I know several people have asked you to keep the archives around, well, forever, apparently without much result.
I would ask you to do it only for one reason: on the Fool’s 100th anniversary, some writer somewhere will want to go back to the beginning and scrape some of the earliest posts, and perhaps to some of the other significant investing events that happened along the way - and how can they do that if everything disappears?
For instance it will be hilarious to see me talk about the AOL-Time Warner merger as a terrific thing, bound to bring AOL to new heights. Heh.
Think of all the posts that criticized Buffett for not investing in tech during the 90’s boom; what great fodder for a column about manias.
You could find a bunch of opinions on the early Amazon boards saying that the company will never grow into that absurd valuation. And even more talking about which is a better business model: eBay or Amazon. Oh my, what a tough choice (yeah, it might have been in 1994.)
Anyway, it’s all just text files and shouldn’t take up more than a couple of terabyte drives you can pick up at Costco few a few bucks. Think it over, do it, then stash them in a secure location for a few decades. Think of the children!
Not sure if you’re familiar with the Internet Wayback machine, but I took a few minutes to see if they had been crawling the fool back in 1994. It looks like the earliest entry is in 1999. Unfortunately, because the content is mostly stored in a database, the wayback machine was not able to crawl it and capture the board content. However, it has captured many of the “front page” changes along the way. If you have a couple of minutes to take a stroll down memory lane, here you go…