There is a financial crisis in Sweden, and in order to develop their web-section, Lundagård hires an unemployed artist. The question is, however, what lasting impression the student newspaper made in its first, stumbling years of being on the Web.
In the middle of the ’90s, there was a recession and a financial crisis in Sweden. The cell phones were few (and not so smart), e-mailing addresses were even fewer, and hardly anyone was connected to the Web. Many students still rented a computer to write their essays.
In this reality, Lundagård created its first proper webpage, in the autumn of 1996. This was actually a direct consequence of the crisis of the ’90s. There was a particular measure in the labour market for unemployed cultural workers – ALU (development within working life), and Jens Quist, a co-worker at Lundagård, connected the unemployed artist Tomas Sommergyll with the student newspaper. During a few months, Sommergyll worked at Lundagård, via the ALU-system, to create the newspaper’s webpage.
The first online edition was not what we call an online newspaper today. It was simply the articles of the latest paper edition, reproduced afterwards, often without any pictures. We thought it was enough to publish the front page of the latest issue, along with the Q-drawing. That was more or less what it was like back then. The Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet is usually called a pioneer on the Web, but they started off by only publishing the newspaper’s monthly arts section, in the autumn of 1994. At the outset, Lundagård did not have an Internet domain of its own, we simply did not understand how important that was; instead, Lundagård was quite far down on the sitemap (below “Student Unions”) on af.lu.se.
The first web-editions were issues 3 and 4 of 1996, but they were published retroactively, just in time for the first edition of the autumn. There is no longer any trace of these publications online. The earliest edition that is possible to trace with the online archive tool, Wayback machine, is issue one of 1997. The first Lundagård-edition from 1920 is possible to read without problems, but the first, stumbling web-related steps are lost forever. The digital cultural heritage we leave behind will be filled with gaps for future readers.
One of those gaps is the first webpage of Lundagård. I entered my duties as editor of Lundagård in the autumn of 1995, and I remember that Lundagård was on the Web already when Marko Wramén was the editor (94-95). Neither Marko, nor those who were familiar with the web-technology in the editor’s office of Lundagård, or the IT-pioneers responsible for the webpage of AF have any recollection of Lundagård’s webpage. However, everyone remembers the first e-mailing address belonging to Lundagård (firstname.lastname@example.org).
To research the origins of the web-edition, we have to look in the paper one. In March, 1995, there is a short paragraph concerning the fact that Lundagård had obtained its own e-mailing address. A webpage is also mentioned, but only in the next edition is the address for the webpage stated. We cannot get any closer than that in finding Lundagård’s first impression on the Internet.
At least we know enough to give an extra cheer in the celebration for Lundagård having existed for 95 years, for its first 20 years online!
Web Editor at LTH
Editor at Lundagård 1995-97
Translation: Richard Helander