It seems incredible, but it’s true: the Web is officially twenty years old today. Tim Berners-Lee’s original proposal was submitted to his bosses at CERN on this day in 1990. There was apparently little or no initial enthusiasm or, indeed, response. Although years later a copy sent to one of them, Mike Sendall, was found with the following words scrawled on the front cover: ‘vague, but exciting’.
You can read the original at: http://www.w3.org/Proposal.html
Tim Berners-Lee describes the initial efforts in the following video talk: http://data.gov.uk/resources#content-area