The project was started in response to the lack of organized archiving of
political documents, periodicals and discussions disseminated via Usenet on
newsgroups such as
alt.politics.radical-left group came later and was also a
substantial source of both materials and regular contributors.
Not long thereafter, electronic 'zines (e-zines) began their rapid proliferation on the Internet, and it was clear that these materials suffered from the same lack of coordinated collection and preservation, not to mention the fact that the lines between e-zines (which at the time were mostly related to hacking, phreaking, and Internet anarchism) and political materials on the Internet were fuzzy enough that most e-zines fit the original mission of the ETEXT Archives. One thing led to another, and e-zines of all kinds -- many on various cultural topics unrelated to politics -- invaded the archives in significant volume.
Within a few months the project migrated to a dedicated server. Bill Jolitz had just released version 0.1 of 386BSD, and the ETEXT Archives obtained the use of a 386DX-40 and over 100Mb of dedicated archive storage. Over the course of the last five years, the project has grown to encompass nearly three gigabytes of mostly ASCII text. The current server hardware is a dual-Pentium system with 128Mb RAM, running Solaris 2.6.
The ETEXT Archives still operate entirely on volunteer labor and equipment. If you have time, skills, equipment or money that you wish to contribute, please contact us at the address below.
If you or someone you know may be interested in sponsoring the archive project with funds, equipment, software, connectivity, or other services, please get in touch.