The Koninklijke Bibliotheek (KB) has archived a large number of old XS4ALL homepages from the early days of the Dutch internet.

The collection contains personal pages that were created by Dutch internet users between 1993 and 2001 at the provider XS4ALL, the KB said.

Home pages are a type of personal websites that could be created by users.

Users could post anything from personal information to memes on it.

Some examples are De Digitale Metro and the Hamster Dance, one of the first internet memes.

According to the KB, the homepages are important to keep, because they show what internet culture was like at the beginning of the internet era.

Kees Teszelszky, curator of digital collections at the KB, started compiling the collection of homepages in 2019, when it was announced that XS4ALL would stop.

"I thought it was important that this piece of culture lasts, because it really is the foundation for a lot of things on the Internet. Homepages were the first place on the Internet where people could post things about themselves."

More than eight thousand homepages saved

Teszelszky studied over eight thousand pages for the collection.

In the end he labeled more than four hundred web pages as masterpieces.

He kept the pages in a collection description so that future scholars can understand why the pages have been preserved.

Due to their age, the homepages are almost impossible to find on the internet.

If they had not been kept in the collection, they would eventually have been lost, says Teszelszky.