The free web hosting service Geocities.com was founded by “Beverly Hills Internet” in July 1995 — exactly the time when the web left academia and started to be made by everyone of us.

Soon it became one of the most popular and inhabited places of the WWW and stayed that way through the second part of 1990’s. In January 1999, on the peak of Dot.com mania, it was bought by Yahoo!.

The new millennium proved Geocities to be a bad investment. Having a page on there became a synonym for dilettantism and bad taste. Furthermore, the time of personal home pages was counted, being replaced with profiles on social networks.

Ten years later, in April 2009, Yahoo! announced that they are going to shut down the service.

On the 26th of October 2009 Geocities seized to exist. In between the announcement and the official date of death a group of people calling themselves Archive Team managed to rescue almost a terabyte of Geocities pages. On the 26th of October 2010, the first anniversary of this Digital Holocaust, the Archive Team started to seed geocities.archiveteam.torrent.

On the 1st of November 2010 Olia and Dragan bought a 2 TB disk and started downloading the biggest torrent of all times.

On the 17th of January 2011 we are still at 53,54%. Since three weeks nobody is seeding.

Being inpatient we started to unzip the first packages and dig into the treasures of Web 1.0. This blog is the first inventory of our findings.

For more on early web culture read Vernacular Web, Vernacular Web 2Prof.Dr. Style and our book Digital Folklore.

Update 2011-04-25

The download is complete.

Update 2011-08-10

In the meantime we released a modified version of the torrent. The original contained some errors, a separate patch was later offered by the Archive Team as an HTTP download. The modified torrent includes this patch. If you started to download the original torrent, the modified one can continue from there.


During 2012, Dragan’s work was supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation, via a project located at the Bern Universiy of the Arts.


The Photographers’ Gallery in London not only hosted a great exhibition of 16’000 Geocities home page videos, but also sponsored a hardware RAID to quicken our research.

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