Jim’s been digging in to the history of the internet during the Internet Course, and one of the groups is looking specifically at ARPANET for their project. I thought it might be interesting to see what kind of official documents are available online. I looked up what’s out there in the .gov domain (arpanet site:.gov) and the first hit is a nice looking site from the NSF on the birth of the internet. I tried the same approach with military sites (arpanet site:.mil) and found the history of DARPA, and a 50 year retrospective.
But what I like even better are the ugly old official brochures, like this thing from 1978 when they didn’t even use typesetters. It lists a rate for a 50KB connection of $920 per month. That’s approximately $3,349.16 in today’s money. There’s another from 1985, and even a “History of” document (link to PDF) from 1981. It’s one thing to read in Wikipedia about how it all came together, but these documents give real snapshots in time of what was going on.