Practically Extinct small

Pre WWW telephone and television information services that allowed a degree of user interaction and data retrieval with modem-based two way communication.

Group: Sound & Vision

Trend: No Change

Unanimous Decision

Added to List: 2017

Last update: 2019

Previous category: Practically Extinct

Imminence of Action

Action is recommended within 12 months, detailed assessment is now a priority

Significance of Loss

The loss of tools, data or services within this group would impact on people and sectors around the world.

Effort to Preserve

Loss seems likely: by the time tools or techniques have been developed the material will likely have been lost.


Prestel, Minitel, VidiTel and Videotex NL, Alex, BelTel, FidoNet

‘Critically Endangered’ in the Presence of Good Practice

Offline backup documented and available for recovery;

2019 Review

This entry was first published in 2017 and there has been no evidence to document any change in the initial classification that such data was practically extinct.  There may be examples residing in offline backups of services taken at the time, but these are likely to have deteriorated rapidly.  Therefore the Jury calls on anyone with such collections to act quickly to stabilise and recover content.

Additional Jury Comments

Although there is no structured collection of this material many individuals have archives and a campaign of the nature of 'Missing believed Wiped' might be effective

Almost impossible to get this data back (we can hope for some disks to show up one day that have traces on them). From a cultural studies point of view, it's a huge loss.

Appeal to the crowd?

This is also something that links to community archives and community heritage - early online forums were a place of community development and community creation.

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