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13 March 2009: 20 years of the web



Information Management: A Proposal

Tim Berners-Lee, CERN

March 1989, May 1990

This proposal concerns the management of general information about accelerators and experiments at CERN. It discusses the problems of loss of information about complex evolving systems and derives a solution based on a distributed hypertext system.


Twenty years ago this month, something happened at CERN that would change the world forever: Tim Berners-Lee handed a document to his supervisor Mike Sendall entitled "Information Management : a Proposal". "Vague, but exciting" is how Mike described it, and he gave Tim the nod to take his proposal forward. The following year, the World Wide Web was born. This week, it's a pleasure and an honour for us to welcome the Web's inventor back to CERN to mark this special anniversary at the place the Web was born.

With 2009 being declared the Year of Creativity and Innovation by the European Union, the 20th anniversary of the Web serves as a timely reminder of the powerful role that creativity in basic research plays as a driver of innovation. I hope you enjoy the celebration.

Rolf Heuer
CERN Director-General