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/ March 7, 2013
Here’s What NYU’s Website Looked Like When You Were In Pre-School

Whether stumbling across your old Xanga blog or hitting “left” instead of “right” while viewing profile pictures on Facebook, there are not many things as embarrassing than taking a stroll down digital memory lane. Your past online presence almost assuredly comes off as antiquated and asinine, an awkward reminder of that weirdo you used to be.

So today, because we want to shame NYU as much as possible before next week’s vote of no confidence celebrate our University’s rich and fascinating history, we’re taking a look courtesy of the Wayback Machine at’s from years past.



Most of us were still in diapers when NYU’s first website debuted. This one had all the bleeding-edge technologies of the day: Links! Line Breaks! Lists! (Well, actually that last one is still pretty current.). People likely would have accessed the site through AOL, which was kind of like Chrome, but you had to pay for it and a little man would tell you when you had mail.


This site debuted at the end of last century (Or, about 14 years ago, in 1999) and is what prospective students would have seen as they frantically attempted to browse every page on the Internet before Y2K destroyed every computer across the globe (and us all). Cute features include an indicator of the date at the top right, and an option to send an “electronic postcard from NYU.” Awww, isn’t that cute? An “electronic postcard!”


NYU switched over to this cleaner grid in 2001, a style they’d maintain for about 4 years (Call it the “Dubya’s First Term” website). This snapshot, taken on 9/17/2011 provides an interesting look at how the university responded immediately after September 11th. You can see the University “resumed its normal schedule on Friday September 14th,” and what the experience was like for students living in dorms affected by the attack.


In this fun update, the University added weather information to the home page! Other than that, things remained pretty much the same.


This was a huge update for the site. They switched to a far more information-dense grid (Was this the first sign of the incoming, soul-numbing INFORMATION OVERLOAD?!), and upped the marketing ante, showing freshman that NYU students are nothing but smiles! Except for a tweak to fonts and color palates in 2008, this site stuck around until many current juniors and seniors applied to NYU.


Ah, our current Debuted in 2010, this site harkens back to the good old days, in ’96 when the site was a simple list of departments. Oh, but now they added a Big Fucking Photo. Because nothing gets people’s attention like a Big Fucking Photo. The search feature is particularly useful on this version of this site, allowing you to search for NYU pages or NYU people.

And that takes us to where we are today. We hope you’ve enjoyed tracing NYU’s digital footsteps. If you’re anything like us, you feel something like this ‘out of control’ student on the left from the banner of the original Student Resource Center website:

[Images via, via]