BITNET proved the value of
networking to higher education and motivated that
community to take a leadership role in establishing
NSFnet and the Internet. We owe an enormous debt of
gratitude to those whose vision started and nurtured it 15
years ago, and to the many individuals and organizations
whose contributions and dedication have helped it grow
and become increasingly useful during the intervening
- Winding Down
first Listserv was conceived of by Ira Fuchs from BITNET and Dan Oberst from EDUCOM (later EDUCAUSE), and
implemented by Ricky Hernandez also of EDUCOM, in order to support research mailing lists on the
BITNET academic research network.
This first version was put into operation
and hosted many lists, but was eclipsed in 1986 by the new version developed
Thomas from CERN, originally called Revised
Listserv was originally developed on IBM mainframes, and still retains
some of the record oriented, batch job look and feel of that computer
environment. However, it was later ported to run on Unix,
IBM VMS, Microsoft Windows, Macintosh, and
By the year 2000, Listserv ran on computers around the world managing more
than 50 thousand lists, with more than 30 million subscribers, delivering
20 million messages a day over the Internet.
- Online archives of the LISTSERV site administrators' mailing
list from 1986 to today here.
software timeline here.
history of LISTSERV software here.