UK Web Focus

Innovation and best practices for the Web

UK University Home Pages: (Remember) The Way We Were

Posted by Brian Kelly on 4 February 2013

The Way We Were

University of Bath home page: 1997Back in July 1997 UKOLN held the first IWMW (Institutional Web Management Workshop) event. The event aimed to share examples of best practices and innovation for those involved in providing institutional Web services.

D0 you remember what your institution’s home page looked like in 1997? Back in 2002 we set up a service which provides a rolling display of University home pages. We subsequently used the same tool to provide a rolling display of University home pages taken from the Internet Archive.

It is therefore possible to see how University home pages looked before the first IWMW event took place and to compare this with how the pages look today.

How We Are Today

The following rolling displays show how Web sites look today:

Note that if links are broken this indicates that the URL of the original Web page no longer exists. It is interesting to note the high profile that was given to the provision to institutional Web gateways ten years ago; nowadays institutional Web sites are more likely, I suspect, tow ish visitors to stay on the Web sites with links to interesting resources elsewhere being minimised.

I should also add that historical displays which show the evolution of the home page are available for the following institutions:

Looking Forward to the Future

IWMW 2013 home pageThe theme of the IWMW 2013 event is “What Next?“. We are currently inviting submissions for talks and workshop sessions which will be of interest to those involved in the provision of institutional Web services. Participants will be interested in looking to the future and to hear about approaches to the management of large-scale institutional Web services which are applicable in today’s environment.

It seems to me that it would be useful to look into the lessons which can be learnt from the history of institutional Web development when making plans for the future. I hope the resources mentioned above will be useful for those who wish to travel back in time and see how Web sites have evolved over the past 17 years.


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