Wayback
Aaron Swartz announces launch of Open Library
Apr
7
2010
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Collection
Internet Archive & Princeton University make federal court records freely available
May
6
2010
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Collection
Internet Archive makes 1 million books freely available to people with print disabilities
Feb
22
2011
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Collection
Library coalition develops lending collection of more than 80,000 ebooks
Apr
24
2012
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Collection
Brewster Kahle is inducted into the Internet Hall of Fame
Sep
18
2012
Go
Wayback
Internet Archive launches the TV News Archive
Oct
25
2012
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Collection
10,000,000,000,000,000 bytes of cultural material archived
Oct
24
2013
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Collection
Internet Archive launches Historical Software Archive
Jun
7-9
2016
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Collection
Internet Archive hosts the world’s first Decentralized Web Summit
Feb
25
2020
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Collection
Brave browser adds one-click access to Wayback Machine captures
Mar
24
2020
Explore
Collection
In response to Covid-19 shutdowns, Internet Archive launches National Emergency Library
Jun
1
2020
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Collection
Four publishers sue the Internet Archive over its National Emergency Library
Dec
31
2020
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Collection
Internet Archive lending collection reaches 2 million modern books
Mar
9
2021
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Collection
Internet Archive launches Internet Archive Scholar
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Every Collection Tells a Story

Ways to Join in the Fun

Share an Anniversary Wish

How has the Internet Archive inspired you? What’s your favorite Internet Archive story? To tell us, just hit the “Record a video” button below.

Support our work

In 25 years, the Internet Archive and our community has accomplished so much. Together, we have built a world class library on the Internet. It’s all possible thanks to patrons around the world who are curious, generous, and preservation-minded, just like you.

If the Internet Archive has helped you over the last 25 years, that’s reason to celebrate! Please support our work.

Make a gift

Member of the Press?

Interested in producing a story about the Internet Archive? We’ve got you covered with key statistics, logos, historical images, and photos. Contact press@archive.org to set up an interview or attend one of our anniversary events nationwide.

Our Press kit is here