What is your first “internet memory”? How old were you? What room were you in? What computer were you on?

What happened next?

The Early Internet Memories project explores personal and public archives that contain digital traces and web materials made by young people throughout 1994-2005 through qualitative, online semi-structured interviews, called archive promenades. This is a collaborative, participant-led approach to researching web archives.

EIM is my dissertation field work and a sub-project of the SSHRC-funded Partnership Grant “The eQuality Project” (2015-2022), which looks at privacy and equity online with the goal of informing digital economy policies and debates.

The Early Internet Memories project asks “millennials” (b. 1981-1996) about their earliest memories of being on the internet to explore themes in personal experiences of web history and digital privacy. The goal of this research is to contribute oral histories of the web, as it is remembered by people who were young when they were first experiencing being “online”. It also reveals how relationships with digital technology have developed alongside the evolution of networked spaces and technologies, and explores the role of memory and web archives and digital preservation in historical representations of the web’s past.