All of Gopherspace as a single download

In 2007, John Goerzen scraped every gopher site he could find (gopher was a menu-driven text-only precursor to the Web; I got my first online gig programming gopher sites). He saved 780,000 documents, totalling 40GB. Today, most of this is offline, so he's making the entire archive available as a .torrent file; the compressed data is only 15GB. Wanna host the entire history of a medium? Here's your chance!
There are some plans to potentially host this archive publicly in the manner of; we'll have to wait and see if anything comes of it.

Finally, I have tried to find a place willing to be a permanent host of this data, and to date have struck out. If anybody knows of such a place, please get in touch. I regret that so many Gopher sites disappeared before 2007, but life is what it is, and this is the best snapshot of the old Gopherspace that I'm aware of and would like to make sure that this piece of history is preserved.

Download A Piece of Internet History (via Waxy)


  1. Oh man. I remember Gopher, we used to use that all the time. Got on it through ClarisWorks if I remember correctly.

  2. Does anyone have an idea what the copyright status of this archive and its contents is? Just curious…

  3. OK, for the record, I have no idea what a Gopher site is, but that is not going to stop me from commenting. I freely admit to being a code moron so I will apologize in advance if my suggestion is idiotic. What about the Library of Congress? Seems to me if they are interested in the Twitter archive, Gopher history may be worthy as well.

  4. You might want to try the Library of Congress. They just agreed to archive the Twitterverse … why not a measely 40GB?

  5. Wow, I signed up for my classes at Cal using gopher. I wonder how many UC Berkeley course catalogs are in there.

  6. I have fond memories of using gopher before the emergence of the web. I thought the hypertext links were absolutely brilliant. A couple of years later I figured out how to set up an emulated slip/PPP (slirp) connection to my university’s dial up system. My days of using a terminal to explore the internet were largely over.

  7. I never used it but I am willing to donate bandwidth and space for hosting. It’d be pretty awesome to host a part of history.

  8. I can host this until further notice if it helps, I’m on 10/10mbit connection, so as long as the load dosn’t totally bottleneck my connection, I’ve got no objections :)

  9. I fondly remember installing gopher servers for faculty members back in the day, telling them they needed to consider migrating to the web instead. Many didn’t want to hear about this newfangled world wide web thing. I’d then install Mosaic 1.0 without telling them (the entire mosaic app fit on a single floppy), and that would open their eyes. Wikipedia has a nice article at that includes several still living gopher servers, which can be viewed in a web browser using the gopher:// protocol.

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