Wikipedia Is Selling a Slice of Internet History

Wikipedia Is Selling a Slice of Internet History

The collective sum of all human knowledge assembled on the internet (and the bane of any grade school teacher assigning a research paper), Wikipedia has cemented its place in history as the world's largest and most-read virtual encyclopedia.

Now, you too could potentially own a piece of internet history thanks to a new Christie's auction. Partnering up with founder Jimmy Wales, The Birth of Wikipedia features two artifacts from the site's early days with proceeds from the sale going to support the new alternative social media network, WT.Social.

The first lot in the auction features the Strawberry Apple iMac that Wales used to create Wikipedia back in 2001. Wales used the computer to monitor and fend off potential web vandals in the site's early days. As an added bonus, the computer comes complete with its original boxing for peak Y2K nostalgia.

The second is an NFT of the first ever edit made to Wikipedia on January 15, 2001 which reads "Hello, World!" Sporting the same layout and code that the website had back when it first launched, the NFT will apparently have a feature that allows the owner to edit the page and reset a timer.

“It’s been over 20 years since I first typed in the words 'Hello, World!' to launch Wikipedia — and even today, I’m still amazed at the size and breadth of what it has become,” Wales says. “I’m so pleased that we have this opportunity to celebrate the work of Wikipedia’s dedicated volunteers, and I hope that the funds raised can both contribute to furthering that effort and to help support my latest project, WT.Social, a decentralized, non-commercial social network free of advertising, tracking, information harvesting and misinformation.”

The Birth of Wikipedia is set to run from December 3 through the 15 via Christie's.

Photo courtesy of Christie's