The Version Museum “is devoted to showcasing the visual history of popular websites, games, apps, and operating systems that have shaped our lives. Merriam-Webster defines the word museum as: An institution devoted to the procurement, care, study, and display of objects of lasting interest or value. Certainly the technology we use everyday is both interesting and highly valuable! Much like walking through a real-life museum, Version Museum aims to illustrate the visual, tangible elements of various versions of technology, rather than just the written history behind it. Wikipedia and other sites already do a fantastic job of detailing the story behind websites, apps, and everything else.
This site focuses on observable changes over time. If you’re a longtime user of a certain product, there’s probably going to be some nostalgia as you look at all the previous iterations of it over the years. This site displays images of a given topic in (mostly) chronological order, starting from the earliest time feasible. All the images are credited when possible. We search for images from the original time period, and use them if they are available. Unfortunately, many of these old images are of poor quality and resolution, and end up looking awful on high-quality modern displays. So for image clarity and quality, many website images are created using the Wayback Machine at web.archive.org. This tool is indispensable for looking back into earlier days of the world wide web. Unfortunately, the images generated from archive.org in modern browsers aren’t 100% faithful to the original way the website would be rendered and viewed in the older browsers of the 1990’s and 2000’s. The fonts, resolutions, and layouts are different. However, in our view, the tradeoff is worth it to get high-quality images that are mostly representative of what the website used to look like…”